LESSON TWO

In this lesson, we will learn the accusative and genitive cases (both singular and plural) of 1st and 2nd declension nouns. We will also learn the present active indicative endings for AI and BI verbs, the most common types of verbs. We will also learn the Pronoun-Verbal Particles used with Gaulish verbs. Finally, we will learn some prepositions which take the accusative case.

ACCUSATIVE AND GENITIVE CASES OF NOUNS

In general, the accusative case is used for indicating the direct object of the verb in a sentence, and the genitive case is used to show possession and is usually translated as “of X.”

For example, let’s look at the following English sentence:

I ride the horse of Catumaros.

If this sentence were translated into Gaulish, “horse” would be in the accusative case and “Catumaros” would be in the genitive case.

Another example:

The father of the son took us.

In this sentence, “son” would be in the genitive case and “us” would be in the accusative case.

1ST AND 2ND DECLENSIONS

The accusative and genitive endings for 2nd declension are as follows:

-on masculine singular accusative
-ūs masculine plural accusative
-i masculine singular genitive
-on masculine plural genitive
-on neuter singular accusative
neuter plural accusative
-i neuter singular genitive
-on neuter plural genitive

Note that for the 2nd declension, the nominative and accusative cases for neuter nouns are the same. This pertains to both singular and plural forms. The remaining cases for 2nd declension neuter nouns are the same as the masculine endings. This rule also applies to neuter nouns in other declension types.

The accusative and genitive endings for the 1st declension are as follows:

-an feminine singular accusative
-ās feminine plural accusative
-iās feminine singular genitive
-ānon feminine plural genitive

We will look at sample sentences below once we learn the indicative present active of BI verbs. For now, there are a few remarks about the genitive case. The genitive usually follows the word to which it is related. For example:

gaisos uiri
the spear of the man

enigenā daniās
the daughter of the woman

Also, when it comes to translating the genitive, there are two possibilities. It can be translated as “the spear of the man” or as “the man’s spear.” The choice is up to you which way you would like to translate it.

ADJECTIVES

Just as in the previous lesson, the endings for 2nd and 1st declension adjectives are the same as their corresponding noun declensions.

AI AND BI VERBS

As stated above, AI and BI verbs are the most common types of verbs. The endings for the present active indicative are as follows. In the paradigms, we will use the verbs nessāt ‘to approach’ for AI verbs and auedet ‘to make, build’ for BI verbs.

AI Verbs

nessāiū I approach
nessāi you approach
nessāt he/she/it approaches
nessāmos we approach
nessāte you (all) approach
nessānt they approach

BI Verbs

auedū I make
auedes you make
auedet he/she/it makes
auedomos we make
auedete you (all) make
auedont they make

Notice that for the most part, the two verb classes have similar endings (-u, -t, -mos, -te, -nt) except for the 2nd singular. The difference between the two verb classes is the vowel that precedes the basic ending. For AI verbs, the vowel is A while for BI verbs, the vowel is either E or O. The vowel in each instance can be viewed as a connector between the root of the verb and the ending. For example, we could break down the 3rd singular for each verb class as follows:

AI ness + ā + t

BI aued + e + t

In each instance, the pattern is:

ROOT + VOWEL + ENDING

This pattern will apply to all the verb classes we learn in these lessons.

SAMPLE SENTENCES

Now let us take a look at some sample sentences incorporating what we have learned in this lesson. In addition to the previous vocabulary we learned in lesson 1, we will use the following new vocabulary in our sample sentences: gobannos (blacksmith), toutā (tribe, people), and atrebāt (to dwell, live in).

gobannos auedet gaisūs toutiās.
The blacksmith makes the tribe’s spears.

uiros senos nessāt tegian doniās.
The old man approaches the woman’s house.

ueniā iouincā atrebāt tegian māran uiri seni.
The young family live in the old man’s big house.

SOME REMARKS

The present tense of verbs can be translated as either “he makes” or “he is making,” just as in English.

Notice that in the last sentence, there are three nouns and an adjective modifying each noun. However, each adjective still matches the case, number, and gender of the noun it is modifying.

Also, notice that the word order in the above sentences is SUBJECT – VERB – OBJECT. This is referred to as SVO word order and is the standard practice in Gaulish. This is different from other I-E languages which have SOV (Subject-Object-Verb) order such as Latin.

If you have two or more subjects in a sentence, then the plural form of the verb is used. For example: mapos etic enigenā atrebānt tegin (The boy and girl live in a house).

However, notice that some nouns imply plurality but they still take singular verb forms just as in English. For example: toutā auedet gaisūs (The tribe is making spears). A tribe consists of many people but the word itself is a singular word for the collective whole. This is what is referred to as a collective plural noun.

