In Talossan as in English, different words are pluralised using different rules. The grammatical term for a group of words pluralised using the same rule is a “declension”. Talossan has five declensions. The majority of nouns are “first declension”, but the declensions are listed here in reverse order, from fifth to first. Essentially, to determine the plural form of a noun, you should check to see if the noun fits in each declension by considering them in this reverse (fifth to first) order.
The Fifth Declension: -schti
Nouns ending in -sc, -scu, or -x (but not with -tx, which is a first declension ending), are pluralised by changing this ending to -schti. For example, pesc (= fish) becomes peschti (= fishes), lux (= light) becomes luschti (= lights), servesc (= servant) becomes serveschti (= servants), and peintüscu (= painting) becomes peintüschti (= paintings).
The Fourth Declension: -ici and -íci
Nouns ending in -ic or -íc are pluralised by the addition of the letter -i. For example, pic (= peak) becomes pici (= peaks), and amíc (= friend [male or of unimportant gender]) becomes amíci (= friends [in general, or including at least one male]).
Notice that the pronunciation of the letter c is modified from the k-like pronunciation to the ch-like pronunciation by the addition of the new final letter i. That is, the Talossan word pic sounds like the equivalent English word “peak” but pici sounds like “peachy”.
If the letter i is part of a diphthong, however, this declension is often not used, and thus you can see both posteici and the first-declension form posteics (= back doors).
The Third Declension: -ilor
Nouns ending in the stressed or unstressed letter ä, followed by any one or two consonants and finally the letter s are pluralised by the addition of the suffix -ilor. For example, päts (= country) becomes pätsilor (= countries), näps (= turnip) becomes näpsilor (= turnips), fräcs (= dress coat) becomes fräcsilor (= dress coats), schläns (= heat lightning) pluralises to schlänsilor, äcts (= act of a play) becomes äctsilor (= acts of a play), and pärts (= part) becomes pärtsilor (= parts).
The Second Declension: -eux and -éux
Nouns ending in -eu or -éu are pluralised by the addition of the letter x. For example, legeu (= law) becomes legeux (= laws) and zéu (= god) becomes zéux (= gods).
Recall that this final letter x in this ending is pronounced as the “sh” in English “ship”.
The First Declension: -s, -ns, -aes, -is, and -en
Most Talossan nouns fall into the first declension, and these (in the main) are pluralised by becoming a word that ends in -s.
Just as in English there are sometimes modifications that are made to a word being pluralised before an -s is added to form the plural (for example, “box” requires -es, and “cherry” requires the removal of the final letter -y before adding -ies), this is also true in Talossan. That is, some words modify slightly before taking the -s plural form.
- Nouns that end in a stressed vowel or diphthong (except for -à and diphthongs ending in an off-glide; see below) are pluralised by adding -ns. For example, medâ (= mystic) becomes medäns (= mystics), cafè (= coffee or coffee shop) forms cafens (= coffees or coffee shops), mazù (= wrapper) becomes mazuns (= wrappers), cadì (= judge) becomes cadins (= judges), apricò (= apricot) forms apricons (= apricots), and avenû (= avenue) forms avenüns (= avenues). However, words that end in a stressed diphthong which terminates in an off-glide (an unwritten semiconsonant) are not pluralised in this way. Thus, words ending in stressed ae, ai, or ei are excluded from this rule. That is, fadarai (= fable) becomes fadarais (= fables), and mençei (= tribal chief) forms mençeis (= chiefs).
- Nouns that end in the stressed ending -à, -ar, or -an are pluralised by changing this ending to -aes. For example, cità (= city) becomes citaes (= cities), loßüran (= flamingo) becomes loßüraes (= flamingos), ma (= hand) becomes maes (= hands), and feblar (= failure) becomes feblaes (= failures). Notice, though, that if the ending is not stressed, this rule does not apply: cosa (= thing) becomes cosas (= things) and ceáiçar (= warlord) becomes ceáiçars (= warlords).
- Nouns that end in -l or -il in which the final letter l is softened in speech, either to the w-sound, or made silent (refer back to the page on pronunciation of consonants) are pluralised by changing the ending to -is. For example, stol (= vehicle seat) becomes stois (= seats), ansiel (= fawn) becomes ansieis (= fawns), traval (= work) becomes travais (= works), and fil (= thread) becomes fis (= threads).
- There are a number of word-endings that would be difficult to pronounce if an -s were simply added. These are -rh, -s, -sch, -scht, -xh, -tx, -z, -glh, -gnh, and -þ. Pluralising words that have any of these endings can be seen as similar to the English need to add a letter e for euphony when creating “foxes” from “fox”. In Talossan, the plural form of words with these endings is formed by adding -en rather than -s. For example, munditenens (= world ruler) becomes munditenensen (= world rulers), pevarh (= power or ability) becomes pevarhen (= powers or abilities), síflüs (= a whistle) becomes síflüsen (= whistles), morsch (= walrus) becomes morschen (= walruses), vrüscht (= sausage) becomes vrüschten (= sausages), seguxh (= hound dog) becomes seguxhen (= hound dogs), piatsch (= pact) becomes piatschen (= pacts), damatx (= damage) becomes damatxen (= damages), crutz (= cross) becomes crutzen (= crosses), agognh (= agony or wrestling mat) becomes agognhen (= agonies or wrestling mats), vectaglh (= carriage) becomes vectaglhen (= carriages), and glheþ (= language) becomes glheþen (= languages).
All other words in the first declension are pluralised simply by adding the letter -s. For example, festa (= festival) becomes festas (= festivals) and graitind (= greeting) becomes graitinds (= greetings).
English has a great many irregular plurals. Some of these are “ablaut” plurals (such as “tooth” being pluralised as “teeth”), others are due to borrowings from other languages (such as “alumnus” being pluralised as “alumni”, “datum” as “data”, and “index” as “indices”).
Talossan, however, only has nine nouns that have irregular plural forms. Yes, only nine, and here they are:
- ar (= year) pluralises to ars (rather than to *aes)
- caciun (= dog) pluralises to become cician (rather than *caciuns)
- cióvec (= man) pluralises to become cioveci (this plural form is irregularly pronounced too, with a silent final i)
- fru (= woman) has the plural form frulor (= women)
- fungu (= fungus, mushroom) becomes funxhi (similar to how English pluralises “fungus” as “fungi”)
- garda (= guard) becomes garxhi — this word is little used; other synonyms are more common
- luïç (the Talossan currency) is pluralised as luïça — this coinage was rather whimsical, as these words are taken from the Talossan forms of the proper names Louis and Louise, with the English pronunciation of “Louise” seeming to be the plural of “Louie”
- po (= bit, small amount) is pluralised as pocs
- politica (= policy) is pluralised as politici. Other than luïç/luïça, this is the only case in Talossan where gender changes with number: politica is feminine in grammatical gender, but politici is masculine. Note the gender of the words in la politica cordada non füt viensa dels politici adoptats (= the wise policy was not one of the adopted policies).
Words borrowed directly from foreign languages can be seen pluralised either as Talossan words or as pluralised in the language of origin. For example, the plural of falestto can be seen either as falsettos or as the Italian falsetti. In cases of words having a Greek ending consisting of a vowel followed by -sis, the only proper plural form is as in Greek, changing the final i to e; for example, the plural of þesis (= thesis) is þeses (= theses).