Źilaa Ruńu

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Źilaa Ruńu

Post by Tuyono » 04 Mar 2018 02:50

Źilaa Ruńu [ʒiˈlɑː ˈru.ɲu] is a fictional language that I've been working on pretty slowly for about half a year now.
Like almost everything in this world, it's very much a WIP and whatever I post here can change later if it doesn't work anymore.
That said, I'd love to get questions and feedback, even if I don't have ready answers, because it helps me think in new ways!

Źilaa Ruńu is not based on diachronics. I originally just planned to make it the mother language and work from there, but decided to first build it into something I really like. It's meant to look and feel naturalistic, but I don't want to go crazy trying to find a fake historical justification for every little piece.
In the same spirit, I don't attempt to create the most special language possible (this might be obvious to you, but being inconsistent about it made my first conlang into a kitchen-sinky mess). Instead I want it feel right to me and for the different parts to work together.

The language is somewhat fusional , strongly head-initial, and has animate and inanimate gender.

In-universe, it was the language of an ancient kingdom that would later become the empire of Dmir. It was also one of the first written languages (or at least of those with records that survived). For these reasons it had a great cultural influence for many years, and by the time of my planned stories people will still be learning it in order to read their history and mythology in the original form.
Źilaa means "language", and Ruńu is the genitive/oblique form of the name Ruń, the original capital city of the kingdom. This form (ending in -u) is normally found only in pronouns and people's names, so the city was probably named after someone, but I haven't decided nobody in the world knows who they were, or whether they were a real person or a mythical figure.


EDIT: This part has changed only a little, but making a new post is easier than updating this one.

I'm going to focus on phonemes for now just to get started. More details about allophony and all that will come later.

/m n ɲ/ <m n ńj>
/p t c k/ <p t c k>
/b d ɟ g/ <b d j g>
/ᵐb ⁿd ᶮɟ ᵑɡ/ <mb nd ńj ng>
/s ʃ x h/ <s ś x h> *
/β~v z ʒ/ <v z ź>
/l ʎ/ <l ĺ>
/r/ <r>

* I think I'll turn /x/ and /h/ into allophones, since x is not in many words right now and feels a little out of place, but I don't want to get rid of it or add /ɣ/.

/i u e a/ <i u e a>
/iː uː eː aː/ <ii uu ee aa>

/ai ei ui/ <ai ei ui>
/ia ie iu/ <ia ie iu>

Syllable structure is (C)(C2)V(C), where:
- V can be a vowel (short or long) or a dipthong. Hiatus is not allowed - whenever adding affixes would create sequences of vowels, they get simplified.
- C is any consonant, including the prenasalized stops.
- C2 can be /l/, /ʎ/ or /r/, and less often /β~v/.
-The first C in onset clusters has to be a plosive or one of the fricatives /s z ʃ ʒ/.

I'm still working on a table of all the possible clusters, but generally there aren't so many of them.

EDIT: stress rules didn't change at all!

Stress is weight-based and completely regular, so I'm not going to mark it.
The ultimate syllable is stressed unless it is both open and has a short vowel, in which case stress moves to the penultimate:

/ceˈnei̯k/ (reed)
/iˈvɑs/ (daughter)
/ʒiˈlɑː/ (language)
/ˈrel.ʃi/ (eight)
/ˈce.su/ (bird)

Stress doesn't distinguish roots from affixes:

deśin (follow) - [deˈʃin]
deśin-a (they follow) - [deˈʃi.nɑ]
deśinan (we follow) - [ˌde.ʃiˈnɑn]

cesu (bird) - [ˈce.su]
cesu-ta (birds) - [ceˈsu.tɑ]

Thank you to anyone who read this unimpressive beginning. More to come [:)]
Last edited by Tuyono on 29 Jun 2019 22:19, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Źilaa Ruńu

Post by Tuyono » 05 Mar 2018 01:50

EDIT: nouns didn't change dramatically either, so I've only fixed small things here.


Animate nouns include humans, animals, and some elements of nature seem to move and act on their on - the sun, wind, fire, rain and rivers (but not all water), and maybe clouds, sound and light. Inanimate nouns include everything else like plants, objects, dead creatures, places, and abstractions.
Humans could be considered a separate class, at least for verb inflections and pronouns. Since the nouns themselves don't show this distinction, I'll ignore it in this post.
EDIT: Not anymore!

