Řotsnan

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Řotsnan is the official language of Řots and a minority language in Karvaland. Spoken Řotsnan is essentially a collection of dialects, most of which sound very similar to each other and speakers from different dialects can understand each other without much difficulty. A small number of dialects (including probably the Řotsnan that is spoken by the country's nobility) are harder to understand for the majority of speakers. A unified written standard was introduced in 3417 (1941).

Řotsnan belongs to the Varosian language group. Related to it are Irnan and Vařenan; these are classified as separate languages, which share however many common features with Řotsnan. Both languages face extinction: Irnan has between 200 and 500 speakers, Vařenan less than 50.

Phonology

Consonants

labio-dental alveolar velar glottal
nasal m (m) n (n)
voiceless stop p (p) t (t) k (k)
voiced stop b (b) d (d) g (g)
voiceless fricative f (f) s (s)
voiced fricative v (v) z (z)
approximant ɹ (ř) h (h)
trill r (r)
lateral approximant l (l)

The spelling is indicated between brackets. Note that

  • f and h occur only rarely.
  • In some variants of Řotsnan the labio-dental sounds are pronounced as labials and the alveolars as dentals.
  • In some variants of Řotsnan l is pronounced /ʋ/ before nasals, stops and fricatives.
  • ř is pronounced as /ʋ/ after l and r and before a vowel; before l and r, and āř are pronounced as /au̯/, and as /øu̯/, ēř, īř and as /eu̯/, and and ōř as /əu̯/; in many variants of Řotsnan, the following l is not pronounced in this combination.

Vowels

Řotsnan has the following vowel sounds, which are generally written as shown between brackets: /ɑ/ (a); /ä/ (ā); /ɛ/ (e); /ei̯/ (ee); /ɪ/ (i); /i/ (ē); /o/ (o); /ɵ/ (u); /jɵ/ (ī); and /u/ (ō). Note however that (ā) is pronounced as /a/, (ē) as /e/ and (ī) as /i) before l, m, n, r and also before ř when the latter is followed by another vowel or a consonant that is not l or r (see above).

Morphology

Nouns and adjectives

Main article: Řotsnan nouns and adjectives

There is no grammatical gender in Řotsnan, although nouns referring to inanimated objects or abstracts don't appear in the ergative case. Natural differences in gender (masculine, feminine) are expressed by adjectives and adverbs. Furthermore, Řotsnan doesn't distinguish singular and plural. There are however eight cases: the absolutive (which is used as the object in transitive clauses, and as the subject in intransitive clauses), the ergative (which is used as the subject in intransitive causes), the genitive/partitive (which indicates possession, that something is part of a whole, etc.), the ablative (origin; 'from where?'), allative (destination; 'to where?'), locative (location; 'where?'), instrumental (means; 'using what?'), and essive (status; 'as what?').

There are several declensions. Nouns generally end either in short vowels, in voiceless stops, in -ts, or in -l, -m, -n, -r, or -ř. Nouns have two stems: the absolutive-stem and the genitive-stem. The ablative, allative, locative and instrumental cases are derived from the first, the ergative and the essive from the second. For most nouns, this can be done regularly, but there are several examples of irregularity as well.

Nouns and adjectives are declined alike.

Pronouns

Personal pronouns are very rare in Řotsnan. They are not used as the subject of a verb and, like other nouns, there aren't any plural forms. There aren't any third person forms; for 'he', 'she' and 'it' referring to unknown persons and objects or referring to persons and objects that already have been introduced, the words for 'man' (kome), 'woman' (man) and 'thing' (řin) are used.

The main forms are pa (I), gom (you, singular familiar), and āgom (you, singular polite). To express plural (we, you (plural)), combinations like 'I and you', 'I and many', 'you and you', 'you and many', etc. are used.

Demonstratives are formed by adding -(u)nit (this, these) to the absolutive case of a noun (-it when it ends in an n), or -(u)nta (that, those; -ta when it ends in an n). Adjectives can only have these suffixes when they are used as nouns (kaner, 'blind'; kanerrit 'the/this blind (man)'; kaneřta 'that blind (man)').

Interrogatives (who, what, which) are formed similarly by adding -(e)moř to the absolutive case of a noun (- when it already ends in an -m). Words starting with a consonant reduplicate that first consonant (kome, 'man'; komenit, 'this man'; komenta, 'that man'; kukomemoř?, 'which man?'; erken, 'daughter'; erkenit, 'this daughter'; erkenta, 'that daughter; erkemoř?, 'which daughter?').

Relative pronouns are often omitted when the present participle can be used as the main verb in the subordinated clause; in other situations the regularly declined pronoun nit (who, that, which) can be used. When it appears in the ergative case after the verb (see the chapter about Syntax), the subordinated clause is introduced with the ‘echo’ pronoun ni ….

Numerals

Řotsnan uses a duodecimal system.

1. tāp; 2. ep; 3. tek; 4. nola; 5. ot; 6. řebi; 7. řes; 8. pem; 9. tāzeř; 10. tīr; 11. do; 12. ēn
13. ēnkentāp; 14. ēnkenep; 15. ēnkentek; 16. ēnkennola; 17. ēnkenot; 18. ēnkenřebi; 19. ēnkenřes; 20. ēnkenpem; 21. ēnkentāzeř; 22. ēnkentīr; 23. ēnkendo; 24. budēn
25. budēnkentāp; 26. budēnkenep; etc.
36. tegēn; 48. nulēn; 60. odēn; 72. řēbīn; 84. řēts; 96. pēp; 108. tasta; 120. trita; 132. dupta; 144. kosti

Verbs

Main article: Řotsnan verbs

Řotsnan verbs have three stems, the second and the third of which are identical but in the long vowel stem conjugation. From the first stem, the present tense (except the inanimate/indefinite third person), the imperative and the present participle are derived. The second stem is used for the preterite, the gerund and the past participle. The third stem serves to create the future tense and the inanimate/indefinite third person of the present tense. The third tense is usually used to derive the other two tenses and is also the form for which to look in dictionaries.

