Rennukat: Introduction, Phonology, & Sentence Structure

Introduction

Rennukat, meaning “moon language”, is the majority language spoken in Tsurennupaiva, “The land of two moons”. There is one major divergent dialect, Aven ferkat “Aven dialect”, spoken by people from the area in and around the town of The Avens in the Western District. The difference is roughly the same as the differences between Scots & English. This is the dialect that Kallinu Jurne speaks.

I started working on Rennukat in June 2018 – the same time I started working on The Land of Two Moons. There are some minor influences from Japanese & Finnish, primarily in the phonology, grammar, and pronouns.

Phonology – Consonants

The consonants /b/, /g/, /z/, and /θ/ only occur in old loanwords from other languages. I spent a very long time thinking if I wanted to include those consonants at all, since they really didn’t fit with the feel that I was going for.

But Rennukat is supposed to be a naturalistic language, and natlangs adopt consonants and vowels (and word spellings) from other languages all the time, so I kept them in.

 

Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal

Nasal

m n      

Stop

p (b) t d   k (g)  
Fricative f v s (z) ʃ (θ)    

h

Affricate   tʃ ts    

 

Approximant   r l j  

 

Phonology – Vowels

Rennukat‘s vowels system is (with the addition of a few vowels) the standard vowel system I had in most of my earlier conlangs: a short/long distinction for the front and back vowels, and two central vowels: /ə/ and /a/. Short vowels occur when there is a consonant in the coda, and long vowels occur when there is no following consonant in the coda.

[æ], [ɑ], and [ə] are all allophones of /a/, because Rennukat absorbed a lot of words and pronunciations from other languages and it seemed more natural to have some random variations.

 

Front Central Back

 

Short Long Short Long

Close

ɪ ʏ i y (ə) ʊ

 u

Close-Mid ɛ e   ɔ

o

Open (æ)   a  

(ɑ)

Rennukat has a couple of diphthongs: /aɪ/, /aʊ/, /eɪ/, /oɪ/, /oʊ/. Like with the monophthong vowels, they’re also part of my standard phonology from my early conlanging years.

Phonology – Syllable Structure & Consonant Clusters

Rennukat‘s syllable strucure is CVF, where C is any consonant, V is any vowel or diphthong, and F is any alveolar EXCEPT affricates and /ʃ/.

Consonant clusters only occur mid-word. Any loanword that appears to have a consonant cluster at the end of a word is not pronounced that way. I don’t actually have any examples of this.

All alveolars can technically be geminated, but in practice, only /n/, /s/, /r/, and /l/ are geminated. In a couple of dialects, /ss/ becomes /ʃ/, /ʃʃ/, or /sʃ/.

Orthography

Letter

a b ch, tj d e f g h

Sound

/a/ /b/ /tʃ/ /d/ /e/ /f/ /g/ /h/

Letter

i j k l m n o p
Sound /i/ /j/ /k/ /l/ /m/ /n/ /o/

/p/

Letter r s sh t u v y

z

Sound /r/ /s/ /ʃ/ /t/ /u/ /v/ /y/

/z/

Sentence Structure

Rennukat‘s word order is Subject-Object-Verb. Pronouns (often the subject of the sentence) are dropped unless absolutely necessary. The subject of the sentence is dropped in subordinate clauses.

Examples of simple sentences:

Hallion tyvosa.

  • The sun is shining.
  • SUN.NOM shine.PRS

Joilla mei iro.

  • I think, therefore I am.
  • Think.PRS.IND so exist.PRS.IND

Rennukaticha mousso.

  • I speak Rennukat.
  • Rennukat.ACC speak.PRS.IND

Rennukat has no dummy pronouns; there’s no equivalent of “it” in sentences like “it’s raining” or “it’s sunny outside”:

Henosa.

  • It’s raining.
  • RAIN.PRS

Questions

The verb in a question takes the subjunctive mood.

“What” questions are formulated in the same way as a normal sentence, just with the question word at the beginning.

Meaning

Rennukat

Translation

What

kehtu

What

Where

ke’givrra

What location

How

ke’vemy

What manner

Who

k’ollin

What person

Why

ke’jyhteit

What reason

When

k’otinne

What time

Kehtu maita kehtosatur?

  • What is magic?
  • What magic.NOM be.PRS.SBJ

Ke’givrra kala irosatur?

  • Where is the lake?
  • Where lake.NOM exist.PRS.SBJ

Ke’vemy toricha nirairuur?

  • How did you build the house?
  • How house.ACC build.PST.SBJ

K’ollin de toricha nirairutur?

  • Who built this house?
  • Who PROX house.ACC build.PST.SBJ

Ke’jyhteit juechat kivrasatur?

  • Why do you have fish?
  • Why fish.ACC.PL have.PST.SBJ

K’otinne vuhtacha akoisatur?

  • When did you see the ghost?
  • When ghost.ACC see.PST.SBJ

Yes/No questions must start with the question particle larai. As there are no words for “yes” and “no”, the verb must be repeated with negation or affirmation if necessary.

Larai henosatur?

  • Is it raining (right now)?
  • QP rain.PRS.SBJ

Henosa tou.

  • Yes, it’s raining.
  • rain.PRS.IND affirmative

Henosa nas.

  • No, it isn’t raining.
  • Rain.PRS.IND negative

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