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knrawìguaa, "Knrawi language" in the Wacag script
Created byDillon Hartwig
Native toKnrawi Isles
Era-2000 to -900 MT
Official status
Official language in
Knrawi Empire
Range map of Knrawi (pink) and Soc'ul' (green), c. -1200 MT
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Knrawi /kənˈrɑwi/ (standard Knrawi: [k̠n̩˥ɹɔʍɛ]) is a language spoken across the Knrawi Empire, with moderate influence from Soc'ul' and other languages of the Knrawi Isles. It is most likely related to the rest of the central Pre-Knrawi languages, but if so their common ancestor is too distant to reconstruct.


Knrawi is autonym of both the language and the Knrawi ethnic group. Its further etymology is not known.


Knrawi is written with the Wacag logography. Its romanization is as follows (using Standard Knrawi phonetic values).

Knrawi Romanization
a c ch cj e f fh fj
/a/ /k̟/ /k̟ʰ/ /k̟ˣ/ [ə] [ɸ] [ɸʰ] [ɸˣ]
g h i j k kh kj m
/ŋ/ /h/ /ɪ/ /x̠/ /k̠/ /k̠ʰ/ /k̠ˣ/ /m/, [mʷ]
n p ph pj q qh qj r
/n/ [p] [pʰ] [pˣ] /kʷ/ /kʷʰ/ /kʷˣ/ /ɹ/
s sh sj t th tj u v
/x̟/ /x̟ʰ/ /x̟ˣ/ /t/ /tʰ/ /tˣ/ /ʊ/ [β̞]
w y z zh zj á à â
/ʍ/ /ɉ/ /θ/ /θʰ/ /θˣ/ /a˥/ /a˩/ /a˥˩/

High tone in unmarked on a word's first vowel.


For notable regional phonologies see also Knrawi IPA guides.


Labial Alveolar Prevelar Postvelar Labialized velar Glottal
Nasal m () () n () (ŋ̟) ŋ (ŋ̠) (ŋʷ)
Stop Plain (p) t
Aspirated () (pˣ) k̟ʰ k̟ˣ k̠ʰ k̠ˣ kʷʰ kʷˣ
Fricative Plain (ɸ) (β) θ (ð) (ʒ)
Aspirated (ɸʰ) (ɸˣ) θʰ θˣ x̟ʰ x̟ˣ h
Approximant (β̞) ɹ (j) ɉ (w) ʍ (ʔ̞)
  • All sonorants can be syllabic.
    • Syllabic [β̞] and /ɉ/ are fricated in most regions and in standard and Royal Knrawi.
    • In some regions and in standard (but not Royal) Knrawi all sonorants are syllabified before consonants or word boundaries except before syllabic vowels/consonants.
  • Alveolar consonants become bilabial adjacent to /m/, /ʊ/, and labialized consonants.
    • /n/ becomes what is notated here as [mʷ], but is merged into [m] in most regions and in standard Knrawi.
  • In most regions /k̟ˣ/ and /x̟ˣ/ are realized as [t͡ʃˣ] and [ʃˣ].
  • In most regions and standard (but not Royal) Knrawi /ŋ/ assimilates to following velar consonants, and /n/ assimilates to following dental and postalveolar consonants.
  • In standard Knrawi both also assimilate to preceding consonants.
  • /ɪ/, /ʊ/, and /a/ are realized as [j], [w], and [ʔ̞] postvocalically.
    • In some regions this also applies across word boundaries.
  • The conditions for approximants (not including non-syllabic vowels) being fortified to fricatives varies by region.
    • In standard Knrawi they are fortified on word boundaries and after nonsyllabic vowels.
    • In Royal Knrawi fortition does not occur except in syllabic [β̞] and /ɉ/ which are realized as [β̍] and [ɣ̍].
  • [β̞] and [w] (but not [β]) are merged in most regions and in standard (but not Royal) Knrawi.
    • In standard Knrawi the merged value is [w].
  • In some regions,
    • Bilabial fricatives are realized as labiodental.
    • Alveolar consonants are realized as dental or vice versa.
    • Prevelar stops and fricatives (or only aspirated ones) are realized as postalveolar affricates and fricatives.
      • In fewer of these regions /ŋ/ assimilates to following postalveolar consonants as [n̠], merging with /n/.
    • Prevelar stops and fricatives are realized as velar before other prevelar consonants, and postalveolar affricates and fricatives otherwise.
    • Prevelar and postvelar consonants are realized as palatal and velar, postalveolar (as above) and velar, or velar and uvular.
      • Royal Knrawi realizes prevelar and postvelar consonants as velar and uvular.
    • [j] and [ɉ] are merged.
    • /m/ and [mʷ] are realized as [ŋʷ] and [m]; this is the realization in Royal Knrawi.
    • non-labial /ɹ/ is realized as [l] or [r].
    • /ʍ/ is realized as [xʷ], [hʷ], [ɸʷ], [w], or others.
    • [h] is realized as [ɦ] or [∅].
    • [ʔ̞] is realized as [ʔ], [ɦ], or [∅].
    • Geminated sonorants are glottalized, generally with creaky voice.


