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|Nouns decline according to...|
|Verbs conjugate according to...|
Ralinu (Raelíny, the language of the Ra) is a language isolate spoken in the Murmansk Oblast of Russia. As a language isolate, there are no languages known to be related to it, but there are many influences from the Finno-Uralic languages (i.e. Estonian, Finnish), Swedish, and Russian in both grammatical structure and vocabulary. The language's articles, adjectives, and nouns are agglutinative (they can be combined into one word). The nouns can be declined in about 10 grammatical cases (although 3 have fallen out of common use). Vowel and consonant harmony is prominent in the language, distinguishing between voiced consonants and the vowels that are associated with them (a, b, d, dj, dzj, g, o, u, v, z, and zj/ç), the voiceless consonants the vowels associated with them (e, p, t, kj/tj/c, tsj, k, i, y, f, s, and sj), and the neutral consonants (dh, h, j, l, m, n, ǹ, r, and '). Also common is lengthened vowels, but stress has fallen out of common use and has to be marked.
|Plosive||p b||t d*||c ɟ||k g|
|Fricative||f v||ð||s z||ʃ ʒ||h|
|Flap or tap|
The click /ǃ/ is also featured in the language, albiet rarely.
- Pronounced in some dialects as /ɾ/
Because the language features consonant and vowel harmony, many of the symbols are not counted as letters. Only voiced consonants, their corresponding vowels, and neutral consonants are counted in the alphabet, with the other consonants being seen as allophones. Some sounds are written in several different ways, depending on the vowel following it.
The actual alphabet consists of:
|A /ä/||B /b/||D /d/||Dh /ð/||Dj /ɟ/||Dzj /d͡ʒ/||G /g/||H /h/||J /j/||L /l/|
|M /m/||N /n/||Ǹ /ǃ/||O /ɔ/||R /r/||U /u/||V /v/||Z /z/||Zj/Ç /ʒ/||' /∅/|
These letters (except for the neutral dh, h, j, l, m, n, ǹ, r, and ') are seen as inferior to the voiceless consonants and their corresponding vowels, and so the consonants change and the vowels shift to accommodate.
The corresponding letters are:
|E /e/*||P /p/||T /t/||Dh /ð/||Kj/Tj/C /c/||Tsj /t͡ʃ/||K /k/||H /h/||J /j/||L /l/|
|M /m/||N /n/||Ǹ /ǃ/||I /i/*||R /r/||Y /y/*||F /f/||S /s/||Sj /ʃ/||' /ʔ/|
The sounds /ʒ/ and /c/ can be written in several different ways.
- For /ʒ/
- Zj: at the beginning of a word
- Ç: anywhere else in a word
- For /c/
- Kj: before the letter "e" or diphthong "ae"
- Tj: before the letter "i" or diphthong "oe"
- C: before the letter "y" or diphthong "uy"
The vowels a, o, and u (the original vowels) never shift completely to their corresponding vowel (the goal vowels). Instead, they shift to a median of the two vowels (the product vowel), which is written as a diphthong.
|Original Vowel||Goal Vowel||Product Vowel|
|o /ɔ/||i /i/||oe /ø/|
|u /u/||y /y/||uy /ʉ/|
Vowels and diphthongs can be marked with either the grave or acute accents. The grave accent marks abnormal stress in the word (the language does not have much stress, because of the varying vowel lengths). The acute accent marks a longer vowel [IPA: ː], such as in the word tí (/tiː/, road). No more than one accent may appear in a word, so the vowel must be written twice if the more than one vowel is of abnormal length. Some people, however, write the vowel twice anyway (in the style of Finnish and Estonian), because of either a personal choice or software incompatibility. In diphthongs, the acute accent is marked on the first letter, such as the word fáehyysi (/fæːhy/, purple house). If more than one diphthong is long, the second diphthong's first letter is written twice, such as in lóepaaenylle (/løːpæːnylːe/, flying fairy). Consonants can also be doubled by writing the letter (or the first letter in a digraph or trigraph) twice, such as in ykkyllaepoe (/ykːylːæpø/, strange plant) or jaemaettsiní (/jæmæt͡ʃiniː/, rough river).
Depending on the type of word, there are different consonant-vowel patterns. Lengthened consonants, lengthened vowels, and diphthongs each count as one consonant or vowel.
- Non-declined nouns can take on a combination of CVCV and CVCCV clusters. Noun declensions are a CV suffix.
- Adjectives can also be CVCV, but also can have the unique cluster VCV.
- Infinitive verbs are always CVCVC, and the last consonant is always an "r" or an "m". Conjugations usually replace the last C, and the suffixes are usually CV, CCV, or CVCV (for the last one, the final C is usually ').
- Prepositions and other words usually follow a CVCV pattern.
There are fifteen cases in Ralinu, but only ten declentions. Three of these cases are obsolete and have replaced by another case in colloquial speech (such as the partitive case being replaced by dative case), but are still used in classical writing.
- The Nominative and Accusative Cases (NOM/ACC)
- The nominative case denotes the subject of the sentence.
