Lesson 2: Introduction to Nouns

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Noun Cases

færre v. to hit
ghan n. ball
Jhan n. John

Rihan nouns have three cases: the Nominative-Accusative (subject-direct object), Genitive (possessive) and Dative (indirect object). Nouns also have six regular declensions:

  • Proper Nouns: names, cities, planets, etc.
  • Group 1 Nouns: nouns ending in , -e and -i
  • Group 2 Nouns: nouns ending in -a, -o and -u
  • Group 3 Nouns: nouns ending in a consonant but not -am
  • Group 4 Nouns: nouns ending in -sam
  • Group 5 Nouns: nouns ending in -am but not -sam

The Nominative-Accusative case is used for both the subject and the direct object of the sentence. The subject of a sentence is the person or object performing the action. The direct object is the person or object being acted upon. In the sentence, “John hit the ball,” John is the subject, and ball is the direct object. It is what John hit.

Remember that Rihan sentence order can be either Subject-Verb-Object (SVO) or Verb-Object-Subject (VOS). Though both the subject and direct object use the same declension, the set word order makes it easy to distinguish which word is the subject and which is the direct object.

Jhan færre ghan.
Færre ghan Jhan.
John hit the ball.

The Nominative-Accusative case is the dictionary case for nouns and adjectives. We'll learn more about adjectives and direct objects in a later chapter.


Plurals in Rihan are formed, like in English, by the addition of suffixes. The following table illustrates how each noun group forms its plural in the Nominative-Accusative case.

Group Suffix Singular Example Plural Example
Proper Nouns drop -ha if present and add -su Rihanha
Group 1 -in dohhæ
Group 2 -r itaeru
Group 3 -ir ahlh
Group 4 drop final -m, add -i ravsam
Group 5 rhadam

Certain nouns decline in an irregular manner. These are rare. In fact, only three common nouns fall in this category: hfai, hfihar and eredh. They form their plural in the Nominative-Accusative case thusly:.


Articles (a, an, the)

In English, we have three articles: a, an, the. Rihan does not use articles. Thus, di'ranov can mean “father,” “a father,” and “the father,” depending on its usage.

To Be

di'ranov n. father
dræs n. man
fælirh n. son
leih n. commanding officer
nviahr n. woman
sæhne n. officers
Terrhaha n. Human

Rihan has no verb for “to be.” In English, we use “to be” in many different expressions. One way is to equate one noun with another noun or an adjective: e.g.“The man is an officer.” This is called an appositive. In Rihan, the prefix ahr' is used to indicate an appositive. Ahr' is always placed at the beginning of a sentence or clause.

Ahr'nvaihr leih.
The commanding officer is a woman.

The second noun (or the adjective), which in the above example is nvaihr, "woman," is placed after ahr'. If leih, "commanding officer," is placed after ahr', the sentence takes on a different meaning.

Ahr'leih nviahr.
The woman is a commanding officer.

Ahr' can be used in the singular or the plural. It can also be used with pronouns, with two exceptions. To express a statement such as “you are x,” where x is a noun or an adjective, Rihan uses the word hwiiy.

Hwiiy dræs.
You are a man.

It has a plural: hwiiyir.

Hwiiyir Terrhasu.
You are humans.

“This is” can be expressed in Rihan by the prefix aihr'.

This is the captain.

Its plural, “these are,” is expressed by aihrir'.

These are the officers.


The Rihan word for "and" is u'. u' combines with the word following it.

di'ranov u'fælirh
father and son

Practical Use

ailhun n. wife
pænhe n. daughter
rhhæ pron. I (s>i)
veoth n. child

Now let's put what you've learned to practical use by continuing our story from the previous lesson. Helev Ekkhae has brought you to his home to meet his family. He introduces them:

Helev: Aihr'ailhun rhanam, Jisit.
This is my wife, Jisit.

Rhanam is the possessive prounoun “my.” It follows the noun it possesses.

Susan: Shaoi dan.
Jisit: Æfvadh.
Be welcome.
Helev: Aihrir'veothir rhanam: fælirh rhanam, Væbn, u'pænhe rhanam, Kul.
These are my children: my son, Vaebn, and my daughter, Kul.
Susan: Shaoi ben.

Notice here that you shift from the nonmodal form to the superior-to-inferior form. You are addressing children. Likewise, children use the inferior-to-superior form when speaking to adults.

Væbn: Shaoi kon.
Kul: Hwiiy Terrhaha, ie?
Are you human?

Here we encounter a second way to ask a question. -difv can only be used when there is a verb in the sentence, as it must be attached to it. In sentences without a verb, questions are formed by adding ie, “yes,” at the end. So literally she's asking “You are human, yes?”

Susan: Ie, ahr'Terrhaha rhhæ.
Yes, I'm human.
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