Front Central Back
High ɪ ʊ
Mid (ə)
Low mid (ɛ) (ɔ)
Low a
  • [ɛ] and [ɔ] are unstressed allophones of /ɪ/ or /a/ and /ʊ/ or /a/ respectively.
    • The conditions in which unstressed /a/ becomes [ɛ] or [ɔ] varies by region.
      • In standard Knrawi [ɛ] is the realization adjacent to coronal and glottal consonants or when the previous vowel is [ɔ], and [ɔ] is the realization otherwise.
      • In Royal Knrawi unstressed /a/ is instead realized as [ə] in all environments.
  • /ɪ/, /ʊ/, and /a/ are realized as [j], [w], and [ʔ̞] postvocalically.
    • In most regions and in standard and Royal Knrawi this does not apply after syllabic consonants.
    • In some regions this also applies across word boundaries.
  • Epenthetic [ə] is placed between
    • voiceless consonants and /h/ or /x̠/ (except /hh/ and /x̠x̠/).
      • In standard Knrawi an exception is /hx̠/ and /x̠h/ clusters.
    • aspirated consonants and non-nasal consonants.
    • C₁CC₁, #CC₁, and C₁C# clusters with the C₁ being less sonorous than C (unless is syllabic).
      • Roots with only epenthetic vowels can only have high lexical tone.
  • In some regions,
    • Unstressed /ɪ/ and /ʊ/ are realized as [e] and [o] (with /a/ still having [ɛ] and [ɔ] realizations).
    • Stressed /ɪ/ and /ʊ/ are realized as [i] and [u] or [ə] and [u].
    • [ɛ] and [ɔ] are realized as [e̞] and [o̞].

Pitch accent

High Low Falling
˥ ˩ ˥˩
  • Some regions also have a separate grammatical low falling tone and realize the falling tone as high falling, see Nouns and pronouns.
  • Roots with only epenthetic vowels can only have high lexical tone.

Only a word's stressed syllable bears tone; other syllables' pitch depends on intonation.

Lexical falling tone in native words is rare, but grammatical falling tone is more common.



Stress is root-final in native verbs, root-initial in native nouns, and variable in all other words but tending toward root-initial.

Most affixes shift stress by one syllable toward them, and due to this most words have mobile stress.


Declarative sentences generally have a falling pitch throughout, but volume and pitch range can be used for emphasis.

In questions the particle wuj and/or the demonstrative wi (and other relative/interrogative demonstratives) may also be emphasized with a sharp falling pitch followed by higher pitch in the following word.


Syllables are generally mora-timed, with syllables before non-syllabic vowels having two morae; in some recitation traditions, stressed syllables have one extra mora.


