Lántas nouns

Lántas is unusual (as far as I know) in that words which are often considered to form a separate “adjective” class, or, a subset of verbs, are in fact (the genitive case of) nouns.


The basic form of a noun is its singular, in all cases. The plural is formed by adding:

This plural form can also be applied to names of people. In this case it forms what is called an associative plural, and refers to a person plus a group associated with them, usually their family or friend group.

John and his friends


The definite suffix for nouns (DEF) is usually –m, and is used more frequently than ‘the’ in English. For example, in the first sentence below Sam has one dog, but in the second he is implied to have several. The names of people and places are also definite.

The suffix has a few different forms depending on how the word ends:

Ending Suffix Examples
m or ḿ –am šaksḿam ‘the ash’,
TODO word ending in m
other consonant or ń –ḿ lántasḿ ‘the language’,
kášńḿ ‘the lizard’
vowel, ŕ, or ł –m luwam ‘the truth’,
laksŕm ‘the fish’,
ustaiƶłm ‘the singer’

A sequence ńḿ formed in this way is pronounced as /nm̩/. In other words, kášńḿ has two syllables, not three like it is written. An extra -a is inserted after the -m form of the suffix if it is needed due to another suffix following it.

Sámimat ƶasim
Sami–ma–t ƶasi–m
Sam’s dog
Sámimat ƶasi
Sami–ma–t ƶasi
Sam–DEFGEN dog
one of Sam’s dogs
guwanḿt samńḿ
ˈɡu.wa.nm̩t ˈsam.nm̩
guwan–ḿ–t samń–ḿ
sun–DEFGEN colour–DEF
the colour of the sun

Using the definite suffix

The definite suffix is used:

The definite suffix is not used (in contrast to English):

Core cases

Declension for the core cases of ‘man’ and lun ‘road’ are shown below. Some of the endings are slightly different in the case of a stem ending in a consonant or vowel, and if the ending starts with multiple consonants the final one of the stem is dropped.

Nominative (NOM) nú·l
Genitive (GEN) nú·t nú·t·ł
Comitative (COM) nú·kas nú·kas·ł
Caritive (CAR) nú·ssa nú·ssa·l
Instrumental (INS) nú·la nú·la·l
Essive (ESS) nú·gu nú·gu·l
Translative (TRA) nú·sti nú·sti·l
Exessive (EXE) nú·ču nú·ču·l
NOM lun lun·ł
GEN lu·t lun·t·ł
COM lun·kas lun·kas·ł
CAR lu·ssa lu·ssa·l
INS lun·la lun·la·l
ESS lun·gu lun·gu·l
TRA lu·sti lu·sti·l
EXE lun·ču lun·ču·l

The nominative is the subject of sentences, and the unmarked form. The genitive is used for the object of sentences, the possessive, and for modifying other nouns (see below).

Jánim línait bairusi.
Jáni–m línai–t bairu–si
John–DEF mouse–GEN see–RPST
John saw a mouse.
Jánimat línai
Jáni–ma–t línai
John–DEFGEN mouse
John’s mouse
ausut línai
ausu–t línai
large–GEN mouse
a large mouse

For inalienable possession (body parts, family members, etc), the definite is usually used instead of an explicit genitive construction.

Nattumatł bairusina.
nattu–ma–t–ł bairu–si–na
parent–DEFGENPL see–PST1SG
I saw my [the] parents.

The comitative case is used for ‘and’ between two nouns, as well as ‘with’ in the sense of ‘accompanied by’. It is used on all but the last noun being conjoined, with the last one taking the semantic case for the whole sequence. The opposite case, the caritive, means ‘without’, and is also used for negative possessive statements. (See the adessive, described below, for affirmative statements.)

suksł ká
they;COM I
they and I
Kalńkas ƶasit bairusina.
kalń–kas ƶasi–t bairu–si–na
cat–COM dog–GEN see–RPST1SG
I saw a cat and a dog.
Sairiassa aina.
sairia–ssa ai–na
money–CAR be–1SG
I don’t have any money.
Kat fadaukas ká rut ǧimamlis šikkúsi.
kat fadau–kas rut ǧima–m–li–s šikkú–si
my friend–COM I his house–DEFINLAT go–RPST
I went with my friend to his house.

The most common use of the instrumental case is the “theme” of ditransitive sentences (while the recipient is in the genitive). It is also used for ‘with’ as in ‘using’, in distributive phrases such as kallila ‘in threes, in sets of three, three each’, and quantifiers like ‘every’.