- The accusative case denotes the direct object of the sentence.
- These nouns can be spotted because they have no suffix and are written as they are in the dictionary.
- The Dative and Genitive Cases (DAT/GEN)
- The dative case denotes the indirect object of the sentence.
- The genitive case denotes ownership and possession.
- These nouns are declined in words with voiced consonants by adding the letter "z" to the end of the word in NOM/ACC case.
- For example, the word "balja" (skin, NOM/ACC) is declined as "baljaz" (skin, DAT/GEN).
- These nouns are declined in words with voiceless consonants by adding the letter "s" to the end of the word in NOM/ACC case.
- For example, the word "sihi" (tree, NOM/ACC) is declined as "sihis" (tree, DAT/GEN).
- The Comitative and Casual Cases (COM/CAS)
- The comitative case indicates the object that the subject is with.
- The casual case indicates the object that is the cause of an event.
- These nouns are declined from NOM/ACC case by lengthening the final vowel (if the vowel already is long, then it is left alone), then adding the letter "m". This works for both words with voiced consonants and word with voiceless consonants.
- For example, the word "laço" (dog, NOM/ACC) is declined as "laçóm" (dog, COM/CAS). The word "píry" (bone, NOM/ACC) is declined as "píryym" (bone, COM/CAS).
- The Privative and Aversive Cases (PRI/AVE)
- The privative case indicates the object that the subject is without.
- The aversive case indicates the object that is being avoided.
- These nouns are declined from NOM/ACC case by lengthening the final vowel (if the vowel already is long, then it is left alone), then adding the letter "n". This works for both words with voiced consonants and word with voiceless consonants.
- For example, the word "laço" (dog, NOM/ACC) is declined as "laçón" (dog, PRI/AVE). The word "píry" (bone, NOM/ACC) is declined as "píryyn" (bone, PRI/AVE).
- The Prepositional Case (PRE)
- Denotes the object that is being described with a preposition.
- These nouns are declined from NOM/ACC case by adding the letter "j" after a, e, o, u, or y.
- For example, the word "ruttu" (root, NOM/ACC) is declined as "ruttuj" (root, PRE).
- Nouns that end in "i", such as "sihi" (tree, NOM/ACC) are declined by lengthening the final "i" (i.e. "sihí" (tree, PRE)).
- The Translative and Semblative Cases (TRA/SEM)
- The translative case denotes what the subject is being changed into.
- The semblative case denotes what the subject resembles.
- These nouns are declined in words with voiced consonants by adding the letter "d" to the end of the word in NOM/ACC case.
- For example, the word "balja" (skin, NOM/ACC) is declined as "baljad" (skin, TRA/SEM).
- These nouns are declined in words with voiceless consonants by adding the letter "t" to the end of the word in NOM/ACC case.
- For example, the word "senje" (man, NOM/ACC) is declined as "senjet" (man, TRA/SEM).
- The Instrumental Case (INS)
- Denotes with what tool a task is completed with.
- These nouns are declined in words with voiced consonants by adding the letter "b" to the end of the word in NOM/ACC case.
- For example, the word "balja" (skin, NOM/ACC) is declined as "baljab" (skin, INS).
- These nouns are declined in words with voiceless consonants by adding the letter "p" to the end of the word in NOM/ACC case.
- For example, the word "sihi" (tree, NOM/ACC) is declined as "sihip" (tree, INS).
- The Partitive Case (obsolete) (PAR)
- States a specific amount of an object from a larger group.
- Is mostly replaced by the dative case.
- These nouns are declined in words with voiced consonants by adding the letters "gá" to the end of the word in NOM/ACC case.
- For example, the word "ruttu" (root, NOM/ACC) is declined as "ruttugá" (root, PAR).
- These nouns are declined in words with voiceless consonants by adding the letters "ké" to the end of the word in NOM/ACC case.
- For example, the word "píry" (bone, NOM/ACC) is declined as "pírykee" (bone, PAR).
- The Ablative and Ornative Cases (obsolete) (ABL/ORN)
- The ablative case states the object being talked about in a discussion (i.e. We must talk about the money.).
- The ornative case states that the something is being equipped with the object.
- Is mostly replaced by the casual case.
- These nouns are declined from NOM/ACC case by adding the letter "r". This works for both words with voiced consonants and word with voiceless consonants.
- For example, the word "laço" (dog, NOM/ACC) is declined as "laçor" (dog, ABL/ORN). The word "píry" (bone, NOM/ACC) is declined as "píryr" (bone, ABL/ORN).
- The Distributive Case (obsolete) (DIS)
- Works alongside the partitive case, but is on the receiving end. (Kilmi kýleekeenae hysysjí, [three people-PAR house-DIS] three people per house)
- Mostly replaced by the dative case.
- These nouns are declined in words with voiced consonants by adding the letters "zjó" to the end of the word in NOM/ACC case.
- For example, the word "ruttu" (root, NOM/ACC) is declined as "ruttuzjó" (root, DIS).
