Rennukat: Verbs & Numbers

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Verbs

Verbs are marked for tense, mood, voice, and affirmation/negation. Since Rennukat is primarily an agglutinative language, this happens in the form STEM-TENSE-MOOD-VOICE.

All verb stems end in –a, –o, –ai, or –oi. I considered removing those endings when adding on the tense/mood/voice suffixes, but then decided against it for a reason I genuinely can’t remember.

Verb Tenses

Verbs have three tenses: past, present, and future. The past tense ending is –ru, which comes from the noun runo meaning “(the) past”. The present tense ending is –sa, from the noun sain meaning “(the) present (day)”, and the future tense ending is –yt, from the noun yhtor meaning “(the) future”.

I’m not 100% certain on this, but I don’t think most languages take their verb tenses from temporal nouns – those things seem to be separate. The way I constructed things here would seem to insinuate that those things were deliberately created at some time in the past.

Since Tsurennupaiva‘s culture was deliberately crafted in the past, it wouldn’t be too difficult to imagine that this also happened with some aspects of the Rennukat.

Verb Moods

There are five moods: indicative, subjunctive, conditional, optative, and imperative.

The indicative is used to express factual statements. It’s the “default” mood, and so has no suffix.

The subjunctive is used to express theoretical and unconfirmed statements, as well as ask questions. The suffix is –(t)ur. It was originally just –ur, but that created some words that looked too weird for my liking.

The conditional is used to express than an action is dependent on some kind of condition. The suffix is –mel.

The optative is used to express hopes, wishes, and prayers. The suffix is-ty, from tyle “wish”.

The imperative is used to express orders. The suffix is –ko.

Verb Voices

Rennukat‘s verbs have two voices: active and passive. The active voice is the default, and is unmarked. The passive ending is –(e)s. I originally thought this resembled English verbs a little too much, but in practice, they don’t look English at all:

  • nirai “to build” vs. nirais “to be built”
  • rahkasa “falling” vs rahkasus “to be falling”

Affirmation & Negation

As mentioned in the previous section about sentence structure, Rennukat has no words for “yes” or “no”. There are, instead, particles for negation (nas) or affirmation (tou) that follow the verb. Nas is used to answer a question or form a statement in the negative. Tou is used more rarely, since the existence or occurrence of things is assumed by default.

Henosa.

  • rain.IND.PRS
  • It is raining.

Henosa tou.

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

Henosa nas.

  • rain.IND.PRS NEGATION
  • No, it’s not raining.

Numbers

Rennukat has a rather boring decimal number system. There are unique numbers for 0, 1-10, 100, and 1000.

Numeral

Word

0

il

1

yhdi

2

tsu

3

lare

4

ehta

5

keir
6

omet

7

mortu

8

sahtai

9

shin

10

nyt

100

rassein

1000

yrtenys

Multiples of ten are formed by a numeral from 2-9 followed by nyt. Multiples of 100 and 1000 are formed in a similar way:

Numeral

Word Numeral Word Numeral Word

20

tsu nyt 200 tsu rassein 2000 tsu yrtenys

30

lare nyt 300 lare rassein 3000 lare yrtenys

40

ehta nyt 400 ehta rassein 4000 ehta yrtenys

50

keir nyt 500 keir rassein 5000

keir yrtenys

60 omet nyt 600 omet rassein 6000

omet yrtenys

70 mortu nyt 700 mortu rassein 7000

mortu yrtenys

80 sahtai nyt 800 sahtai rassein 8000

sahtai yrtenys

90 shin nyt 900 shin rassein 9000

shin yrtenys

Here are some random numbers:

  • 27: tsu nyt mortu
    • twenty-seven
  • 108: rassein sahtai
    • (one) hundred eight
  • 499: ehta rassein shin nyt shin
    • four hundred ninety-nine
  • 1034: yrtenys lare nyt ehta
    • (one) thousand thirty-four
  • 54,321: keir nyt ehta yrtenys lare rassein tsu nyt yhdi
    • fifty-four thousand, three hundred, twenty-one

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Rennukat: Nouns, Adjectives, & Pronouns

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Nouns & Adjectives

Nouns are marked for six cases and two numbers. Adjectives precede nouns, and must agree in case and number.

Rennukat has fewer locative cases than a few of my other conlangs. I didn’t want it to have too many, since that would make it a little too similar to Finnish.