Only animate nouns are marked for number:

kikaź ne - one frog
kikaźda ehas - all the frogs

śand ne - one tree
śand ehas - all the trees

Źilaa Ruńu has three cases - Nominative, Accusative and Oblique/Genitive. However, only animate nouns have all three distinct forms.

For animate nouns: (singular, plural)
Nominative: -∅, -ta/-da
Accusative: -i, -ai
Oblique: -un/-in/-u, -r/ar

- The default plural Nominative suffix is -ta, and it changes to -da after a voiced stop or fricative.

- The singular Oblique form is usually -un, but the irregular -in replaces it for some nouns. EDIT:The choice between the two forms is completely regular. The suffix is -in when the root ends in one of the vowels /ɑ ɛ i/, and -un if it ends in a consonant or /u/. For example:
ame (man.NOM) --> amein
aac (woman.NOM) --> aacun
cesu (bird.NOM) --> cesuun

- For people's names there is also the Oblique form -u, used in written language and when speaking respectfully about someone (unless their name itself ends with /uu/ or /iu/ - then the regular form may be used to avoid ambiguity).
- The plural Oblique suffix is -r after a vowel and -ar after a consonant.

Stem ending in a closed syllable: eluź 'girl'
(singular, plural)
Nominative: eluź, eluźda
Accusative: eluźi, eluźai
Oblique: eluźun, eluźar

Stem ending in an open syllable: ame 'man'

(singular, plural)
Nominative: ame, ameta
Accusative: amei, amai (note that the final -e is deleted)
Oblique: amein, amer

The above rules would have caused animate nouns that end in -a to have identical forms in the accusative singular and plural (both -ai). To keep this distinction, the -a in the singular accusative form changes to -e, for example:

mbena 'person'

(singular, plural)
Nominative: mbena, mbenata
Accusative: mbenei, mbenai
Oblique: mbenain, mbenar

Inanimate nouns have only two forms: the unmarked Nominative/Accusative and the Oblique, marked -r/ar (like the animate plural):

Nominative/Accusative: keĺas 'boat(s)'
Oblique: keĺasar

Many inanimate nouns have irregular Oblique forms. These are supposedly what's left of historical cases that are no longer productive. The most common pattern is for nouns describing places to take the suffixes -an or -m:

Nominative/Accusative: lale 'path, road, trail'
Oblique: lalem

Nominative/Accusative: meig 'harbour'
Oblique: meigan

Some nouns have similar patterns while being unrelated to location:
Nominative/Accusative: vamre 'ashes'
Oblique: vamraan

Yet others don't change at all - for example: akaim 'night', leen 'home, place'.

The use of cases:

While the Nominative and Accusative cases are pretty standard and don't need explaining, The Oblique is a little weirder. It is used used to indicate possession:

haab sungiis-ar
rain.NOM winter-OBL
'winter rain'

ihiiź-da ajil-un aac-un
friend-PL.NOM brother-SG.OBL woman-SG.OBL
'the woman's brother's friends'

The objects of prepositions also take the Oblique case:

cia rud-ar
inside water-OBL
'in the water'

siv eluź-un
near girl-OBL
'next to the girl'

śun nuhad-un ruń-u
for ruler-OBL Ruń-OBL
'for the ruler of Ruń '

This happened because the proto-language didn't have many prepositions, instead using nouns of location such as "top", "middle" and "side" with the main noun in the genitive. Later the objects of some other prepositions started doing the same by analogy.
Anyway, Oblique is the best term I could think of - I feel "Genitive" would be misleading even though it's basically still correct. Does anyone have a better idea?
EDIT: I don't care if it's the "right" term or not since I'm so used to it at this point. Oh well :P
Last edited by Tuyono on 29 Jun 2019 23:02, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Źilaa Ruńu

Post by Tuyono » 06 Mar 2018 02:35


Code: Select all

          NOM      ACC        OBL    
1SG.      hiun     huuni      huun
1PL.      ndar     ndaari     ndaaru 
2SG.      ceĺe      ceeĺi      ceeĺu
2PL.      ĺesa     ĺeesai     ĺeesar
3SG.HU.   seg      seegi      seegu    
3PL.HU.   segda    seegai     seegar
3SG.ANI.  ńa       ńai        ńaan
3PL.ANI.  iaź      aaźi       aaźar
3.INAN.        ĺaa            ĺaar 
There are three sets of third person pronouns:
ńa/iaź can refer to any animate nouns.
seg/segda are only used for humans and are considered more respectful.
ĺaa refers to inanimate nouns. It does not have distinct singular/plural nor Nominative/Accusative forms - just like the nouns themselves.