Syntax

Řotsnan can be considered a passive language: the grammatical subject of the verb is always in the absolutive, which can be translated as either the subject of intransitive verbs or the (indirect) object of transitive verbs. As an example the intransitive verb vars (to sleep) and the transitive verb tāts (to bite):

  • pa vārzep 'I sleep'
  • gom vārza 'you sleep'
  • kome vārzen 'the man sleeps'
  • pa tantep brīsuni 'the dog bites me' / 'I am bitten by the dog'
  • gom tanta brīsuni 'the dog bites you' / 'you are bitten by the dog'
  • kome tanten brīsuni 'the dog bites the man' / 'the man is bitten by the dog'
  • brīts tanten uni 'I bite the dog' / 'the dog is bitten by me'
  • brīts tanten guni 'you bite the dog' / 'the dog is bitten by you'
  • brīts tanten komēni 'the man bites the dog' / 'the dog is bitten by the man'

Vocabulary

Country names

Main article: Country names in Řotsnan

Geographic names

Main article: Geographic names in Řotsnan

Text examples

Independent phrases

Organ bozulenē řenderin māni askan sīsusē uvařtē.
windowABS always be-closedPRES-3-INANIM womanERG before eatingLOC eveningLOC
She always closes the window before she dines.

Monti Pāton Ken Broken Dirt (fragment)

1 BERĒ – SĀRĀV DAKARĀZUDĒ – SĪRT

Veeř. Tesemēk antenē veeřunit merdēsin. Epartīts
Otur, vōkēts barmāda. DERPEERGER “Eeluntē ēn 557”
Zo tesemokēr antēgir prosīsē tereklip antekin uni.
Řin resin gorbāt an lākut. Řastē ARVUR URAT rasen, urat teserten BĀRGOMĒNI, ep kōkonadu tovu vekin tāp met mēmēts. Karbi sakēn ARVUNI.

ARVUR Lēk ta!
PESEDER Pāpot! Kukomemoř iden lēk?
ARVUR Pa āřp Arvur Uvē Pendragē pige Kamelodu dakarāsēr. Britēlē urat, Saksē kostiveeger, Eelundulē sovren!
Pāpots.
PESEDER Ordī!
ARVUR Pa āřp… ken kome Patsi u bārgome veenta. Prusu gorīts ken ārapīts karabin uni kordu avořusēts, u starmik Kamelēt kanserresin kortuniduni… verp āgu tsārřōnēri ken bastordēri perēn uni.
PESEDER Ordamořēri? Karabin trāp?
ARVUR Pan!
PESEDER Kōkonat lātin guni!
ARVUR ... Ordamořēri?
PESEDER Ep tovīsu bakadu kōkonadu breřin guni ken řin vekin guni tāp met mēmēts.
ARVUR Vast? Pa karabu leřdeř prusunit veřtsebin silgu sanduni, korten Mersī uraprusē.
PESEDER Lulokomořēr kōkonat sorubin guni?
ARVUR Korten … Řin akobēbin uni.
PESEDER Řin akobēbin guni? Mērs? Kōkonat erēn tropoda!
ARVUR Řuřinemoř opolān guni?
PESEDER Tok, zōnit erēn surkeř.
ARVUR Teřep erots kaltori kunin sekereduni, er pruts dugusugi ken dermen avořin buni er radezuni, vāk tiřpunit bāřen beřts u prusē.
PESEDER Kōkonat lokomēnter hartalāsin guni?
ARVUR Bellen. Řin peřrēm ganēt an.
PESEDER Ordamořēri? Kōkonat peřrēm sekereduni?
ARVUR Stik mes krosēts řī kunin tiřbuni…
PESEDER Kospen berēn, lulokomořē řin stikin tiřbuni, avap sak tomerā erēn… Ēlveni kōkonadu nī pem īrpedu bekunin tiřbuni nī tek īrpedu.
ARVUR Tok, begertevīn. Ī ken sarpaktet gu bastortēts, te Arvur starmigu Kamelodu lokonīt.
Pāpots bart. Veeř teřēber. Epartīts.
PESEDER Antēk! Tanterusēts břokīsu vek teřbezu tekkosti-odēnkentāp bannē overān sekereduni tesemogulenē. Selt?
ARVUR Stok gāts parpakin!
PESEDER Erēn selt?
ARVUR Puts bosuřun.
PESEDER 2Ř Řin peřrēm ganēt an sekereduni Ārikādāni!
PESEDER 1Ř Ā pan! Otur sekereduni Ārikādāni… ap bek sekereduni Arōpādāni; talāts řī bessin uni.
PESEDER 2Ř Ā pan, řinēri pa tāpāřp…
ARVUR Gu bastort kospenen guni, rara kanserres kordu Kamelodu bessin komēni?!
PESEDER 1Ř Ap rēvē sekeret Ārikāda belokomēnten.
PESEDER 2Ř Ā pan.
Ni sakēn kařots ken ots blařvēn PATSITS ARVUNI. Dunten ken lērben veeřēts.
PESEDER 1Ř Vast vrot kōkonadu vāgen kunin tiřbuni.
PESEDER 2Ř Sulk eterīt an! Stok řin peřrēm nīn ep sekeredu vozut an?
PESEDER 1Ř Bee, řastē peřrem řī tormēri pibin sekereduni.
Lērbīts. Epartīts bakēt an.