noun phrases

Since Taruven is a free word order language, the notion of the noun phrase is less useful than in, say, English. There is still a way to determine which words belong to what phrase however. Furthermore, a noun phrase does not need to contain an actual core noun, just at least one word acting as a noun and that is marked for case.

The three simple rules for determining noun phrase membership

There is one occasion where one can talk about a definite noun phrase, and that is when the noun's modifiers, if any, are directly in front of a case-marked word. This leads to the first rule.

  1. Words that are not marked for case and stand in front of a case-marked word are part of the same noun-phrase as that case-marked word.

If the noun phrase is the subject of a verb that is not a complemented verb, that means that the words in the phrase is not marked in any way, leading to the second rule.

  1. Stray words not marked for case, and not right in front of a word that is marked for case, are part of the subject's noun phrase.

The third rule cover the remaining cases, stray words explicitly marked with case.

  1. Stray words that are marked with case are part of a noun phrase containing all words marked with the same case.

Strays like gealið in the above example are called comments or afterthoughts.

The axis rule

The three simple rules are not sufficient because of axis-words like a and te. The reason for this is that the common markers of the words separated by the axis-word can move to the axis-word itself, as in the example below.

  1. The words directly adjacent to the left and right of an axis-word that are of the same word class belongs to the same noun phrase.

    [jehan avu virin]NPtowards štha [saònaþ]NPOBJ [tiron]NPINS [īan]NPSUB [yéllavu]NPtowards [gealvu]NPtowards [kservarvu]NPtowards

Relative clauses

The above four rules also apply to relative clauses. A word acting as a noun can be modified by one or more relative clauses that might occur anywhere in the sentence as long as it ends with tal+ case marker. If there is no tal, the relative clause can only occur in front of a word that does carry a case-marker, or right after if the word after the relative clause is something that cannot be modified by a relative clause, like a verb.