EDIT: Uggghh this is so out of date, I'm just going to start over. Please Ignore!

Person and Number:

The unmarked form is 3rd person singular.

Code: Select all

       SG.       PL.   
1      -iu       -an
2      -le/-ĺe   -se/-ise 
3.HU.  -eg/-g    -a
3.ANI. -∅        -a
3INAN. -∅        -a

Subject marking for 1st and 2nd person is very straightforward, and pronouns are normally dropped when it appears:

veśiu kĺasa.
take.IPF-1SG boat
I'm taking the boat.

temiśise seegai.
remember.IPF-2PL 3PL.HU.ACC
You remember them.

In the third person, however, subject marking behaves differently from pronouns. The -eg/-g suffix is used when the subject is a specific and definite person (a.k.a. one that could be referred to as seg in the same situation):

duriu ivasi ceeĺu. izad-eg mii śandar eeźa.
see.IPF-1SG daughter[SG]-ACC 2SG.OBL | sit.IPF-3SG.HU under tree-INAN.OBL that-INAN.OBL
I see your daughter. she's sitting under that tree.

zemat-eg Icaand tvanu nei.
find.IPF-3.SG.HU [NAME].NOM feather one-INAN
Icaand (a mythical figure) found a feather.

The zero-marked verb is used when:

- The subject is person who haven't been mentioned yet and isn't known from context:
izad-∅ ame cra leen ndaaru.
sit.IPF-3SG man[SG.HU.NOM] inside home[INAN.OBL] 1PL.OBL
A man is sitting inside our home.

-The subject animate but not human:
teś-∅ liim.
swim.IPF-3SG fish[SG.NOM]
The fish is swimming.

mbutu-∅ ńa.
hide.self.IPF-3SG 3SG.ANI.NOM
It's hiding.

-The subject is not specific:

vaap-∅ kusan.
cook.IPF-SG soup.
Someone is cooking soup/the soup is being cooked.

When the third person subject is animate (human or other) and plural, the has verb the suffix -a. Subject pronouns can be added to clarify who the verb refers to, but they are mostly optional:

liuk-a al.
come.IPF-3PL here
They're coming here.

aańa-a cesuta.
fly.IPF-3PL bird-PL.NOM
Birds are flying.

Verbs with inanimate subjects can this plural marking if the number is important:

mbas-∅ kajem nei
fall.IPF-3PL stone one-INAN
A stone is falling.

mbas-a kajem tviimbi
fall.IPF-3PL stone many-INAN
Many stones are falling.

If the subject is a mass noun, or its number is irrelevant/unknown, the verbs takes zero marking. Note that inanimate subjects are rare in Źilaa Ruńu as a whole.

(Next: TAM stuff)

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Re: Źilaa Ruńu

Post by Tuyono » 30 Jun 2019 00:51

I've developed Źilaa Ruńu quite a lot, and there are many translations etc. already on the board, so I think I can present it for real this time. Hopefully.

Updated Phonology

/m n ɲ/ <m n ń>
/p t c k/ <p t c k>
/b d ɟ g/ <b d j g>
/ᵐb ⁿd ᶮɟ ᵑɡ/ <mb nd ńj ng>
/s ʃ x h/ <s ś h> *
/β z ʒ/ <v z ź>
/l ʎ/ <l ĺ>
/r/ <r>

/r/ is a trill.
/h/ has the allophone [x] which appears in coda positions and after voiceless fricatives.
/ᵑɡ/ has the allophone [ŋ] word-finally.
[β] and [v] might appear in free variation, I'm still not sure really.


There are four vowels and each one can be short or long.

/i~ɪ e̞~ɛ ɑ~a u~o/ <i e a u>
/iː e̞ː ɑː uː/ <ii ee aa uu>

Aditionally there are six diphthongs:

/ai̯ e̞i̯ ui̯ / <ai ei ui>
/ɪ̯ɑ ɪ̯ɛ ɪ̯u~ɪ̯o / <ia ie iu> - realized as [jɑ jɛ jo] when unstressed.