- These nouns are declined in words with voiceless consonants by adding the letters "sjí" to the end of the word in NOM/ACC case.
- For example, the word "senje" (bone, NOM/ACC) is declined as "senjesjí" (bone, DIS).
Ralinu does have a dual number. The number can be changed by changing the final vowel of the word. These vowels work in a cycle.
For the letters a, o, and u, the cycle is: A <--> O <--> U <--> A.
For the letters e, i, and y, the cycle is: E <--> I <--> Y <--> E.
The dual number is determined (using the written cycles above) by using the vowel to the right of the singular's final vowel. For example, to write "two dogs", one would write "laçu". To write "two trees", one would write "sihy".
The plural number is determined (using the written cycles above) by using the vowel to the left of the singular's final vowel. For example, to write "dogs", one would write "laça". To write "trees", one would write "sihe".
Examples of Declension and NumberEdit
Like in the Scandinavian languages (i.e. Norwegian), there are indefinite and definite articles. The indefinite articles are left as separate words before the noun, while the definite articles are attached as a suffix. However, some rules do apply to where indefinite articles are placed when in contact with prepositions and genitive case nouns being used as adjectives.
The article for words with voiced consonants is "naj". In the word "vojla" (bird, NOM/ACC), the article is placed before the word to indicate indefiniteness ("naj vojla") and after the word to indicate definiteness ("vojlanaj").
The definite article (and, in practice, the indefinite article) for words with voiceless consonants is "nae" (the neutralized form of "naj" with the "j" dropped). In the word "lime" (mother, NOM/ACC), it is placed either before or after the word to indicate indefiniteness and definiteness, respectively ("nae lime", "limenae").
Articles are never pluralized. Although it technically is correct to keep the indefinite article as "naj" all the time (because it is a separate word and is allowed to have a different word harmony than the noun it describes), almost all speakers use "nae" when the next word is one with voiceless consonants.
When a genitive noun is used as an adjective (attached to the object), the indefinite article separates the two words. For example, in the word "menkislime" (child-DAT/GEN mother-NOM/ACC, child's mother), the indefinite article "nae" comes between the two words to form the phrase "menkis nae lime" (child-DAT/GEN article-idf mother-NOM/ACC, a child's mother). However, the definite article is still attached to the end of the word and does not split the word, making "menkislimenae" (child-DAT/GEN mother-NOM/ACC article-df, the child's mother). Words are not separated when one of the words is actually an adjective (nae oecúylyppee and oecúylyppeenae rather than oecúy nae lyppee and oecúy lyppeenae).
Prepositions, which are placed before the noun, also affect the place of the indefinite article. The indefinite article is placed before the preposition in this case. For example, "under [a/the] tree" is translated as "syper sihí". The indefinite article is placed before the phrase, making the entire phrase "nae syper sihí" (article-idf prep-sub tree-PRE). The definite article, again, is still attached to the object ("syper sihínae"). Another example is "zobol elimmitjimílyppee" (above [a/the] small flower), which can be "naj zobol elimmitjimílyppee" or "zobol elimmitjimílyppeenae".
The partitive case always requires the definite article.
Adjectives, Genitive Nouns, and Adjectivial NounsEdit
Nouns can be used as adjectives, such as in "sihipíry" (branch, or literally "tree bone"). Since Ralinu is of an agglutinative nature, these words are attached to the object described as a prefix. Vowel and consonant harmony is employed on these words as to not affect the object itself, such as in the word "zoehoelana" (forest), which is the combination of the words "sihi" (tree) and "lana" (land). The word "sihi" has been neutralized to fit the nature of the word "lana" by voicing the consonants and compromising the vowels. Cases, number, and definiteness do not affect adjectives.
|Ralinu: Declension of personal pronouns|
|Ralinu: Reflexive pronouns|
who - sjem, sjemi (du./pl.)
what - aça, açu (pl.)
when - rýle
where - dzjóna
why - tjim
which (general) - kjéne, kjéni (du.), kjény (pl.)
which (partitive) - kjénekee, kjénikee (du.), kjénykee (pl.)
how many - djado
who - zjaem, zjaemoe (du./pl.)
what - aesjae, aesjuy (du.pl.)
when - rúylae
where - tsjóenae
why - djoem
which (general) - djáenae, djáenoe (du.), djáenuy (pl.)
which (partitive) - djáenaekaae, djáenoekaae (du.), djáenuykaae (pl.)
how many - kjaetoe
this - garo-/kaeroe-, garu-/kaeruy- (du.), gara-/kaerae- (pl.)
that - dhúno-/dhúynoe-, dhúnu-/dhúynuy- (du.), dhúna-/dhúynae- (pl.)
someone - kékii, kékee (du./pl.)
something - míski, míske (du./pl.)
some - jodjuda-/joecuytae-
Free Choice PronounsEdit
anyone - minít
anything - mini
any - gumbago-/kuympaegoe-
either - zae'uytsáe/se'ytsé-
everyone - gogó
everything - koek
every - dono-/toenoe-
gúylooevoonna - fat (n.)
kýlee - man (human being)