21 More partitive plural
We already know that the partitive plural replaces the words ‘some’, ‘any’ or ‘a few’. The ordinary plural has the additional implied meaning ‘all’.
The partitive plural can also denote something that is part of a bigger entity.
Example: i cirya rancë ondolissë (the ship broke upon a few rocks)
This means that there are more rocks, but the ship didn’t sail into them.
Sometimes it is used for a group that belongs to a larger group.
Example: eldali nar altë (some elves are large)
So we mean that there also are elves that are not so large.
But in the ordinary plural …
Example: eldar nar altë (elves are large)
In this sentence we mean ‘every elf is large’.
When a noun in the partitive plural is accompanied by an adjective, the adjective has the normal plural form.
Example: wenyë lasseli (some green leaves)
But in the partitive plural the rule of the last declinable word is not applied. So the case-suffix is always applied to the noun even when there are adjectives or pronouns following behind the noun.
Example: rimbalissen hallë (on some high walls)
Partitive plural formation
We know from lesson 3 that the basic rule is to add the suffix -li to nouns ending in a vowel.
lassë (leaf) -> lasseli (some leaves)
cirya (ship) -> ciryali (some ships)
When the noun ends on -l, the same suffix is added.
Example: macil (sword) -> macilli (some swords)
The final letters -r, -n and -s change into -l-.
atar (father) -> atalli (some fathers)
elen (star) -> elelli (some stars)
indis (bride) -> indilli (some brides)
Nouns ending in -t get an additional -e-.
Example: sarat (sign) -> (sarateli) some signs
Nouns with a separate stem-form use this stem-form in the partitive plural. When this stem-form ends in a consonant we again add -e-.
lírë (song) -> lírili (some songs) …stem: líri-
ango (snake) -> anguli (some snakes) …stem: angu-
filit (little bird)-> filiceli (some little birds) …stem: filic-
However, when the normal form of the noun ends in -r, -n or -s, we use this instead of the stem-form, but change the final letter into -l-, just as before.
Example: toron (brother) -> torolli (some brothers) …stem: torn-
Combining the partitive plural with case endings
We can, of course, also find all the cases in the partitive plural.
In the possessive and instrumental cases the final -i is lengthened into -íva or -ínen after a single -l-, but not after a double -ll-.
ciryali (some ships) …ciryalíva (of some ships) …ciryalínen (with some ships)
atalli (some fathers) …atalliva (of some fathers) …atallinen (with some fathers)
In the genitive case the ending is -on and in the dative case it is simply -n.
Example: lasseli (some leaves) …lasselion (of some leaves) …lasselin (to some leaves)
And in the locative, ablative and allative, we have the choice between the singular endings -ssë, -llo and -nna or the plural endings -ssen, -llon and -nnar.
The plural endings however are preferred.
atalli (some fathers) …atallissen (on some fathers) …atallissë (on some fathers)
lírili (some songs) …lírilillon (from some songs) …lírilillo (from some songs)
anguli (some snakes) …angulinnar (to some snakes) …angulinna (to some snakes)
Vocabulary list 21
lepsë (lepsi-) “finger”
lirit “poem” (a sung poem)
fanya “(white) cloud”
rusco (ruscu-) “fox” (plural rusqui)
quesset (quessec-) “pillow”
mauya- “have to, compel”
rá (rav-) “lion”
indis (indiss-) “bride”