Syllables are at most (C(C₁))V((C₁)C), with C₁ being more sonorous than the adjacent consonant and syllabic consonants functioning as V.

Clusters with syllabic consonants are as onset-heavy as possible unless a stress shift occurs; an exception is some regions in which two-sonorant clusters syllabify the first sonorant unless following a syllabic vowel/consonant.

In most regions (but not Royal Knrawi) syllabicity is lost next to vowels unless a stress shift occurs.



Knrawi has nominative-accusative morphosyntactic alignment. In some regions relative clauses have ergative-absolutive morphosyntactic alignment, and in some others some verbs (generally inherently passive or non-volitive verbs, but varying within these regions) always have ergative-absolutive morphosyntactic alignment; for both of these accusative and locative marking act as absolutive and ergative marking respectively, with true locatives being disambiguated by adpositions.

First and third person

First and third person are treated as the same category; where disambiguation is needed, an unstressed form of it "head" is used as a first-person marker after the relevant verb or possessive.


Compounding is frequent and very productive, but in most words is limited to two roots. Stress in ad hoc compounds shifts left from the last word's original stress, but in many older compounds is either initial or final as a non-compound word of the same part of speech, or have irregular stress.

In some regions productive compounds are not limited to two roots, instead either being limited to three or having no limit.

Nouns and pronouns

Nouns are marked for case, portion, and definiteness/number.

Noun affixes
NOM/DAT -g -ri
ACC zi-
LOC sg -g sr -ri
  • Sg and sr bear the same tone as their noun.
  • In some regions, sg and sr
    • Bear high stress when an adposition is present.
    • Are unused when an adposition is present.

As in Soc'ul', plurality and indefiniteness are treated as one category, and in words with modifiable tone it is marked with low tone.

The genitive case is affixed as if accusative, and in words with modifiable tone is marked with falling tone. This tone takes priority over lexical or grammatical low tone, except in some regions where the two (and/or combined lexical and grammatical falling tone) combine into a low falling tone.

All native proper nouns and most other proper nouns bear plural tone.


Pronouns do not exist independently (except see First and third person and Possession); the person of dropped nouns are instead only shown through verb agreement.

The demonstrative shir and relative/interrogative demonstrative wi can also be used as pronouns.


Possession is marked with the genitive case plus rn̂ and jîi following the possessed noun for first/third-person and second-person possessors respectively. These markers are optional with sufficient context.

In some regions rn̂ and jîi are instead high-tone rn and jii, or bear the possessor's tone; the Royal Knrawi forms are tone-assimilating.


Verbs agree in person with both agent and patient, and mark aspect and mood.

Verb inflections
1/3 >1/3 -ha hu
>2 -aj -j ju -j
2 >1/3 m- yi- hu
>2 sr- y- y- yu
  • Subjunctive mood is often also used for future marking.
  • Hu, ju, and yu bear the verb's tone.
  • Jussive and imperative hu precede and follow their verb respectively, and dative nouns must be placed between jussive hu and the verb.

In verbs with modifiable tone imperfective aspect is marked with falling tone; in some regions verbs with modifiable lexical low tone are instead marked with low falling tone.

Verbs are passivized with a preceding particle r which bears the verb's tone; in most regions and in standard Knrawi r precedes jussive hu, but in some regions and in Royal Knrawi directly precedes the verb, and in some regions passivization is instead marked with passive copulae.

Infinitive and relative verbs are marked with i-, iterative/durative verbs are marked with -qm (in some regions and in standard Knrawi directly after the verb root, and in other regions after other suffixes, and in Royal Knrawi instead a separated following particle qm), and abilitative and conditional verbs are marked with a preceding particle .

Questions are marked with a particle wuj at either the beginning or end (as in standard and Royal Knrawi) of the clause. See also Pronouns.


The copula su inflects as follows.