Syllable structure is (C(β))V(C). C can be any consonant and V can be a vowel (long or short) or a diphthong.
The only onset clusters are those of a plain (not pre-nasalised) stop + /β/, and the most common combinations are tv- and dv-, for example in tvanu 'feather' and dveniś 'fishing net'.

Vowel hiatus is forbidden. Sequences of vowels that would occure due to affixes are simplified, usually by deleting the earlier vowel (or the first part of the diphthong), and lenghtening the second part if it was short:
ame+ai → amai (instead of *ame.ai)
kui+a → kia
su-eńjuu → seeńjuu

Voicing assimilation happens in clusters of two plosives, or of a plosive + a sibilant fricative. These types of clusters mostly involve affixes (compounding is rare and so are roots with complex clusters)

kikaź-ta → kikaźda (frog-PL.NOM)
is-dur-a → izdura (FUT-see-IPF.3PL)
e-adek-di → eedekti (part, section)

Note that /s/ /ʃ/ become /z/ /ʒ/ in clusters with nasals, but voiceless plosives do not. For example the the incohative prefix cen- causes the change:

cen-seb → cenzeb (wake up)

cen-kumu → cenkumu (get stuck)
cen-tuung → centuung (become scared)

Clusters of two or more sibilant fricatives are forbidden. Such sequences are resolved in the following ways:

s+z→ z, z+s→ s, ʃ+ʒ→ ʒ, ʒ+ ʃ → ʃ
ʃ+z→s, ʒ+s→z, z+ ʃ→ʒ, s+ʒ→ʃ

Contact with /β/ does not cause any consonant to become voiced.

Clusters of three consonants are rare. The only example I could easily think of is istven 'will demand'.

This doesn't cover everything, obviously, but I have to work tomorrow.

ularu nalaam huun!
be.necessary-3.INAN VN-sleep 1SG.OBL
I need to sleep!
Last edited by Tuyono on 08 Dec 2019 15:24, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Źilaa Ruńu

Post by Tuyono » 30 Jun 2019 20:51

Nominal Modifiers

A general note: Since inanimate nouns and their modifiers are not marked for number, anything I gloss as singular or plural is always animate, so I don't see a reason to indicate its gender.

Źilaa Ruńu is almost completely head-initial, so adjectives, numerals and demonstratives follow the nouns they modify.

Adjectives agree with the case, number and gender (Animate/Inanimate) of the head noun. They have their own declention pattern, which is similar but not identical to the nouns' pattern. The biggest difference is in the Oblique case.

Consonant-final root - hej 'good'

(Singular, Plural)
Nom. hej, heja
Acc. heji, hejai
Obl. hejĺu, heja

Nom./Acc. heji
Obl. heja

Vowel-final root - eekla 'strong'

(Singular, Plural)
Nom. eekla, eeklaa
Acc. eeklei, eeklai
Obl. eeklaĺu, eeklaa

Nom./Acc. eeklai
Obl. eeklaa

Demonstratives have two degrees of distance, proximal var and distal eeź, which are very similar to English this and that respectively. They decline exactly like adjectives. They normally appear after other modifiers in the noun phrase (except relative clauses):

ihiiź huun var
This friend of mine

zeerdeta isaa ńjana kend eeźa ei izada ji śandar sańaa
zeerde-ta isee-a ńjan-a kend eeź-a ei izad-a ji śand-ar sańee-a
crow-PL.NOM black-PL.NOM big-PL.NOM three DIST-PL.NOM REL sit-3PL on tree-OBL tall-INAN.OBL
Those three big black crows that are/were sitting on the tall tree


(Cardinal, Ordinal)
1. ne, neśu
2. paź, paśu
3.kend, kendźu
4. mbii, mbiiśu
5. heic, heiśu
6. ruv, ruvśu
7. ĺaaź, ĺaaźu
8. relśi, relśu
9. suuk, suukśu
10. taj, taźu

The numeral ne 'one' is also used as an indefinite article, and has it's own slightly irregular declention pattern:
Nom. ne
Acc. nei
Obl. neĺu

Nom./Acc. nei
Obl. nem (not *naa)

There is no definite article, but more definite nouns tend to appear first:

ńjeemihe siaś liimi nei.
ńjeem-ihe siaś liim-i ne-i
catch-PFV.3SG heron.NOM fish(SG)-ACC one-ACC
The heron caught a fish.

bendánihe keĺas eluź ne.
bendán-ihe keĺas eluź ne
steal-PFV.3SG boat girl.NOM one.SG.NOM
A girl stole the boat.

