From Linguifex
Jump to: navigation, search

Rangyayo or Rangyan (琅野語, /ɾaŋ.ja.jɔ/) is the native language of the Rangyan people and an official language of the Kingdom of Rangya, an island nation in East Asia. It is classified as a language isolate, with proposed ties to the hypothetical Altaic language family. Rangyayo is notable for its mixed-logographic and featural orthography, its agglutinative grammar, and its organic mixture of native and Sinitic vocabulary.

Created byDeslee
SettingEast Asia
Native speakersUnknown (2012)
Official status
Official language in
Kingdom of Rangya
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.


General information

Gender Cases Numbers Tenses Persons Moods Voices Aspects
Verb No No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Nouns No No No No No No No No
Adjectives No No No No No No No No
Numbers No No No No No No No No
Participles No No No No No No No No
Adverb No No No No No No No No
Pronouns Yes No Yes No Yes No No No
Adpositions No No No No No No No No
Article No No No No No No No No
Particle No No No No No No No No

Geographic distribution

Official status

Rangyan is the national language and one of the two official languages (together with English) of the Kingdom of Rangya. The standard form of the Rangyan language is called "standard language" (pyotsunyo; 標準語; /pjɔ.tsun.jɔ/ ), which was initially based on the Ponto dialect (ponto pangyen; 本島方言; /pɔn.tɔ.paŋ.jɛn/ ) on the main island. The standard Rangyan is taught in schools and used on news and in official communications. The regulatory body for Rangyan is the National Institute of the Rangyan Language (kokrip kokyo wen; 国立国語院; /kɔk̚ .ɾip.kɔk̚ .jɔ.wɛn/ ), which is a special body of the Rangyan Ministry of Culture, Education, Science and Technology (munkokhwagi-bu; 文教科技部; /mun.kɔ.kʰwa.gi.bu/ ).


There are three main dialects spoken in Rangya. They are

  • Ponto dialect (ponto pangyen; 本島方言; 

), the initial basis of Standard Rangyan

  • Jakang dialect (jakang pangyen; 茶岡方言; 

), and

  • Dukhyu dialect (dukhyu pangyen; 豆丘方言; 


The formation of dialects is due to the long history of internal isolation of the population living on isolated islands in Rangya. Dialects typically differ in terms of pitch accent, inflectional morphology, vocabulary, and particle usage.


Kuiyungyo or Kuiyung Creole (kuiyungyo; 帰融語; /kuɪ.jʊŋ.jɔ/ ), meaning "mixed language", is a creole language derived mainly from Dutch, Rangyan, English and Indonesian, which was originally spoken by the Kuiyung community of the Dutch colony of Rangya. It is now considered as a critically endangered language spoken only by very few people in Rangya.

This is the Kuiyungyo version of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 1) compared with Dutch, English and Rangyan.

Kuiyungyo Olle mensen zelfhevul en reten in geleik en vrei geborenorden.
Zeinun verstont en geweten met begiftitzein, en brudershop tu gêst in elkonder yegens zigedrogenshut.
Dutch Alle mensen worden vrij en gelijk in waardigheid en rechten geboren.
Zij zijn begiftigd met verstand en geweten, en behoren zich jegens elkander in een geest van broederschap te gedragen.
English All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Mogi oro wi bomün yu jiyu'i rü tai tsonyem ta gwenri ti bengtüng'i rü.
Oro wi riseng ta rangshim ye thenpyuim kibemotü tai dungpo tu tsengjin yo mobim hangdungnusü.



The following are phonemic transcriptions of Rangyan consonants.

Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ1
Plosive plain p b t d k g
Fricative s z2 h3
Affricate plain ts dz4
aspirated tsʰ4
Liquid ɾ~l5
Approximant w j
  1. /ŋ/ appears only in the syllable coda.
  2. /s, z/ are palatalised [ɕ, ʑ] before /i, j/
  3. /h/ is palatalised [ç] before /i, j/; and is bi­la­bialised [ɸ] before /u, w/
  4. /ts, dz, tsʰ/ are palatalised [tɕ, dʑ, tɕʰ] before /i, j/
  5. /ɾ/ is an alveolar flap [ɾ] in the syllable onset; and is [l] in the syllable coda.



