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First, let me say that I'm bad at grammar. Everything I know about grammar I've learned because I want to make my own languages.

Second, I've created an ergative-absolutive language (I'm learning as I go) in which the agent of the transitive verb is marked with the suffix '-a'.

"Mary opened the red door with a key." reads as "Mary with a key the red door opened."

So (opened) is my transitive verb, (the red door) is my object, and (Mary with a key) is the agent of my transitive verb.

Mary with a key = Mary kep evo wawʉt

I need to mark this noun phrase with '-a', but I'm at a loss as to where. Do I mark 'Mary' (Marya) or both 'Mary' and 'key' (Marya, wawʉta)?

Any help would be appreciated, thank you.

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    It's your conlang, so you choose what you want to do. – curiousdannii Sep 12 '17 at 6:07
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    Agree that since it's your conlang, do what you want, but are you positive the subject is "Mary with a key"? "With a key" strikes me as being a part of the predicate rather than a descriptor for the noun (unless you mean "Mary with a key" exactly in the sense of "Mary wearing the yellow hat"). – virmaior Sep 12 '17 at 6:09
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    If you're interested in conlangs, you should join the Constructed Languages site proposal – curiousdannii Sep 12 '17 at 6:32
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    If you're interested in declining nouns, just say "No nouns." – jlawler Sep 12 '17 at 7:15
  • It is my conlang, but I'm trying to break "the rules" on purpose or for a reason, rather through ignorance. I suppose it's the same difference either way, though. – z2a Sep 12 '17 at 14:13

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