Case

Singular Plural

Nominative

-(i)t

Accusative

-(i)cha -(i)chat

Genitive

-o

-ot

Dative -(i)lla

-(i)llat

Ablative -(i)hty

-(i)htyt

Allative -(i)nne

-(i)nnet

Pronouns

Rennukat has a lot of pronouns. There are five 1st-person pronouns, three 2nd-person pronouns, and three 3rd-person pronouns. I didn’t want to put gender on the 3rd-person pronouns, so decided that some of the 1st-person pronouns would be gendered instead – much like what Japanese does.

All pronouns have rather irregular declensions when compared to other nouns.

1st-Person Pronouns

There are two sets of 1st-person pronouns: casual and formal. Casual pronouns are used in casual and informal settings, and formal pronouns are used in formal settings and by professionals such as teachers, civil servants, & people in the military.

The most commonly used casual pronouns are the gendered ones. The plural forms of gendered pronouns mean “we men”, “we women”, “we agender people” rather than referring to a group that one is part of – the general casual plural is used for that.

The male casual pronoun is ohu, which is a contraction of de bohku “this man”. It is often shortened even further into o’u /oʊ/ in the nominative.

 

Singular Plural

Nominative

ohu ohut

Accusative

ocha ochat

Genitive

oho

ohot

Dative olla

ollat

Ablative ohty

ohtyt

Allative onne

onnet

The female casual pronoun is ein, a contraction of de eillin or d’eillin “this woman”. An earlier form was d’ein.

 

Singular Plural

Nominative

ein einit

Accusative

eicha eichat
Genitive eino

einot

Dative eilla

eillat

Ablative

eihty

eihtyt

Allative einne

einnet

The agender casual pronoun is dyrru, which is a contraction of de kyrru “this agender person”.

 

Singular Plural

Nominative

dyrru dyrrut

Accusative

dycha dychat

Genitive

dyrro

dyrrot

Dative dylla

dyllat

Ablative dyhty

dyhtyt

Allative dynne

dynnet

The general casual pronoun is minno. It is less informal than the gendered pronouns, but less formal than the 1st-person formal pronoun.

 

Singular Plural

Nominative

minno minnot

Accusative

minnocha minnochat

Genitive

minnou

minnout

Dative minnolla

minnollat

Ablative minnohty

minnohtyt

Allative minne

minnet

The one formal 1st-person pronoun is arre.

 

Singular Plural

Nominative

arre arret

Accusative

arrecha arrechat

Genitive

arro

arrot

Dative arrella

arrellat

Ablative arrehty

arrehtyt

Allative arrenne

arrennet

Minno and arre are the original 1st-person pronouns. The gendered ones came later.

2nd-Person Pronouns

There are three distinct 2nd-person pronouns: informal/subordinate, formal/superior, and general/peer.

The informal/subordinate pronoun is used when addressing subordinates and people younger than the speaker. It is used by teachers speaking to their students, professionals speaking to their clients, parents speaking to their children, people in the military speaking to civilians, and the Avatar when addressing anyone.

 

Singular Plural

Nominative

jassu jassut

Accusative

jacha jachat

Genitive

jasso

jassot

Dative jalla

jallat

Ablative jahty

jahty

Allative janne

jannet

The formal pronoun is used when addressing superiors and people older than the speaker. It is used by students addressing teachers, people speaking to hired professionals (doctors, lawyers, plumbers, etc), children speaking to their parents, civilians speaking to people in the military, and anyone speaking to the Avatar.

 

Singular Plural

Nominative

fynne fynnet

Accusative

fycha fychat

Genitive

fynno

fynnot

Dative fylla

fyllat

Ablative fyhty

fyhtyt

Allative fynne

fynnet

The general/peer pronoun is used when addressing people equal in status or age to the speaker. It is used among friends, siblings, people in relationships, and civil servants speaking to civilians & vice versa.

 

Singular Plural

Nominative

kevai kevait

Accusative

kaicha kaichat

Genitive

kevo

kevot

Dative kailla

kaillat

Ablative kaihty

kaihtyt

Allative kainne

kainnet

3rd-Person Pronouns

Third person “pronouns” consist of a demonstrative followed by the ollin “person”. It is possible to use gendered words such as bohku, eillin, and kyrru, but the use is discouraged as it is considered rude. The contracted forms of the demonstratives de, no, and tau, (d’, n’, and t’) are used unless the speaker wants to be exceptionally formal.

D’ollin, meaning “this person, close to me”, is used when the speaker is talking about a person close to them.

N’ollin, meaning “that person, close to you”, is used when the speaker is talking about a person close by to the person they are speaking to.