ACT 1/3 >1/3 su suh hus sûh hûs isu isuh ihus îsu îsuh îhus
>2 saj suj sjuj sâj sûj sjûj isaj isuj isjuj îsaj îsuj îsjuj
2 >1/3 ms yis suhú m̂s yîs suhû ims iis isúhu îms îis isûhu
>2 srs ys ysú sr̂s ŷs ysû isrs is isu îsrs îs îsu
PASS 1/3 >1/3 vùh hùv ràj vùj jvùj mv̀ yìr vuhù sr̀ yr̀ yvù
>2 vûh hûv râj vûj jvûj mv̂ yîr vuhû sr̂ yr̂ yvû
2 >1/3 rìu rìuh hùvi rìaj rìuj jrìuj mvì yìri riùhu srì yrì yrìu
>2 rîu rîuh hîuv rîaj rîuj jrîuj mvî yirî riûhu srî yrî yrîu
ITER/DUR ACT 1/3 >1/3 suq suqh husq saqj suqj sjuqj msq yisq suhúq srsq ysq ysúq
>2 sûq sûqh hûsq sâqj sûqj sjûqj m̂sq yîsq suhûq sr̂sq ŷsq ysûq
2 >1/3 isuq isuqh ihusq isaqj isuqj isjuqj imsq iisq isúhuq isrsq isq isuq
>2 îsuq îsuqh îhusq îsaqj îsuqj îsjuqj îmsq îisq îsûhuq îsrsq îsq îsuq
PASS 1/3 >1/3 vùq vùqh hùvq ràqj vùqj jvùqj mv̀q yìvq vuhùq sv̀q yv̀q yvùq
>2 vûq vûqh hûvq râqj vûqj jvûqj mv̂q yîvq vuhûq sv̂q yv̂q yvûq
2 >1/3 rìuq rìuqh huvìq rìaqj rìuqj jrìuqj mvìq yìriq riùhuq srìq yrìq yrìuq
>2 rîuq rîuqh huvîq rîaqj rîuqj jrîuqj mvîq yîriq riûhuq srîq yrîq yrîuq
  • In some regions,
    • The passive forms of the copula are instead high-tone.
    • The passive imperfective forms of the copula are instead low falling-tone.

Adpositions are often affixed to the copula, and "to have" and "to become" are formed by prefixing riq/vuq and suffixing khuy/jiyu respectively.

Serial verbs

Verbs are often serialized in non-formal speech, in which the verbs' agreement marking may or may not match. In most serial verbs the components are compounded when possible but retain their meaning when separated.

Aspect-mood marking and preceding particles are applied to the first verb in the serialization. Following particles are applied after either the first (as in most regions) or last verb (as in some regions and standard and Royal Knrawi).

Serialization is especially common when the first verb is an intransitive or sensory verb.

Adjectives and adverbs

Adjectives and adverbs do not take any marking, and are generally compounded with the word they modify when possible unless emphasized.

Adverbs are not their own class of words, but are derived from other parts of speech (see Part-of-speech modifiers).

Comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs are formed by placing the second compared word after with the preposition srai; in some regions khuy and jiyu (for first/third and second person respectively) are used in place of srai, either as a preposition or a postposition. See also (see Reduplication).


All locative adpositions are prepositions except sjer/nari "with"; sjer/nariand all lative adpositions are postpositions. Prepositions follow the locative particle (see Nouns and pronouns), and in most regions (but not in Royal Knrawi) riq/vuq "at" is only used for emphasis.

All unaffixed adpositions bear the tone of the word they modify, and adpositions can be affixed to verbs (see also Copula).

Most adpositions have suppletive forms for first/third- and second-person (when affixed to verbs, agreeing with the verb's patient), but in some regions the second-person forms are either unused outside of verbs or absent entirely.


Knrawi uses base-24 numerals.