Cardinal numerals other than 'one' do not decline for gender or case:

lisa eeźan ameta liire.
exist-3PL there man-PL.NOM hundred
There are one hundred men there.

iatuhe tuuhi liire.
make-PFV.3SG basket hundred
She made one hundred baskets.

rudiu zeerdai kend.
see-IPF.1SG crow-PL.ACC three
I see three crows.

mi isei tvanu zeerder kend.
be.3SG black feather crow-PL.OBL three.
The three crows' feathers are black.

Ordinal numerals decline like adjectives:

vari mi vehad suukśui.
var-i mi vehad suuk-śu-i.
this-INAN.OBL COP.3SG candle nine-ORD-INAN.NOM
This is the ninth candle.

jeleve vai tambar taźur.
jel-eve vai tamb-ar taj-śu-r.
wait-IMP.2PL until day-OBL ten-ORD-INAN.OBL
Wait until the tenth day.

Next time: verbs and their weird (or not) system of tense and aspect.

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Re: Źilaa Ruńu

Post by Tuyono » 01 Jul 2019 23:16

Źilaa Ruńu verbs are marked for aspect, tense, and the subject's person and number. This part is going to be long so I'm going to divide it into a few posts.

Nonstative verbs have two main aspects, imperfective and perfective.
The imperfective is the most basic form, created by adding a subject suffix directly to the root.

Code: Select all

    Singular    Plural
1.  -iu            -an
2.  -ĺe/-eĺe     -se/-ise
3.Ani. -eg/-g     -a  

3.Inan.      -ru
In the imperfective, there is no distinction between past and present:

abisiu siv ilein.
abis-iu siv ilein
walk-IPF.1SG near river.OBL
I am/was walking by the river.

iatme nadur, ruuśa śambru sańei nei.
iat-me na-dur, ruuś-a śambru sańe-i ne-i
make-IMP.2SG VN-see | build-IPF.3PL tower tall-INAN.ACC one-INAN.ACC
Look, they're building a tall tower.

ruuśa mbenata ehas śambru rim liukia eeźan inruta paź.
ruuś-a mbena-ta ehas śambru rim liuk-ia eeźan inru-ta paź
build-IPF.3PL person-PL.NOM all tower and.at.the.same.time come-PFV.3PL there stranger-PL.NOM three
All the people were building the tower when two strangers arrived.

The habitual is a sub-category of the imperfective aspect. It is formed by partial reduplication of the root. If the first syllable of the root is CV(C) with a short vowel, it is redupliuicated without changes:
veś - veveś
dur - dudur
śal - śaśal
celid - cecelid
badu - babadu
mbuh - mbumbuh

If there is a long vowel or a diphthong in the first syllable, it is shortened and simplified:
ruuś - ruruuś
laam - lalaam
peej - pepeej
liuk - liliuk
mbeis - mbembeis
caimb - cacaimb
hienu - hihienu

If the first syllable has the form VC, the coda is copied as well:
ilsud - ililsud
alung - alalung
iat - atiat
abis - ababis

Some examples:

ririesan itiig tuuĺ sungiisar.
ri~ries-an itiig tuuĺ sungiis-ar
HAB~plant.IPF.1PL seed before winter-OBL
We plant seeds before winter.

atiateg tuuhi heji.
at~iat-eg tuuhi hej-i
HAB~do.IPF-3SG basket good-INAN.ACC
She makes good baskets.

dajiem nalisar (seegar) cia kiaspar, ńjeńjeema mijai kai śun naluj.
dajie-m na-lis-ar (seegar) cia kiaspa-r, ńje~ńjeema mija-ai kui-ai śun na-luj.
time-OBL VN-be.at-INAN.OBL (3PL.OBL) in wilderness-OBL HAB~catch.IPF-3PL animal.PL.ACC small-PL.ACC for VN-eat
While in the wilderness, they used to trap small animals for food.

caĺem mbembeiseg eec ceeĺu.
caĺem mbe~mbeis-eg eec ceeĺu
always HAB~talk-3SG about 2SG.OBL
He always talks about you.

