Nouns and Adjectives

Nouns

Gender

Like many European languages, Cumbraek nouns have gender and are either masculine or feminine. The gender of a noun is usually fixed and must be learned, e.g:

  • Masculine:  gur manehok salmondiwedh endanuw nametruwidh smell
  • Feminine:  gwrek womanoobur skyDenvro Denmarkgwen smiledaer earth

Plurals

The basic form of most Cumbraek words (i.e. the form given in the dictionary) is singular. Plurals may be formed in one of the following ways:

  • By adding a plural endings such as -ow, -yow, -yon, -on, -edh, -ot, -i, -en, -et, -ent.
  • By vowel alternation, e.g. march horsemerch horses.
  • By dropping the singulative endings -inn (masc.) or -enn (fem.) to form a collective, e.g. derwenn oak tree ~ deriw oak trees.
  • Irregularly

The most important irregular plurals are bloodhin year ~ blinedhbroadur brother ~ brodir, ci dog ~ cundidh day ~ diow, gur man ~ gwir, hwair sister ~ hwioredh, ti house ~ teitroet foot ~ traet.

Articles

Cumbraek has no equivalent to English a, an so a noun like ci can mean dog or a dog depending on context.

The word er means the and is used much like in English, e.g. er gur the maner ti the house.

After some short words ending in a vowel, er is contracted to ‘r, e.g. du’r egloos to the churcha’r skol and the school.

Feminine nouns undergo lenition when they follow er, e.g. gwrek a woman but er wrek the womancath a cat but er gath the cat.

Possession

Possession is indicated in English by attaching ‘s to the end of the possessor noun and following it with the possessed noun, e.g. John’s house, Anne’s mother or the Queen’s cat. In Cumbraek this order is reversed (i.e. possessed + possessor) and neither of the words are marked, e.g.

ti Yowann John’s house

mamm Ann  Anne’s mother

cath er Rien  the Queen’s cat

Notice that in English we can say the Queen’s cat and not **the Queen’s the cat. The same is true in Cumbraek, so only the possessor (second) noun can have er before it. So The Dark Side of the Moon (i.e. The Moon’s Dark Side) would be Tou Tewooll Er Loyr and not **Er Tou Tewooll Er Loyr.

Adjectives

Most adjectives are placed after the noun they relate to, e.g. gur moar a large manoobur loot a grey sky. An important exception to this rule is the word hen old, which always comes before the noun and causes lenition, e.g. er hen wur the old man.

Adjectives following feminine nouns undergo lenition, e.g. gwrek voar a large womaner oobur dewooll the dark sky. Many short adjectives with or as their main vowel also change this to or respectively following feminine nouns, e.g. er gur gwinn the white man but er wrek wenn the white womaner ci trumm the heavy dog but er gath dromm the heavy cat.

Comparison

The English endings -er and -est (as in harder, hardest or redder, reddest) are translated with -ach and -hav, e.g. caledach hardercalettav hardestroudhach redder, rouddhav reddest.

Like in English, some adjectives have irregular forms:

  • da goodgwell bettergorow best
  • druk badgoeth worsegoetthav worst
  • moar greatmoy more, greatermoyhav most, greatest
  • bechan smallle smaller, lesslehav smallest, least

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