Front Central Back
Close i1 ʉ u2
Open-mid ɛ ɔ
Open a
  1. /i/ is pronounced /ɪ/ before velar codas /ŋ, k̚/
  2. /u/ is /ʊ/ before velar codas /ŋ, k̚/


In the Rangyan language, because semivowels /j/ and /w/ may follow consonants in initial position in a word, which no other consonant can do, and perhaps due also to yenmun orthography, which transcribes them as vowels, they are sometimes considered to be elements of diphthongs and triphthongs rather than separate consonant phonemes.

j- w- -i
ja wa
ju1 uɪ~wi2
  1. /ju/ is pronounced /jʊ/ before velar codas /ŋ, k̚/
  2. /uɪ/ is a falling diphthong [uɪ] after a consonant in an open syllable; and is a rising diphthong [wi] when it is a syllable of its own or in a closed syllable.


j- w-
jaɪ waɪ
jeɪ weɪ

Positional allophones

Rangyan consonants have two principal positional allophones: initial and final. The initial form is found at the beginning of a syllable and the final form is found at the end of a syllable.

Phoneme p t k ɾ
Initial allophone p t k ɾ
Final allophone l

All plosives [p, t, k] are unreleased [p̚, t̚, k̚] at the end of a syllable. Final [ɾ] is a liquid [l].


Rangyan syllable structure is maximally CgVC, where the first C is the initial consonant; g is a semivowel glide /j/ or /w/; V is a vowel; the second C is a coda. Any consonant but /ŋ/ may occur initially, whereas only /m, n, ŋ, p, t, k, s, l/ may occur finally.

Below is the table of all syllable finals (gVC) in Rangyan.

Finals Codas
(none) m n ŋ p t k s l
a a am an ap at ak as al
ɛ ɛ ɛm ɛn ɛŋ ɛp ɛt ɛk ɛs ɛl
ɔ ɔ ɔm ɔn ɔŋ ɔp ɔt ɔk ɔs ɔl
u u um un ʊŋ up ut ʊk us ul
ʉ ʉ ʉm ʉn əŋ ʉp ʉt ək ʉs ʉl
i i im in ɪŋ ip it ɪk is il
ja ja jam jan jaŋ jap jat jak jas jal
jɛm jɛn jɛŋ jɛp jɛt jɛk jɛs jɛl
jɔm jɔn jɔŋ jɔp jɔt jɔk jɔs jɔl
ju ju jum jun jʊŋ jup jut jʊk jus jul
wa wa wan waŋ wat wak was wal
wɛn wɛŋ wɛt wɛk wɛs wɛl
wi wi1 wim win wɪŋ wip wit wɪk wis wil
ɔɪ ɔɪ
jaɪ jaɪ
jeɪ jeɪ
waɪ waɪ
weɪ weɪ
  1. pronounced [wi] when it is a syllable of its own or before codas /n, t̚, s, l/; and pronounced [wɪ] before codas /ŋ, k̚/
  2. pronounced [uɪ] after an onset in an open syllable.

Additional finals /wam/, /wɛm/, /wap/, /wɛp/ can be found in foreign loanwords.

Vowel harmony

Traditionally, the Rangyan language has had strong vowel harmony; that is, in pre-modern Rangyan, not only did the inflectional and derivational affixes change in accordance to the main root vowel, but native words also adhered to vowel harmony. However, this rule is no longer observed strictly in modern Rangyan. In modern Rangyan, it is only applied in certain cases such as onomatopoeia and interjections.

There are three classes of vowels in Rangyan: positive, negative and neutral. The vowel classes loosely follow the vowel heights. Exchanging positive vowels with negative vowels usually creates different nuances of meaning, with positive vowels sounding fast, hot, dry, hard, solid, focused or aggressive, and negative vowels sounding slow, cold, wet, soft, insubstantial, diffuse or tranquil.

Monophthongs Diphthongs Triphthongs
Positive a, ɔ ja, wa, aɪ, jɔ, ɔɪ jaɪ, waɪ
Negative ɛ, u jɛ, wɛ, eɪ, ju, uɪ~wɪ jeɪ, weɪ
Neutral i, ʉ

Pitch accent

Rangyan pitch accent can be presented with a two-pitch-level model. In this representation, each syllable is either high (H) or low (L) in pitch.

