Neo-Quenya/Syntaxis

This article isn't really an overview of Neo-Quenya syntaxis, but rather a list of topics that have to do with syntaxis and that didn't really fit on any other page.

Passive voiceEdit

The passive participle can in addition to being an adjective, also be used to form passive sentences.

In a normal sentence in the active voice, the subject is the one performing the action of the verb: "he reads the book". But we can make the object of the sentence (the book) the subject of an new sentence "the book is read" or "the book has been read". These sentences belong to the passive voice because their subject undergoes the action of the verb.

In English we recognize these sentences by the use of "to be" as auxiliary verb. The main verb is changed into a past participle.

In the page on verbal forms you can find how to form the passive participle and how to use it as an adjective:

i coa carna "the built house"

Quenya doesn't have a real passive voice but uses a construction with the verb and uses the passive participle as a predicate:

i coa ná carna "the house is built"

In the plural this becomes:

i coar nar carnë "the houses are built"

By changing the tense of we can form the Passive Past and Passive Future tenses:

i coa né carna "the house was built"
i coa nauva carna "the house will be built"

But sometimes it is better to avoid a passive construction by using the indefinite pronoun quen:

quen cára coa

Literally "someone is building a house", this can be used as an alternative for "a house is being built".

A passive sentence is related to an active sentence in the following way:

i elda tencë i parma "the elf wrote the book"

The object i parma becomes the subject and the original subject i elda becomes the agent:

i parma né técina i eldanen "the book was written by the elf"

As can be seen, the agent is expressed by a noun in the instrumental case.

This also implies that in one passive sentence two nouns in the instrumental case can appear: an agent and a normal instrumental:

i parma né técina i eldanen i quessenen "the book was written by the elf with a feather"

When a passive participle is used as an adjective it can also have an agent:

i parma técina i eldanen né carnë "the book written by an elf was red"
i nerinen carnë coar ataltier "the houses built by the men have collapsed"

Wish constructionsEdit

Sometimes you only want to express a wish or a hope that something would happen. In Neo-Quenya this is expressed by a sentence beginning with the particle nai.

In English we this is expressed by sentences beginning with "may", but this not very frequently used in modern English:

nai hiruvalyes "may you find it"

In modern English we would rather use:

nai tiruvantes "I hope (that) they see it/I wish (that) they see it"

Note: the verb following nai is always in the future tense.

In this way, we can make any sentence with a future tense into a wish:

hiruvan i malta "I shall find the gold"
nai hiruvan i malta "I hope I shall find the gold"
caruvantes "they will do it"
nai caruvantes "I hope they will do it"
elda tuluva "an elf will come"
nai elda tuluva "I hope an Elf will come"

The word nai has an additional meaning of "probably", so when you use it, you assume that something will very likely happen.

There also exists a word that is very similar to nai, but it has the additional meaning "maybe". It is also used with a future tense:

cé caruvantes "they will maybe do it"

So by using , we express that we have strong doubts whether they will actually do it.

Conditional sentencesEdit

A conditional sentence begins in English with "when" or "if".

The Quenya conjunction írë means "when", so a conditional sentence with írë expresses a certainty that something will happen:

írë ceninyel, nan alassë "when I see you, I am happy"

When we are not so sure, we use mai (or ai) to express "if":

mai ceninyel, nan alassë "if I see you, I am happy"

So in this sentence it is not sure that I will see you.

It is also possible to express doubts over the other part of the sentence, but in this case we use nai or as the final word of the part of the sentence without mai or írë:

írë ëar lumbor, liptuva nai "when there are clouds, it will probably rain"
tuluvan cé, mai ëal coassë "I shall maybe come, if you are home"

PostpositionsEdit

In Neo-Quenya we have at least two postpositions, they are the equivalent of prepositions but are put behind the noun to which they belong.

In English this also happens with the postposition "ago", e.g. "three years ago". In Neo-Quenya the word "ago" is used in the same way:

neldë loar yá "three years ago"


Another postposition is pella "beyond", in English this is however a preposition:

Númen pella "beyond the west"

The noun can also be declined:

elenillor pella "from beyond the stars"

In Old-Elvish apparently more postpositions existed, but these were assimilated into the cases (see Nouns), e.g. the postposition ana changed into the case-ending -nna.

Indirect speechEdit

Indirect speech is the construction with "that" that is used after verbs that express that something is said, thought, hoped or wished, e.g. "I think that he comes", "you wish that he was here". In English the conjunction "that" is often omitted but this is not allowed in Quenya, so English-speakers have to be very careful when translating such sentences into Neo-Quenya.

The conjunction "that" is translated by sa:

merin sa haryalyë alassë "I wish/want (that) you are happy"
istan sa ëalyë sinomë "I know (that) you are here"

The indirect speech can also be the subject of the sentence. In following example the entire word-group sa ëalyë sinomë is the subject of the sentence:

ná manë sa ëalyë sinomë "that you are here, is good"

Indirect speech can also appear with equë (see Special Verbs):

equë Elendil sa tulles "Elendil said that he came



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Last modified on 3 February 2011, at 21:33