Conlang: Ori (relative clauses)

A bit ago I introduced some interrogative, indefinite, and negative pronouns for Ori. Related to these forms are relative pronouns, which are used to create relative clauses.

In Ori, relative clauses are head-initial, despite the generally left-branching (head-final) nature of Ori. This means that the head of the relative clause (the main noun) is placed before the relative clause (as it is done in French or English, for example).

The relative pronouns are basically all formed from verions of the interrogative pronouns, but with an additional suffix of -a at the end of the word.

nalar – ‘who?’ –> nalara ‘who’ (rel.)

nabel – ‘what?’ –> nabela ‘which, that’

nanye – ‘where?’ –> nanya ‘where’ (rel.)

nasya – ‘why?’ –> nasya ‘for which reason’ (rel.)

natin – ‘how?’ –> natina ‘in which way’ (rel.)

nalin – ‘when?’ –> nalina ‘when’ (rel.)

The trisyllable forms of the relative pronouns (nalara, nabela, natina, and nalina) also have short forms that are used more commonly in eveyday speech.

nalara –> na-

nabela –> naba-

natina –> nata-

nalina –> nana-

~

Relative pronouns take the same case that the shared noun uses in the embedded clause. In the below sentence,

Tu-hema-s na-s tet lyen-besorpa-tan nimas rya

def.art-woman-nom who-nom makes def.art-clay.pots-acc mother-nom be

‘The woman who makes the clay pots is a mother’

Lye-besorpa-s naba-t elucu-m cyan truma-s rya.

def.art-clay.pot-acc which-acc choose-1sg pst.perf red-nom be

‘The clay pot that I chose is red’

nanya, nasya, nalina/nana are all often used without a case marker at all.

Ti-trente-cya nanya ti-hiluma-pya peli-t cyan culim-bru alinda.

def.art-temple-loc where def.art-priestess-acc find-2sg pst.perf travel-1pl tomorrow

‘Tomorrow we will travel to the temple where you found the priestess’

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