  1. If the accent is on the first syllable, then the first syllable is high-pitched and the others are low: HLL...
  2. If the accent is on a syllable other than the first, then the first syllable is low, the following syllables up to and including the accented one are high, and the rest are low: LHLL..., LHHLL..., LHHHLL...
  3. If the word does not have an accent, the first syllable is low and the others are high: LHH... This high pitch spreads to unaccented grammatical particles that attach to the end of the word, whereas these would have a low pitch when attached to an accented word.

Examples are given in the table below. The number before each pitch pattern tells you the syllable where the last high pitch is.

Pitch pattern Sample word Meaning
(0) LHH... kigomi 기꼬미 I
(1) HLL... khophi 코피 coffee
(2) LHLL... jin'ai 찐애 dust
(3) LHHLL... asobeda 아소뻐따 he/she/it
(4) LHHHLL... aneruminun 아너루미눈 you


Word classes and phrase classes


Rangyan has no grammatical number, gender or articles. Thus, Rangyan nouns are non-inflecting. The noun iku (犬; /i.ku/ ) can be translated as "dog", "dogs", "a dog", "the dog", "some dogs" and so forth, depending on context. However, as part of the extensive pair of grammatical systems that Rangyan possesses for honorification and politeness, nouns too can be modified. Nouns take politeness prefix ya- (야; /ja/ ) to produce their respectful forms. A few examples are given in the following table.

Plain Honorific Meaning
kao (夫; /ka.ɔ/


ya-kao (야夫; /ja.ka.ɔ/


nori (名; /nɔ.ɾi/


ya-nori (야名; /ja.nɔ.ɾi/


bu (目; /bu/


ya-bu (야目; /ja.bu/


hiku (毛; /çi.ku/


ya-hiku (야毛; /ja.çi.ku/


hair (on body)

Rangyan does not differentiate between count and mass nouns. A small number of nouns have collectives formed by reduplication, for example, oro (人; /ɔ.ɾɔ/ ) "person" and orooro (人々; /ɔ.ɾɔ.ɔ.ɾɔ/ ) "people". However, reduplication is not productive. Words in Rangyan referring to more than one of something are collectives, not plurals. Orooro, for example, means "a lot of people" or "people in general". It is never used to mean "two people". A phrase like rangya tu orooro (琅野두人々; /ɾaŋ.ja tu ɔ.ɾɔ.ɔ.ɾɔ/ ) would be taken to mean "the people of Rangya", or "the population of Rangya", not "two people from Rangya" or even "a few people from Rangya".

Lacking grammatical number, the noun haya (鳥; /ha.ja/ ) may refer to a single bird or several birds. Where number is important, it can be indicated by providing a quantity (often with a counter word). For example, both pu ik tu haya (2翼두鳥; /pu ɪk̚ tu ha.ja/ ) and haya i ik (鳥二翼; /ha.ja i ɪk̚/ ), or simply pu haya (2鳥; /pu ha.ja/ ), mean two birds.


First person Speaker Speech Note
both plain often written in yenmun by women
mora male plain
kigo 기꼬 both humble
kigomi 기꼬미 both humble the most formal polite version
otto male humble
female humble sometimes written in yenmun for a more feminine feel
Second person Speaker Speech Note
one both plain
both plain female singular you
ane 아너 both respectful
anemi 아너미 both very respectful
anerumi 아너루미 both very respectful the most formal polite version
soka both respectful male singular you
imme 임머
both respectful female singular you; often written in yenmun
Third person Speaker Speech Note
hoda both plain
oda 오따 male plain slang version of hoda used by men; rarely used in written Rangyan
both plain she; sometimes written in yenmun for a more feminine feel
aso 아소 both respectful
asoda 아소따 both very respectful
asobeda 아소뻐따 both very respectful the most formal polite version

Suffixes are added to pronouns to make them collective, for example, kigomi-te (기꼬미더; /ki.gɔ.mi.tɛ/ ) "we" and asobeda-nun (아소뻐따눈; /a.sɔ.bɛ.da.nun/ ) "they".