PRONOUN VERBAL PARTICLES

The Gaulish language (and Insular Celtic languages moreso) sometimes placed emphasis on the subject of a sentence. This was achieved by adding pronominal particles to the end of verbs. This practice is optional and depends on if the person wants to emphasize the subject-person in the sentence. However, if the verb is the first word in the sentence, then the pronominal particle is added to the verb.

The pronominal particles used in Gaulish were as follows:

-mī 1st singular – I
-nīs 1st plural – we
-ti 2nd singular – you
-suīs 2nd plural – you (all)
-īs 3rd singular masculine – he
-sī 3rd singular feminine – she
-id 3rd singular neuter – it
-iis 3rd plural masculine – they
-sies 3rd plural feminine – they
-iā 3rd plural neuter – they

Examples of their application are as follows:

auedūmī (I make), auedesti (you make), etc.

Notice that the particular pronominal particle is added right to the end of the regular form of the verb.

There are also variations for some of the pronominal particles listed above. But for now, we will learn the ones listed above to keep it simple.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The pronominal particles are never used in place of the regular ending of a verb. They are used in addition to the regular ending to add emphasis.

PREPOSITIONS

A preposition can be defined as a word that usually follows a verb and precedes an object (noun or pronoun) which shows location, direction, or time. Examples in English are:

We went into the store.
The man climbed up the hill.
He is at home.

In the above sentences, the words “into,” “up,” and “at” are prepositions.

Gaulish is no different and has prepositions as well. The only difference, and this applies to all ancient I-E languages, is that the object of the preposition has to be in a particular and predefined case in order to convey the correct meaning of the preposition and to be grammatically correct. Furthermore, prepositions usually have at least two meanings and take a particular different case for each meaning.

For now, we will learn some prepositions which take the accusative case. There are no Gaulish prepositions which take the genitive case.

ad (+ acc.) = to, towards
ambi (+ acc.) = around, about
ande (+ as.) = beneath, under
extra (+ acc.) = outside
in (+ acc.) = into, to
inter (+ acc.) = among, between
raco (+ acc.) = before
trās (+ acc.) = across, beyond
uer (+ acc.) = up, upwards
uo (+ acc,) = down, downwards

Notice how all of the prepositions above which take the accusative case indicate a direction.

Here are some sample sentences:

mapos atrebāt extra toutan.
The boy dwells outside the tribe.

mapos atrebāt inter toutan.
The boy lives among the tribe.

Notice that the preposition follows the verb and the object of the preposition follows the preposition.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Gaulish prepositions were NOT added or fused to their object. As an example, ad toutan would be correct, whereas adtoutan would not be correct.


APPLYING WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED

Since we now know the nominative and genitive forms of 2nd and 1st declension nouns, we will start listing new vocabulary the way it is listed in dictionaries. This format is as follows:

mapos, -i

The nominative singular form of the word is given and then only the genitive singular ending. This format is used to help identify to which declension a noun belongs.

For now, verbs will be listed by the third person singular present active indicative form. 

New Vocabulary:

NOUNS

abonā, -iās (river)
cetion, -i (forest, wood)
dunon, -i (fortress, citadel)
epos, -i (horse)
iussus, -i (plant, herb)
longos, -i (ship, boat)
neros, -i (warrior, hero)
senā, -iās (elder woman, priestess)

VERBS

balet (to throw)
carāt (to love, care)
cerdet (to walk, move)
comberet (to get, gather)
moritēget (to sail)
rēdet (to ride, drive)
taret (to pass through, cross)

ADJECTIVES

sergios -ā -on (sick, ill)

Exercises

Using what you have learned in the lessons so far as well as the new vocabulary above, translate the following sentences into English. 

1. longos moritēget uer abonan.
2. neros cerdet epon in dunon.
3. mapos carāt enigenan.
4. senās comberont iussūs ambi abonan.
5. uiros balet gaison in cetion.

Click for answer key.

1. The ship sails up the river.
2. The warrior walks the horse into the fortress.
3. The boy loves the girl.
4. The priestesses gather plants around the river.
5. The man throws the spear into the forest.

Using what you have learned in the lessons so far as well as the new vocabulary above, translate the following sentences into Gaulish.

1. The woman is riding the horse towards the river.
2. The elder women walk around the forest.
3. The husband and wife love the daughter.
4. We are moving the sick men and women of the tribe outside the citadel.
5. He crosses the wide river and walks into the tribe of the old men.

Click for the answer key.

1. donā rēdet epon ad abonan.
2. senās cerdont ambi cetion.
3. uiros etic donā carānt.
4. cerdomosnīs uirūs sergiūs etic donās sergiās toutiās extra dunon.
5. taret abonan letonan etic cerdet in toutan ueron senon.