1 2 3 4 5 6
qûat càvu shuga kaau fùch
7 8 9 10 11 12
m̀vis khain kàtiu huc chaua ycham
13 14 15 16 17 18
tìm quâpm cavùm shugám kaáum fuchm̀
19 20 21 22 23 24
mvìsm khaímm katìum hucḿ chaúam ychámm
25 48 576 13,824 331,776
ychámm hn tì qûat ychámm sûign suîgmm ychámm suîgmm

Number marking is optional when using numerals.


All negation is marked with hàr. Hàr cannot precede its clause's verb, so negated nouns and adjectives must be backed.

Prohibitive sentences instead use hàj.


Clauses are marked for evidence by verb affixes or clause-final particles which bear the verb's tone (or both in the case of i- az).

There are six non-reportative evidentials: visual witness i-, auditory witness ya-, nonvisual/auditory witness -g, certain inferred pwi, uncertain inferred su, and direct participation i- az. The dubitative particle muai (bearing the verb's tone) can also take the place of a clause's evidential.

Clauses with gnomic, imperative, and jussive verbs are unmarked.

Reportative evidentials

Reportative clauses are marked with -tj unless the source person is the speaker or listener, closely related to the speaker, divine (especially a god or god-king), or well-known by the speaker, where particles bearing the verb's tone are used.

Speaker and listener sources use tjaq and tjer respectively. Closely related source particles mark generation relative to the speaker: tjim for sources one or more generations younger, tjaa for sources of the same generation, pjugi for sources one generation older, and tjew for sources two or more generations older; divine sources also use tjew. Well-known, non-closely/directly related sources use pjuiu. In some regions pjuiu can also be used for sources well-known to the listener.

Derivational morphology

Part-of-speech modifiers

Nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs are derived with gu-, -kej, mau-, and -jr respectively.

Agentive nouns are derived either from gu- or guqa-; in some regions guqa- is instead a suffix -guqa.

Causative wai (bearing the modified word's tone) can be applied before any part of speech. It is also used with some verbs as a non-shifting prefix wai- to derive new meanings; in some regions wai- is used on all verbs instead of particle wai, and in some of those regions may be stress-shifting.


Most words (other than nouns and conjunctions, but including some particles) can be fully reduplicated after the word for augmented or intensified meaning. In verbs this can also mark a contrastive meaning, and in adjectives and adverbs it can also mark a comparative or superlative meaning when the thing being compared to is absent in the sentence.

The reduplicated word comes after any particles that would otherwise be directly after the word. Reduplicated verbs only mark agreement on the first verb, and in some regions reduplicated only have any marking of the first component.

Triplication is also used by some speakers for further augmentation/intensification, but this is not considered standard.


Constituent order

Word order is flexible with sufficient marking or context, but SOV order is most common in the western Knrawi Isles and VSO order is most common in the eastern Knrawi Isles.

Noun and verb phrases

All modifiers follow their head noun or verb if not affixed, except some particles. Generally numerators follow adjectives and possessors follow all other modifiers, but otherwise modifier order is flexible.

Dependent clauses

Dependent clauses follow the head they modify after all other dependents, and their head noun is often backed to the end of its clause.

Example texts

Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 1

Thaágg jua r yamúszaq hn r azjnázaq wuicsjḿjr hn r zauákejr. Gufḿqhvi hn guwúiri r̀ iaràm, quatîtg hu qakhúy sugkúkujr.























Thaag-g jua r yamús-zaq hn r azjna-zaq {wuícsjm}-jr hn r zauak-jr.

person-NOM all PASS free-bear and PASS equal-bear dignified-ADVZ and PASS own-ADVZ


















Gu-fmqh-ri hn gu-wui-ri r̀ iaràm, quatît-g hu qa-khuy sug-kuku-jr.

NZ-think-NOM.PTV and NZ-good-NOM.PTV PASS give RECP-NZ JUS.3>3 do-toward brother-way-ADVZ

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