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Question Words and Demonstratives
Jarhoni ki Naškušni Orpe
"Nu- ... E-" Pairs
Rhean question words come in two types: those that start with ku- and those that start with č-. I've divided these as "question pronouns" and "question adverbs", but that's not entirely accurate -- most of the pronoun kind function as adverbs. The difference is that the ku- words have matching relative pronouns ("that which..." "the one who..." "the way that..." etc) and also "this/that" forms, while the č- words have no such forms.
The ku- words ask "what place?" "what person" "what amount" etc. Some of these decline as nouns, and some don't. The declining ku- words are:
|kui||what||kui has an irregular genitive kura "of/from what". Kud is almost never seen in the nominative, but instead as kudom "(at) where", kuda "from where", or kudu "to where". Kuč is more like "what direction" or "which way" and so it appears as kuča or kuču (but kučom is not unheard of).|
What are you staring at?
żKure yai manclad torioš?
who my wallet(-ACC) take-3SG:PAST
Who took my wallet?
Where do you live?
żEya klamwa kra kuča kura?
that noise from where-GEN come-3SG
Where is that noise coming from?
The ku- words that do not decline are:
|kuya||which..., what...||kuya is used
before nouns like an adjective.
kunie and kubie are both adverbs.
Even though some of the ku- words are grammatically adverbs, those are still counted with the pronouns. There are only three question adverbs:
|ču||("whether"; forms a yes/no question)|
żČorod sreru yurirti?
when bed-DAT go-2SG:FUT ?
When are you going to bed?
żČaze fratas dlovu nelioš?
why your:brother monk-DAT become-3SG:PAST ?
Why did your brother become a monk?
żČu kvicop ftukioš?
QU package arrive-3SG:PAST ?
Did the package arrive?
All of the question words have non-question forms. The question pronouns have both relative and demonstrative forms, and the question adverbs become adverbs that form conditional clauses.
Relative pronouns are found in phrases like "the one that..." or "the person who..." or "the place where...". In Rhean, these are formed by taking the ku- off the question form and replacing it with nu-. Like the ku- forms, some of these decline and some do not. These can be used as a modifier after a noun as in English:
otoǩ nure nap miǩinadom ravowa
man who by machinery-INST work-3SG
a man who works with machinery
micen nudom kujor strečiom
shop where-INST girlfriend(-ACC) meet-1SG:PAST
the shop where I met my girlfriend
afto nuin zorižait
car that-ACC steal-2SG:PAST
the car that you stole
Or they can stand on their own:
nuin kina miriom
what-ACC yesterday see-1SG:PAST
what I saw yesterday
nudu praniiri yuramu
where-DAT every-day go-1PL
(the place) where we go every day
But these structures are found more often in written Rhean than in the spoken language. It is more common to use the verb suffix -na which turns the whole clause into a modifier.
nuin küpiomna üžovukro
that-ACC buy-1SG:PAST-REL canoe
the canoe (that) I bought
so nurem Mezüzemir raizišna glernoki
with whom-INST president travel-3SG-REL bodyguards
the bodyguards with whom the president travels
the bodyguards the president travels with
This -na structure is explained further in the section on relative clauses.
Replacing the č- of the question adverbs with d- forms the conditional adverbs:
* du was the original word for "if", but later came to be used for ambiguous if/when-type conditionals. Now it is used for "(the fact) that...", a usage which has nothing to do with conditional clauses. The word that replaced du for "if" is adis, a borrowing from Omurax.
when I wake up
daze yeleč čeraz amöz anaše
because before night rain exist:3SG:PAST
because it rained the night before
adis adin pšoktom bile limu kurat...
if one step-INST even close-DAT come-2SG
if you come even one step closer...
These conditional clauses usually come before the main clause in a sentence, and are closed with a particle ba:
Adis adin pšoktom bile limu kurat ba voptirmi že!
if one step-INST even close-DAT come-2SG COND shoot-1SG:FUT EMPH !
If you come even one step closer, I'll shoot!
These clauses can also come after the main verb. There are more details about this structure in the section on conditional clauses.
The ku- words correspond to some demonstrative "this/that" forms. In Rhean, as in English, there are two levels: a "this" level and a "that" level.
|kure||who?||tore||this person||ere||that person|
|kuč||where?||toč||this way||eč||that way|
Tore Kizi če.
this:person Kizi be:3SG
This is Kizi.
żEr miriot anče?
that(-ACC) see-2SG:PAST exist-3SG:PAST
Have you ever seen that before?
Toču kura! Todom surnyet!
this:way-DAT come-3SG ! here-INST hide:self-2SG:IMP
(He) is coming this way! Hide here!
|kuya||which, what ...?||toya||this/these ...||eya||that/those ...|
|kunie||how?||tonie||like this||enie||like that|
|kubie||how much?||tobie||this much||ebie||that much|
Notice that toya and eya are adjectives and do not have separate plural forms:
The question words and their non-question forms can take the prefixes pai- "every", dir- "some/any" and mu- "no".
Paikudom šula anče!
everywhere-INST water exist:3SG
There's water everywhere!
Dirkure cumzhernok fugir fogaiš.
someone fridge(-ACC) open leave-3SG:PAST
Someone left the fridge open.
I never smoke.
żYarilyan dirkui anče?
cheaper something exist:3SG
Do you have anything cheaper?
The non-question forms retain their relative or conditional function when prefixed this way:
Paidorod u eya güüjukhazu yuramu ba, skijie tafam.
every-when to that restaurant-DAT go-1PL COND , too:much-ADV eat-1SG
Every time we go to that restaurant, I eat too much.
Yai maruin wodišna dirnure šinir že.
my things-ACC touch-3SG-REL any-who die-3SG:FUT EMPH
Anyone who touches my stuff is going to die.
"Nu- ... E-" Pairs
Tümi e "Nu- ... E-"
A common device in Rhean is the "nu- ... e-" pair. In this construction, the e- word refers to the same thing that is described by the nu- word: "as X is, so Y is" or "what X does, so Y does".
Nudom sis, edom ǧuf.
where-INST smoke , there-INST fire
Where there's smoke, there's fire.
Nuin kunim, er tafam
what-ACC like-1SG , that(-ACC) eat-1SG
I eat what I like.
Nubie yašu neliš, usa tukuak ebie ardut neliš.
as-much-as cold-DAT become-3SG , morning rise-INF that-much difficult-DAT become-3SG
The colder it gets, the harder it is to get up in the morning.
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