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Cases in Drake.

The other day I was sitting down to work on Drake’s FrathWiki page and going through old notes on what to add.  I found the note: “cases: nom gen dat acc loc”.

Ah wonderful, I says to myself, I haven’t had much grammar in this yet.

I rummage through everything else, though, and am only able to turn up that the accusative is a prefix in le- and the nominative is zero.

Didn’t have the time to rectify the gaps at the time, so now let’s sit down and see what the cases look like.  Fun part is I don’t even remember where le- itself came from, outside of that the protoform was *la-. Now, Proto-Afro-Asiatic itself, according to Ehret, seems to have preferred suffixes; prefixes were most likely derived from free morphemes becoming bound morphemes.

A look in the roots list does in fact show *la “at, to”; Hebrew ל־ “to, for, of” would be cognate.

To this, then, we can add:

Proto-Afro-Asiatic *ni ‘of’ >  Proto-Drake *nÉ™- > Drake no- / ne- / na- ‘GEN’

Looking through the sound changes shows that some of the vowel shifts depend on sounds later in the word.  Though only le- was attested so far, there is actually another form:

PAA *la ‘at, to’ > PD *lä- > D le- / lo- ‘ACC’

With this in mind we can look for the others:

PAA *ar ‘at, by’ > PD *är- > D er- / or- ‘DAT’

PAA *nê(e) ‘with’ > PD *ni- > D ni- ‘LOC’

An example declension, with mÄ«ne ‘house’:

sing. plur.
nom. mīne mīnā
gen. nomīne nomīnā
dat. ermīne ermīnā
acc. lemīne lemīnā
loc. nimīne nimīnā

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  1. […] *bǐn- > PD *mÉ™n- > D mon- “to build” — miine “house” from the last Drake post is also from this root; compare Hebrew בנה bana […]

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