T’ollin, meaning “yonder person, far away from both of us”, is used when the speaker is talking about a person that is far away from everyone involved in the conversation.

Demonstratives

Rennukat has three demonstratives: a proximal, medial, and distal.

 

Demonstrative Meaning

Proximal

de This
Medial no

That

Distal tau

Yonder


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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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Lexember 2018

This Lexember, I worked on Rennukat – the conlang that I created for The Land of Two Moons.

Day 1

iro [ˈi.ro] v. to exist physically

Tsu rennut iro.

[tsu ˈrɛn.nʊt ˈi.ro]

two moon.NOM.PL exist.PRS.IND

“There are two moons”.

Day 2

Language: Rennukat

syven [ˈsy.vɛn] n. star

Day 3

syvekerru [ˈsy.ve.ˌkɛr.ru] n. galaxy (star-cloud)

Day 4

rennudiren [ˈrɛn.nu.ˌdi.rɛn] n. an impact crater caused by the former moon Ellinen

Day 5

lerucha [le.ˈru.tʃa] n. theocracy. A loanword from Ciniáne leruggeá [le.rud.dʒe.ˈɑː] “God republic”

Day 6

hasra [ˈhas.ra] n. desert

Day 7

varasynne [ˈva.ra.ˌsʏn.ne] n. taijitu. From vara “dark” + synne “light”.

Day 8

maita [ˈmaɪ.ta] n. magic.

vara maita “dark magic”

synne vaita “light magic”

Day 9

nahtaryklun [ˈnah.ta.ˌrʏk.lʊn] n. spirit weapon. From nahta “soul” + ryklun “weapon”.

Day 10

Akoisusei [ˈa.koɪ.ˌsu.seɪ] n. The Goddess of Mercy. From akoi “behold” + susei “mercy”.

Day 11

dyhtail [ˈdʏh.taɪl] n. deity

Day 12

soiny [ˈsoɪ.ny] n. pigeon

Day 13

aven [ˈa.vɛn] n. crossroad. Sai Avenit “The Crossroads” is a city in the Western District of Tsurennupaiva.

Day 14

chanda [ˈtʃan.da] n. serendipity. Chanda is the name of the current Avatar of Akoisusei (The Goddess of Mercy).

Day 15

Sairren [ˈsaɪr.rɛn] n. One of the moons that orbits the planet Talassa.

Day 16

Veitlen [ˈveɪt.lɛn] n. One of the moons that orbits the planet Talassa. Also the name of one of the protagonists of The Land of Two Moons.

Day 17

koissa [ˈkoɪs.sa] n. avatar

Day 18

meinara [meɪ.ˈna.ra] n. planet

Day 19

tsyra [ˈtsy.ra] n. diamond

pevu tysra “carbonado (black diamond)”

Day 20

narzyll [ˈnar.sʏl] n. beryl. This is an old loanword that’s kept its spelling.

juki narzyll “goshenite”

kane narzyll “red beryl”

losir narzyll “morganite”

ris narzyll “aquamarine”

ryt narzyll “emerald”

tuura narzyll “heliodor”

Day 21

hallionhiljon [hal.ˈli.ɔn.ˌhɪl.jon] n. solstice. From hallion “sun” + hiljo “stand still”. The final –n exists solely because hallionhiljo sounded too awkward.

Day 22

mortjara [mɔr.ˈtʃa.ra] n. sapphire. From mor “deep blue” + tjara “gem”.

Day 23

kanetjara [ˈka.ne.ˌtʃa.ra] n. ruby. From kane “red” + tjara “gem”.

Day 24

sherir [ˈʃe.rɪr] n. quartz. A loanword from an old, lost language.

Day 25

diren sherir [ˈdi.rɛn ˈʃe.rɪr] n. stishovite. From diren “crater” + sherir “quartz”.

Day 26

aritehde [ˈa.ri.ˌtɛh.de] n. silver. From ariana “silver color” + tehde “metal”.

Day 27

haturra tehde [ha.ˈtu.ra ˈtɛh.de] n. gold. From hatuura “gold color” + tehde “metal”.

Day 28

artemaren tehde [ˈar.te.ˌma.rɛn ˈtɛh.de] n. bismuth. From artemaren “rainbow” + tehde “metal”.

Day 29

natarika [ˈna.ta.ˌri.ka] n. demon.

Day 30

vuhta [ˈvʊh.ta] n. ghost

Day 31

manavah [ma.ˈna.vah] n. human