VOCABULARY - UPDATED OCTOBER 21, 2007Introduction to Gilkesh grammar.
Distinctive features of Gilkesh include a thoroughly developed system of verbal nouns (called abstractives); a fully inflected fourth-person verbal form for actions outside of the speaker’s direct experience; and separate forms for the collective plural and discrete plural.1. Parts of speech.
The usual category of “nouns” is here split into agentives and abstractives, which are grammatically distinct enough to be treated as separate parts of speech. The class of agentives generally consists of all concrete nouns (including a few nouns such as dair, name, which are not physically tangible but are treated as concrete). The class of abstractives includes all intangibles, abstractions, verbal nouns, gerunds, and infinitival nouns. This class comprises four primary orders (numbered first through fourth) which will be explained in detail below.2. Agentives and verbs.
There is a fixed relationship (called agent equivalence) between the primary forms of the verb and the agentive (or substantive). In essence, the agentive always represents the agent of the corresponding verb; or conversely, the verbal endings function as a the copular verb when attached to an agentive.3. The abstractive.
To express ideas like “love”, “life”, and so on, we use abstractives. There are four primary orders. The first abstractive represents the universal ideal associated with a given root. Its ending is the stem vowel for the appropriate case (absolutive, nominative, mediative, or objective) followed by –s. The first abstractive does not form plurals because, by definition, it represents a non-countable entity. The second abstractive usually represents an attribute, quality, or condition. It is formed through internal changes to the vowel of the root verb. Unlike the first abstractive, it may be countable, and often proper to some person or thing. Frequently its English translation is the same as the first abstractive, but it is used differently. The third abstractive represents an instance, occasion, or occurrence. It sometimes takes on a substantive-like meaning; its exact meaning depends on the word. It is marked by reduplication of the strong consonant. It is always countable. The fourth abstractive represents an action. It closely corresponds with the infinitive or gerund, and is formed by adding noun cases to the infinitive stem ending in -i. The fourth abstractive is frequently used with auxiliary verbs such as: to be able, to want, to need, and so on. For measurable quantities, the fifth and sixth abstractives represent quantity and magnitude respectively. These concepts are discussed in detail in the section on quantity and magnitude.