Sanǧula paraina.
sanǧu–la parai–na
pen–INS write–1SG
I write with a pen.
kalli litrala tippi
kalli litra–la tippi
three litre–INS water
three litres of water
nakasnala hámal
nakasnala háma–l
every;INS country–PL
every country
nala núl
nala nú–l
any;INS person–PL
some people
nai rala númł
nai ra(n)–la nú–m–ł
one thing–INS person–DEFPL
one of the people
nala númł
nala nú–m–ł
any;INS person–DEFPL
some of the people

The basic meaning of the essive case is a state. It is used:

The translative and exessive cases indicate a change of state:

TODO: examples

Locational cases

The locational cases are formed by pairs of suffixes, one for the type of motion and one for the orientation or part of the target object.1 These cases have formulaic names, e.g., ‘adessive’ (at), ‘superablative’ (from above), and so on. The prefixes describe the type of motion, and the main words indicate the relative position:

ad– AD at, on
in– IN in
pre– PRE in front of
post– POST behind
inter– INTER between, among
super– SUPER on top of, above
sub– SUB below, under
apud– APUD near, next to
essive ESS at, on
lative LAT towards
ablative ABL away from
perlative PRL through, along

Unlike for the core cases, the endings are the same regardless of whether the stem ends in a consonant or vowel, so they are only listed for .

AD SG nú·sa nú·sa·s nú·sa·n nú·sa·ri
PL nú·sa·l nú·sa·s·ł nú·sa·n·ł nú·sa·ri·l
IN SG nú·li nú·li·s nú·li·n nú·li·ri
PL nú·li·l nú·li·s·ł nú·li·n·ł nú·li·ri·l
PRE SG nú·ƶu nú·ƶu·s nú·ƶu·n nú·ƶu·ri
PL nú·ƶu·l nú·ƶu·s·ł nú·ƶu·n·ł nú·ƶu·ri·l
POST SG nú·gi nú·gi·s nú·gi·n nú·gi·ri
PL nú·gi·l nú·gi·s·ł nú·gi·n·ł nú·gi·ri·l
INTER SG nú·nua nú·nua·s nú·nua·n nú·nua·ri
PL nú·nua·l nú·nua·s·ł nú·nua·n·ł nú·nua·ri·l
SUPER SG nú·ba nú·ba·s nú·ba·n nú·ba·ri
PL nú·ba·l nú·ba·s·ł nú·ba·n·ł nú·ba·ri·l
SUB SG nú·ku nú·ku·s nú·ku·n nú·ku·ri
PL nú·ku·l nú·ku·s·ł nú·ku·n·ł nú·ku·ri·l
APUD SG nú·mi nú·mi·s nú·mi·n nú·mi·ri
PL nú·mi·l nú·mi·s·ł nú·mi·n·ł nú·mi·ri·l

Non-locative uses

Position words

The position suffixes give rise to the following words based on some roots fan, gis, and pul, which no longer exist as separate words:


Most words considered as adjectives in other languages are in fact grammatically nouns in Lántas; words such as sabu can be translated as ‘the colour black’. When one noun modifies another attributively, the genitive case suffix -t is used. In the case of multiple adjectives, all other than the last have a modified form of the comitative suffix, –kat. Adjectives, like other noun modifiers, precede the head noun.

Genitive forms can be used as adverbs with the suffix -tta; the conjunctive variant is -ttás. Adverbs appear immediately before the verb if they are short. Long adverbial phrases, as well as context-setting adverbs such as time words, are usually placed before the rest of the sentence. Longer adverb phrases at the start of a sentence are often separated from the rest by a comma.

sabut ƶasi
sabu–t ƶasi
black–GEN dog
a black dog
líbit ƶasi
líbi(s)–t ƶasi
happy–GEN dog
a happy dog
sabut líbiskat ƶasi
sabu–kat líbi(s)–t ƶasi
black–ADJCOM happy–GEN dog
a happy black dog
Línaim sihatta irhi.
línai–m siha–tta irhi
mouse–GEN small–ADV squeak
The mouse is squeaking quietly.

From adjectivals, several further derivations can be made: the equative, which expresses that two objects have an equal measure of some property; the comparative, which says that one object has more of a property than another object; and the superlative, which claims that an object has the most of a property.

Adjective ausu·t big
Equative (EQU) ausu·t·sat as big as
Comparative (CMP) ausu·t·pat bigger than
Superlative (SUPL) ausu·t·lit the biggest

The noun being compared with is in the essive case for the equative, and the exessive for the comparative.

ǧimagu ausutsat
ǧima–gu ausu–t–sat
house–ESS big–GENEQU
as big as a house
fíraču panísatpat
fíra–ču panísa–t–pat
sky–EXE blue–GENCMP
bluer than the sky

  1. You might think that this sounds too artificial, but I actually stole it from Tsez. That’s also where I got the pseudolatin names.↩︎