The perfective is a bit more complicated, so I'm saving it for next time. And stative verbs for after that. And... you get the idea [:P]

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Re: Źilaa Ruńu

Post by DesEsseintes » 03 Jul 2019 07:02

Using ĺ is brave. I tried it once (I wish I remembered what for... oh, I remember! It was for accented syllabic laterals in one of the earliest sketches of Limestone), but I couldn’t make it work. It works quite well alongside ź.

I like the word eeź and its relatives.

Looking forward to reading about the perfects.

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Re: Źilaa Ruńu

Post by Tuyono » 03 Jul 2019 11:00

DesEsseintes wrote:
03 Jul 2019 07:02
Using ĺ is brave. I tried it once (I wish I remembered what for... oh, I remember! It was for accented syllabic laterals in one of the earliest sketches of Limestone), but I couldn’t make it work. It works quite well alongside ź.

I like the word eeź and its relatives.

Looking forward to reading about the perfects.
Thank you! Now I'll have to actually post it, haha.
By the way, it's not a perfect but rather a perfective aspect (who came up with those terms and what were they thinking?! It's hard enough that my native language has neither of those things). In order to present it I'll have to actually sum up all those ugly tables in my notes into something readable, but the actual meaning of the perfective is pretty straightforward.

I use ĺ mostly because I can type it easily on my phone and I already had ś ź ń. The romanization doesn't appear anywhere except here and in my notes, since if I ever write a complete story in this world and publish it, it won't be in English. So whatever [:D]

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Re: Źilaa Ruńu

Post by Tuyono » 06 Jul 2019 00:49

The Perfective

Verb roots can only have one or two syllables. All monosyllabic roots end in a consonant (except the copula mi, which is a stative verb). Bisyllabic roots can end in a consonant or a short vowel , but not in a long vowel. Furthermore, none of them end in -i.This is important because the perfective form of each verb depends on the shape of the root.
Verbs (apart from stative verbs) can be divided into six conjugation classes according to their perfective forms
I'm not sure this is the right term. Does anyone have a better suggestion?

Classes 1&2 include all monosyllabic roots of the form (C(β))VC. There is no predictable rule telling if a verb belongs in Class 1 or in Class 2, (although roots ending in one of c j ś ź ń ńj ĺ are usually in class 2), so people learning Źilaa Ruńu have to memorize this information. On the other hand, Classes 3-6 are completely regular.

Class 1 - nand 'give'
1sg. nandvii
1pl. nandvaan
2sg. nandule
2pl. nanduis
3sg. nanduhe
3pl. nandvaa
3inan. nanduru

Class 2 - caś 'ascend'
1sg. caśii
1pl. caśian
2sg. caśile
2pl. caśiis
3sg. caśihe
3pl. caśia
3inan. caśiru

Class 3 includes bisyllabic roots ending in -u.

bieku 'fight'
1sg. biekuvii
1pl. biekuvaan
2sg. biekuule
2pl. biekuis
3sg. biekuuhe
3pl. biekuvaa
3inan. biekuuru

Class 4 includes bisyllabic roots ending in -a. In the perfective this vowel changes to -u before suffixes are added, and therefore the resaults look identical to the former class.

nisba 'burn'
1sg. nisbuvii
1pl. nisbuvaan
2sg. nisbuule
2pl. nisbuis
3sg. nisbuuhe
3pl. nisbuuhe
3inan. nisbuuru

Class 5 includes bisyllabic roots ending in -e (which are very rare). In the perfective this vowel changes to -i.

ngamre 'meet'
1sg. ngamrii
1pl. ngamrian
2sg. ngamriile
2pl. ngamriis
3sg. ngamriihe
3pl. ngamria
3inan. ngamriiru

Class 6 includes all bisyllabic roots ending in a consonant. This one is just boring - it has the exact same suffixes as Class 2.

kuĺit 'break (something)'
1sg. kuĺitii
1pl. kuĺitian
2sg. kuĺitile
2pl. kuĺitiis
3sg. kuĺitihe
3pl. kuĺitia
3inan. kuĺitiru

And now for some sentences:

caśan tivaanga nde banar cii mbasvii.
caś-an tivaang-a nde ban-ar cii mbas-vii
ascend-IPF.1PL fast-INAN.OBL to hill-OBL and fall-PFV.1SG
We were going quickly up the hill and I fell down.

tambar vara, deźihe tana seegu al.
tamb-ar var-a deź-ihe tana seegu al
day-OBL PRX-INAN.OBL go.from-PFV.3SG mother.NOM 3SG.HU.OBL here
Today his mother went away.

uĺapiu eluźi ei bendanihe keĺas
uĺap-iu eluź-i ei bendan-ihe keĺas huun
seek-IPF.1SG girl-ACC REL steal-IPF.3SG boat.NOM 1SG.OBL
I'm lookimg for the girl who stole my boat.

uvi śalule?
uvi śal-ule
what say-PFV.2SG
What did you say?

