Lesson 2

State
In addition to the nominal cases, nouns occur in two grammatical states: absolute and construct. (Below we consider the possibility of a pronominal case.) The absolute state is often described as the 'free form' of the noun. The construct state is used when two nouns are juxtaposed in a construct-genitive phrase. A construct-genitive phrase is the term for the close relationship between two nouns in which the first noun is bound to the second: e.g. bnš mlk, 'the man of the king'. In this type of phrase, the first noun is in the nominative case and the construct state; the second noun is in the genitive case and the absolute state. The example is vocalized as /bunušu malki/. In this case, the word bunušu looks exactly the same in the construct as it does in the absolute state. However, the plural noun changes from absolute to construct states: e.g. bunušūma in the plural absolute becomes bunušū in the construct state. Following the example, bunušū malki means ‘men of the king’. In general, we may observe that Ugaritic loses the plural and dual –m in the construct state.
absolute
construct
ı͗lm, /ʾilūma/, ‘(the) gods’
ı͗l, /ʾilū/, ‘(the) gods of…’
a͗ḫt, /ʾaḫātu/, ‘(the) sisters’
a͗ḫt, /ʾaḫātu/, ‘(the) sisters of…’
a͗ḫtm, /ʾaḫatāma/, ‘(the) two sisters’ (dual)
a͗ḫt, /ʾaḫatā/, ‘(the) two sisters of…’

Notice that the feminine plural does not change in the construct state; it does not have a final -m to lose. The feminine dual has a final -m in the absolute; it is lost in the construct state.
Not every sequence of nouns is a construct-genitive phrase. When in apposition, the second noun in this sequence occurs in the same case as the first: e.g. l mlkt u͗my, /lê malkati ʾummiya/, ‘to the queen, my mother’.
To review, the grammatical analysis of the noun includes the following five categories: gender, number, definiteness, case, and state. It is also valuable to describe the pattern of the noun and its possible relation to a verbal root. We return to a more thorough study of this topic later. In brief, most nouns can be described according to their sequence of consonants and vowels: e.g. QaTLu, QaTTāLu, etc. Certain nominal patterns carry specific connotations. Even when the semantics of the noun are not linked to the nominal pattern, we may observe that nominal patterns exhibit predictable morphological changes.

Nominal Declension-Including State
The paradigm of nominal declension is summarized as follows. Remember, some nouns have different nominal stems in the singular and plural. For example, malku/malakūma, ‘king/s’. Other nouns exhibit the same nominal stem in the singular and plural. The masculine singular case endings are unmarked in the alphabetic Ugaritic writing system (represented by the null marker ø in the paradigm).
singular
masculine

feminine
nominative
{ø} –u

{t} –atu, –tu
genitive
{ø} –i

{t} –ati, –ti
accusative
{ø} –a

{t} –ata, –ta
dual
absolute
construct

absolute
construct
nominative
{m} –āma
{ø} –ā

{tm} –atāma
{t} –atā
oblique
{m} –êma
{ø} –ê < –ay

{tm} –atêma
{t} –atê
plural
absolute
construct

absolute
nominative
{m} –ūma
{ø} –ū

{t} –ātu
genitive
{m} –īma
{ø} –ī

{t} –āti
accusative



{t} –āta












Paradigm of Absolute and Construct State


masculine


feminine


absolute
construct


absolute
construct
singular
N
qarrādu, šadû
same

N
ʾilatu
same

G
qarrādi, šadî
same

G
ʾilati
same

A
qarrāda, šadâ
same

A
ʾilata
same
dual
N
qarrādāma
qarrādā

N
ʾilatāma
ʾilatā

Ob
qarrādêma
qarrādê

Ob
ʾilatêma
ʾilatê
plural
N
qarrādūma
qarrādū

N
ʾilātu


Ob
qarrādīma
qarrādī

G
ʾilāti






A
ʾilāta













Vocabulary

Nouns:
a͗b, /ʾabû/, ‘father; ancestor’
a͗nyt, /ʾaniyyatu/, ‘boat; ship’
ym, /yammu/, ‘sea; Yammu’
kd, /kaddu/, ‘jar’
klb, /kalbu/, ‘dog’ (plural kalabūma)
š, /šû/, ‘sheep’
šm, /šumu/, ‘name’
šmn, /šamnu/, ‘oil’
nhr, /nahru/, ‘river’
qrd, /qarrādu/, ‘hero’
tḥm, /taḥmu/, ‘letter, message’

Proper nouns:
bʿl, /baʿlu/, ‘Baal; the storm god’; also the common noun ‘master; owner’
ı͗l, /ʾilu/, ‘Ilu; El’ (same as common noun, ‘god’)
ʿnt, /ʿanatu/, ‘Anat’

Prepositions:
bd, /bîdê/ or /bîdi/, ‘in the hand(s) of; under the supervision of’
yd, /yada/, ‘with’
k, /ka/, ‘like’


Exercises
A. Complete the following chart using a͗lp and a͗ḫt. Give the consonantal form and the vocalization.


absolute
construct
singular
nominative



genitive



accusative


dual
nominative



oblique


plural
nominative



genitive



accusative (fem. only)



B. Vocalize and translate.
1. bt mlk
2. tḥm mlkt
3. šm bnš
4. šmn b kd
5. a͗nyt b ym
6. a͗lp w š bd bnš
7. klbm b bt
8. a͗lp mlk b šd (interpret the first noun as plural)
C. Transliterate RS 92.2010:14-24 (Manual, plate 33).