As Promised

Here are my Georgian notes:

The Nominal System – nominative and dative cases.

Georgian uses 7 cases:  Nominative, Narrative (a.k.a. Ergative), Dative, Genitive, Instrumental, Adverbial, and Vocative. The book I’m working with starts the student off with the uses of the nominative and dative with first conjugation verbs in the present series (present, future, perfect, and conditional). 

Nominative is the subject of a first conjugation verb (the ones we’ve been studying so far). Nouns end in -i if the stem ends in a consonant, take no special ending if they end in a vowel.

Dative is the direct and indirect object of a first conjugation verb. Nounds end in -s. The -s replaces the -i that is added to a consonant stem.

  • N: ena- (language – ends in a vowel)
  • D: ena-s

  • N: ts’ign-i (book – ends in a consonant so takes -i)
  • D: ts’ign-s (the -i is replaced by -s)
  • N: ts’eril-i (letter – ends in a consonant so takes -i)
  • D: ts’eril-s (the -i is replaced by -s)

Adjectives whose stems end in a vowel never change. Adjectives whose stems end in a consonant add -i in the nominative, drop the -i for the dative.

  • N: kartul-i ena (Georgian language – kartul ends in a consant)
  • D: kartul enas (because kartul ends in a consonant, it drops the -i)
  • N: axal-i mepe (new king)
  • D: axal mepes
  • N: saintereso ts’ign-i (interesting book)
  • D: saintereso ts’ign-s (saintereso ends in a vowel so doesn’t change)
  • N: k’arg-i p’ropesor-i good professor
  • D: k’arg p’ropesor-s

When an adjective is acting as a noun, it declines normally.

  • N: axal-i (the new one)
  • D: axal-s (compare axal mepes).
  • N: k’arg-i (the good one)
  • D: k’arg-s (compare k’arg p’ropesor-s)
  • N: saintereso (the interesting one)
  • D: sainteresos (compare saintereso ts’ign-s)
Word Order

Normally Subject-Verb-Object. Negatives and interrogatives must proceed the verb.

The Verbal Noun or Masdar

Equivalent to the -ing gerund of an English verb (dats’era = (the) writing).

To form the verbal noun from a first conjugation verb you:

1) Drop all person and number markers from the future or the present stem. This means that some verbal nouns will have a preverb.

2) Drop any preradical vowel.

3) Present/Future Stem Formant -av- and -am- drop the ‘a.’ P/FSF -i- drops entirely.

4) Add the masdar ending -a.


Verbal Stem

Verbal Noun


da=ts’er (delete the -s)

da=ts’er-a (writing)



ts’er-a (writing)


da=xat’-v (delete the -a- in the P/FSF)

da=xat’-v-a (painting)



xat’-v-a (painting)


k’itx-v (delete the preverb -i- and the -a- in the P/FSF)

k’itx-v-a (reading)


a=shen-eb (delete the preverb -a-)

a=shen-eb-a (building)


gada=targmn (delete the P/FSF -i-)

gada=targmn-a (translating)


mo=k’l-v -> mo=k’vl

    (metathesis of the v*)

mo=k’vl-a (killing)


gamo=tkv-m ->  



gamo-tk-m-a (pronunciation)



agh+nishvn (*)

agh+nishvn-a (meaning)



da=ts’q-eb-a (beginning)

* sometimes a v and the next consonant switch places (metathasis); does anyone want me to put up the conditions under which this happens?

** in some cases, the v, which in Georgian is very very lightly pronounced, nearly a w, is dropped. Same question as above.


In the chart above, remember that the preverb is shown with a “=”, and that verbs whose present tense requires a preverb show it with a “+.”


Verbal nounds decline like a noun in -a (they add -s to form the dative):

  • N: da=ts’era (the writing)
  • D: da=ts’era-s
  • N: da=ts’q-eb-a (the beginning)
  • D: da=ts’q-eb-a-s
“AND” in Georgian:

“da” joins, “ki” contrasts (=however). Ki must always be the second element in its clause:

Shota ts’eril-s ts’er-s, Ivane ki ts’ign-s k’itkhul-ob-s’

Shota[nom] letter[dat] write[3ps present x-writes-y], John[nom] however book[dat] read[3ps present x-reads-y]

Shota is writing a letter, John, however, is reading a book.

I’m starting on the exercises for Chapter Two which covers the present, future, conditional and perfect tenses and these two cases; as I get them done I’ll post my answers, and my self-scoring. I’m doing better than I thought I would.


Filed under Kartuli Ena, Languages

3 responses to “As Promised

  1. Karen

    I had to read this a few times to kinda get my mind around what you are saying. I don’t think the feeling of “belonging” is necessarily a gay/straight thing. When I watch a romantic movie of any variety I feel happy for the characters if it works out and sad if it doesn’t. For me romantic movies are about the possibilities of love. If I watch a movie with a woman kissing a man (even a man I find attractive like the “other” Wilson brother) I don’t think of it being someone like me. But maybe that is because I don’t fit the Hollywood stereotype of an “attractive” woman.

    You know we mostly just tease you about the “gay theme” because we’re you friends. But every once in a while we see a movie that seems to keep repeating it – like the detective movie. It was just a little odd that every time the detective was introduced it was mentioned that he was gay. It would be like watching Beverly Hills Cop and everyone saying Eddie Murphy was black; or S&H introducing each other as single. I know what you mean that straight movies seem to have themes, too, but I don’t think the theme is necessarily “straight.” It could be about parenting or first love or lost love or road trips or whatever.

    Anyway, all of that aside, I did not guess the correct man for the obsession. I was thinking the family connection was his mother and “engaging” referred to a current tv sit-com.

    Are we still on for sushi on Friday?

  2. angloam

    Who was your guess?

    Oh, well, those detective movies weren’t the best films in the world.

    But the possibility of love is different when you can’t at least partially identify with one of the kissers, at least for me. On the other hand, I also know that when there’s an erotic scene between two different-gender people it is nice, but not fundamentally affecting. When it’s between two same-gender people, I am a bit transported, and my breath catches, and I get butterflies in my stomach. Much easier to chat or reach for a soda/snack without them!

  3. angloam

    And nothing on the grammar lesson! 😦 🙂

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