All the example so far are translated as the past tense, which leads to...

The future tense is marked by the prefix is- which can combine with both the perfective and the imperfective aspects, but not with the habitual.

tambar vara, izdeźihe tana seegu al.
tamb-ar var-a is-deź-ihe tana seegu al
day-OBL PRX-INAN.OBL FUT-go.from-PFV.3SG mother.NOM 3SG.HU.OBL here
Today his mother will go away.

uvi iśalule nde seegar?
uvi is-śal-ule nde seegar
what FUT-say-PFV.2SG to 3PL.HU.OBL
What will you say to them?

isrihagiu dveniś kemb leen - nalis nguha isuduhihe muńeb, śaleve nde huun.
is-rihag-iu dveniś kemb leen - na-lis nguha is-uduh-ihe muńeb, śal-eve nde huun.
FUT-sew-IPF.1SG fishing.net behind house.OBL |VN-be COMP FUT-return-PFV.3SG NAME say-IMP.2PL to 1SG.OBL
I'll be sewing fishing nets behind the house - in case Muńeb returns, tell me.

ute, isliidii neeku ceeĺi, tian maz caĺem isiatiu uha vari.
ute, is-liide-ii ne-eku ceeĺi, tian maz caĺem is-iat-iu uha var-i
yes FUT-help-PFV.1SG one-ADV 2SG.ACC but NEG always FUT-do-IPF.1SG thing PRX-INAN.ACC
Yes, I'll help you this once, but I won't always be doing this.

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Re: Źilaa Ruńu

Post by Tuyono » 23 Aug 2019 15:49

I've neglected this thread for a while, so here's some stuff I created long ago but never presented before (because my notes were too messy!)

Stative verbs in Źilaa Ruńu are verbs that do not describe any event or change. They are a small class, but some of them are very common.
They include copulas like mi (be), źeer (stay, remain) and ucer (be absent), discussed in the next section. Others describe, well, states, especially experiences and feelings, such as taguś (be hungry) and nilac (be happy), as well as locations and positions: ngeb (dwell, live somewhere), aśee (be scattered) and kumu (be stuck).

Stative verbs take the same person/number suffixes as imperfective active verbs, but they do not have the inflectional distinction between perfective and imperfective. They also lack a distinct form for the habitual aspect. As a resault, past tense is even less obvious than in other verbs.

He is/was afraid.

apunru imbu vari.
matter-3.INAN place.NOM this-INAN.NOM
This palce is/was important.

liukia siv eńjuur tian maz teba caśmai.
(come.to-3PL.PFV near mountain-OBL but) NEG be.able-3PL ascend-INF
They came near the mountain but they could not go up.

Future tense, however, is marked with the prefix is- just like in other verbs:

izjelan vai ĺemahasar.
is-jel-an vai ĺemahas-ar
FUT-wait-1PL until summer-OBL
We will wait until summer.

iźeera keĺas ehasi cia meigan.
is-źeer-a keĺas ehas-i cia meig-an
FUT-stay-3PL boat all-INAN.NOM in harbour-OBL
All the boats will stay in the harbour.
There are waaayyy too many examples about boats, I know

Stative verbs can be turned into active/dynamic ones with the Incohative prefix cen- (non-future) and iśen- (future).
The resaulting form describes a change of state, or something becoming something else.
Incohative verbs always take the -i Perfective endings and have no Imperfective forms. Unless I decide I need those for some reason :P

She died.

cengebia cia kimeezar ndiisa eeźa.
cen-ngeb-ia cia kimeez-ar ndiis-a eeź-a
INC-dwell-PFV.3PL in valley-OBL beautiful-INAN.OBL that-INAN.OBL
They settled in that beautiful valley.

I will get angry.

