I forgot to mention that уьй
is the long equivalent of уь
So, Chechen has 8 cases for nouns. Yup, eight cases.
(These are all singular)
We'll go over the cases one by one (as my textbook does).
The nominative is the base form of the noun, and it is used as the subject
verbs and the direct object
of the transitive
verb. This is an important distinction, as we shall see with the ergative case.
A few examples:
Со т1емало ву.
I soldier copula
I am [a] soldier. ("soldier" is in the nominative case)
Иза учебник ю.
she/it textbook copula
It is [a] textbook. ("textbook" is in the nominative case)
We'll touch on the other usage of the nominative case (direct object of transitive verbs) when we go over the ergative case.
Now on to the plural form of the nominative case.
There is no clear cut way to figure out plural forms in Chechen. There are four main ways to form the plural:
-augmented base + (а)ш/й
-vowel change + doubling of consonant + (а)ш/й
-vowel change + (a)ш/й (sometimes with augmented base)
So what's all this about augmented bases and vowel changes? In some cases the stem of the noun gets an added little something, usually -н- or -p- or -чу-.
Vowel changes are a staple of Chechen grammar, so get used to them!
For what we're talking about here, the most common vowel changes are:
а -> аь/е
у -> а
о -> оь
As per usual, the specific changes for particular nouns needs to be learned, they can't easily be predicted. (I'm starting to get the feeling this is going to be like learning Polish or Georgian, a bunch of exceptions and needing to learn different forms of nouns, verbs, etc. Yay!)
So how about a few examples?
машен -> машенаш (car)
помидор -> помидораш (tomato)
да -> дай (father)
гата -> гатанаш (towel, augmented)
бух -> баххаш (bottom, vowel change & doubling)
у -> аннаш (wooden board, vowel change & doubling?)
стол -> стоьлаш (table, vowel change)
ча -> черчий (bear, vowel change & augmented)
More next time.