The form of a noun listed in a Jarda dictionary is called the sadvod sadvôd, or "plain form". Sad means "plain" as in "unadorned", and refers to the basic form of a noun without any case endings added. This is the form of nouns that is used as the object of verbs and prepositions, the absolutive case. All verbs and prepositions in Jarda normally must have an object, which may be left vague by using the pronoun mW mŭ "something". In titles or newspaper headlines, mŭ is often omitted, but in conversation, an omitted pronoun is more likely to be zi (I) or possibly lô (you).
m8R MaRta mŏṛ ņaṛta
"violets are blue"
A noun may modify either a verb or another noun by adding the ending of the genitive case. The genitive ending is i i for animate nouns, e ê for inanimate nouns, and a a for abstract nouns. A noun in the genitive case immediately follows the noun or verb it modifies.
kWs cage ris moRa kŭs ķagê ris môṛa
[solid rock-GEN. wall edge-GEN.]
"the boundary wall is solid as a rock"
GjubEn citRaja Jundi ğjuben ķitṛaja ģundi
[catch-PERF. bat-ERG. moth]
"the bat caught a moth"
*note irregular dissimilation of Ra ṛa after citRa ķitṛa.
Although the subject typically precedes the object and follows the verb, other word orders may be used for emphasis.
GjubEn Jundi citRaja ğjuben ģundi ķitṛaja
[catch-PERF. moth bat-ERG.]
"the moth was caught by the bat"
citRaja GjubEn Jundi ķitṛaja ğjuben ģundi
[bat-ERG. catch-PERF. moth]
"the bat is what caught the moth"
Jundi GjubEn citRaja ģundi ğjuben ķitṛaja
[moth catch-PERF. bat-ERG.]
"the moth is what the bat caught"
When a subject in the ergative case is added to an intransitive verb, it represents the cause of the state represented by the verb. For example, rav rav corresponds to "die" when used as an intransitive verb, and "kill" when used as a transitive verb.
ravEn kjul raven kjul
"the deer died"
ravEn vlarRa kjul raven vlarja kjul
[die-PERF. wolf-ERG. deer]
"the wolf killed the deer"
*ja: predictable (and therefore unwritten) dissimilation of "ṛa" after final -r.
siv8s cim8lRa R0Lfil zin sivŏs ķimŏlṛa ṛöļfil zin
[teach-IMPERF. visitor-ERG. philosophy I-DAT.]
"the visitor is teaching me philosophy"
siv8s zin R0Lfil cim8lRa sivŏs zin ṛöļfil ķimŏlṛa
[teach-IMPERF. I-DAT. philosophy visitor-ERG.]
"I am learning philosophy from the visitor"
Note that either or both of the subjects, but not the object, may be omitted.
siv8s cim8lRa R0Lfil sivŏs ķimŏlṛa ṛöļfil
[teach-IMPERF. visitor-ERG. philosophy]
"the visitor is teaching philosophy"
siv8s zin R0Lfil sivŏs zin ṛöļfil
[teach-IMPERF. I-DAT. philosophy]
"I am learning philosophy"
siv8s R0Lfil sivŏs ṛöļfil
"Philosophy is being taught"
*siv8s zin *sivŏs zin
The preceding sentence would be understood as "I am learning about myself", with omitted pronoun zi. The proper way to express "I am learning about myself" is to use a reflexive form of the verb (sivdos zi sivdôs zi). "I am learning" must be expressed as "I am learning something" (siv8s zin mW sivŏs zin mŭ) or using the passive voice, "I am being taught" (sivxis zi sivxis zi).
Another use of the dative case is as the destination of motion:
RugEn zi $iRpylin ṛugen zi łiṛpülin
[walk-PERF. I bookstore-DAT.]
"I walked to the bookstore"
The locative case expresses the place where an action occurs or a condition applies. The locative ending is vi vi for animate nouns, v0 vö for inanimate nouns, and vO vo for abstract nouns. Examples:
tRal vlar navv0 tṛal vlar navvö
[yellow wolf iris-LOC.]
"the wolf has yellow eyes"
cEgEn ta5idRa zi skovi ķegen taśidṛa zi skôvi
[bite-PERF. mosquito-ERG. I knee-LOC.]
"a mosquito bit me on the knee"
The instrumental case identifies an instrument used to perform an action or create a condition. It can correspond to one usage of the English word "with", as in "lock the door WITH a key", but it also includes such "instruments" as language ("write a book IN English"), the source of a condition or state ("red FROM anger"), or musical instruments ("play a song ON the guitar"). The instrumental ending is ta ta for animate and abstract nouns, t t for inanimate nouns ending in a vowel, and 8d ŏd for inanimate nouns ending in a consonant. Examples:
pamy ziRa Ga5 skeJ8d pamü ziṛa ğaś skêģŏd
[lock-FUT.PERF. I-ERG. door key-INS.]
"I will lock the door with a key"
sic $iR …engle58d na R8vsicEl8d siķ łiṛ …ênglêśŏd na ṛŏvsiķelŏd
[write book English-INS. and pencil-INS.]
"The book is written in English with a pencil"
The ablative case has a number of uses. The ablative ending is ly lü for animate nouns, l l for inanimate and abstract nouns ending in a vowel, 0l öl for inanimate nouns ending in a consonant, and Ol ol for abstract nouns ending in a consonant. It generally expresses the idea of a source of some kind. For instance, it can be used to express the material that something is made of:
ciR ral cag0l ķiṛ ral ķagöl
[build house stone-ABL.]
"the house is made of stone"
zlam vlamnid8l dEge zW JeR v8 zankol zlam vlamnidŏl degê zŭ ģêṛ vŏ zankôl
[float magic-user due-to the-following: form they treestuff-ABL.]
"witches float because they are made of wood"
The ablative case is also used to express the starting point of motion:
RugEn zi lysRemOl $iRpylin ṛugen zi lüsṛêmol łiṛpülin
[walk-PERF. I movie-place-ABL. bookstore-DAT.]
"I walked from the movie theater to the bookstore"
Finally, another common use of the ablative case is to express the source of a subjective opinion:
v0nfa lys ramly 2in twefa xrutada v8 zily vönfa lüs ramlü źin twêfa xrutada vŏ zilü
[good-OPIN. movie friend-ABL. and excessive-OPIN. violence-GEN. it I-ABL.]
"my friend says the movie is good, but in my opinion it's too violent."
The usual order of the noun cases after a verb is as follows: ergative, absolutive, ablative, dative, instrumental. These five cases are rarely all present in the same phrase, and all but the absolutive case can be omitted if unnecessary to the meaning of the phrase. An example of all five cases of nouns in the same phrase is in the usage of the verb jus jus, "to follow", in the sense of following a path:
jusEn ziRa jad galkil Renin ninta jusen ziṛa jad galkil ṛênin ninta
[follow-PERF. I-ERG. path-ABS forest-ABL. river-DAT. leg-INS.]
"I followed the path from the forest to the river on foot."