Both stative and incohative verbs are always intransitive (at least so far).

Copula Constructions

The basic copula mi is used for identity (X is Y) and with adjectives. It has a slightly irregular paradigm:

Stative Non-Future - mi
Stative Future - izni
Incohative Non-Future - ceni
Incohavive Future - śeni

miu daĺuna.
be-1.SG [NAME]
I am Daĺuna.

mia suunaa.
mi-a suunu-a
be-3PL smart-PL
They are/were smart.

izmian ihiiźda ĺeesar.
is-mi-an ihiiź-da ĺeesar
FUT-be-1PL friend-PL.NOM 2PL.OBL
We will be your friends.

When expressing identity between nouns, the copula complement always appears directly after mi. The subject (if it is a noun and not just a pronoun marked on the verb) normally comes after the whole predicate. This order cannot be inverted without changing the meaning (unlike in some transitive sentences), since both the subject and complement are in the Nominative case:

mi cesu siaś.
be.3.SG bird.NOM heron.NOM
The heron is a bird.

mi siaś cesu.
be.3.SG heron.NOM bird.NOM
The bird is a heron.

mig eluź ivas ceeĺu.
be-3SG girl.NOM daughter.NOM 2SG.OBL
Your daughter is a girl.

mig ivas ceeĺu eluź.
be-3SG daughter.NOM 2SG.OBL girl.NOM
The girl is your daughter.

mig sańe ihiiź jaav seegu.
be-3SG tall.SG.NOM friend.NOM new.SG.NOM 3SG.OBL
His new friend is tall.

However, the subject can be put before the copula for focus:

ĺeśta seegu mia eluźda kia.
ĺeś-ta seegu mi-a eluź-da kui-a
sister-PL.NOM 3.SG.OBL be-3PL girl-PL.NOM small-PL.NOM
Her sisters are little girls.

The Incohative form of the copula is used to describe a change of state or identity:

ceniiru ńjeis muive.
INC-be-PFV.3.INAN town.NOM village.NOM
The village turned into a town.

śeniiru keli kusan.
The soup will get cold.

...cii timaj ceniihe nuhad ruńu.
and [NAME] INC.be-PFV.3SG ruler.NOM ruń-OBL
… and Timaj became the queen of Ruń.

The verb lis is used for location, predicative posession, etc.

lisru huun keĺas.
be.at-3.INAN 1.SG.OBL boat.NOM
I have/had a boat.

liseg al.
be.at-3SG here
She is/was here.

lis can have an exsistential meaning (There is X), but it is not always distinct. For example:

lisa cesuta ji śandar.
be.at-3PL bird-PL.NOM on tree-OBL
The birds are on the tree or There are birds on the tree.

Here the meaning depends on the context (whether the birds have been mentioned before, or the speaker is pointing to the tree, and so on). Fronting the subject makes the first meaning clear:

cesuta lisa ji śandar.
bird-PL.NOM be.at-3PL on tree-OBL
The birds, (they) are on the tree.


Basic sentences are negated by placing the particle maz before the verb:

maz miru ńjani leen.
NEG be-3.INAN big-NOM.INAN house.NOM
The house is not big.

maz izdeźan.
We will not be leaving.

maz mbambasru al tikaicez.
NEG HAB~fall-3.INAN here DIM-ice.NOM
It doesn't snow here.

The stative verb ucer can inidicate the absence of something that was wanted, supposed, or expected to be present:

uceru śezru ji ndusar vara.
be.absent-3.INAN flower.NOM on field-INAN.OBL this-INAN.OBL
There are no flowers in this field.

uceru pehin huun.
be.absent-3.INAN money.NOM 1SG.OBL
I have no money.

Here the negative particle together with the existential copula lis can replace ucer without greatly changing the meaning:

maz lisru pehin huun.
NEG exist-3.INAN money 1SG.OBL
I have no money.

However,this is not always the case - maz lis cannot have specific/definite subjects unless it's used to mean "exist":

liseg siv ndaaru.
be.at-3SG near 1PL.OBL
She is next to us.

ucereg eeźan.
be.absent-3SG there
She is not there.

But not:
*maz liseg eeźan
NEG be.LOC.IPF-3SG there
*She does not exist there

maz liseg mija eeź.
NEG exist-3SG animal.NOM that.SG.NOM
There's no such animal. (lit. 'that animal doesn't exist')

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