Suffix Speaker Speech Note
both plain
added to plain or humble forms of pronouns
usually written in yenmun (khite 我더

); sometimes in hanji if appended to pronouns written in hanji (morate 吾等 ); almost never in hanji for pronouns in yenmun (kigomite 기꼬미더 )

both respectful added to respectful forms of pronouns
usually in hanji (sokanun 君輩

) unless appended to pronouns written in yenmun (aneruminun 아너루미눈 )

Reflexive pronouns

Rangyan has three reflexive pronouns jishin, jiki and osu, all meaning "self". However, there are subtle differences in usage among the three reflexive pronouns.

  • jishin (自身; /dʑi.ɕin/

) tends to take a local antecedent and is used more often for first person antecedents;

  • jiki (自己; /dʑi.ki/

) takes long-distance antecedents much more than local ones;

  • osu (己; /ɔ.su/

) is less used than the other two and takes local and long-distance antecedents equally well. The antecedent to which it refers can be inferred by context, which is generally the subject of the sentence.

khi1 wi jishin2 ye kyoterü 1自身2여護르。 I1 protect myself2.
hoda1 wi jishin2 ye kyoterü 1自身2여護르。 He1 protects himself2.

The examples below demonstrate the difference in usage between jishin and jiki.

khi1 wi hoda wa jiki tu2 tobe ye kinuwei 1위彼와自己두2冊여予누웨。 I1 gave him my own2 book.
khi wi hoda1 wa jishin tu2 tobe ye kinuwei 我위1自身두2冊여予누웨。 I gave him1 his own2 book.
hoda1 wi khi wa jiki tu2 tobe ye kinuwei 1위我와自己두2冊여予누웨。 He1 gave me his own2 book.
hoda wi khi1 wa jishin tu2 tobe ye kinuwei 彼위1自身두2冊여予누웨。 He gave me1 my own2 book.


Verbs are the most complex lexical category in Rangyan. Their structure when used as the predicate of a clause is verb stem + up to six suffixes, and can be illustrated with this table.

Verb stem Mood Polarity Voice Aspect Tense Honorific



  1. indicative :
  2. causative (-iss-):
  3. deliberative (-ams-): asks whether the speaker should do something
    e.g. "Shall I go to the market?"
  4. hortative (-uk-): express plea, insistence, imploring, self-encouragement, intent, purpose or consequence
    e.g. "Let us"
  5. imperative (-es-): expresses commands or requests
    e.g. "Paul, do your homework now"
    e.g. "Do not go!"
  6. necessitative (-us-):
  7. obligative (-atts-): signals the speaker's estimation of the necessity that the proposition expressed
    e.g. You must do as I say.
    e.g. She has to leave.
  8. permissive (-oh-): indicates that the action is permitted by the speaker
    e.g. You may have another cookie.
  9. desiderative (-ag-): expresses wishes and desires
  10. optative (-eik-): expresses hopes
  11. assumptive (-ich-): indicates that the statement is assumed to be true, because it usually is under similar circumstances
    e.g. They'll be on holiday at the moment.
    That'll be the postman.
  12. dubitative (-air-): expresses doubt or uncertainty
    e.g. Someone seems to be coming here.
  13. potential (-ints-): indicates that, in the opinion of the speaker, the action or occurrence is considered likely
  14. subjunctive (-oir-):
  15. tentative (-eng-):
  16. conditional (-üg-): express a proposition whose validity is dependent on some condition, possibly counterfactual
    e.g. If I win, he will be disappointed

Conjugation table

This is a conjugation table for the verb yabü (食쁘; /ja.bʉ/ ) "eat". Honorific and mood are not included to keep the table shorter.

Verb stem + Conjugation Meaning
present yabü

past yabuwei


future yabioi


will eat
present progressive yabanü


is eating
past progressive yabanuwei


was eating
future progressive yabanioi


will be eating
present perfect yabotü


have eaten
past perfect yabotuwei


had eaten
future perfect yabotioi


will have eaten
passive present yabemü


is eaten
passive past yabemuwei


was eaten
passive future yabemioi


will be eaten
passive present progressive yabemanü


is being eaten
passive past progressive yabemanuwei


was being eaten
passive future progressive yabemanioi


will be being eaten
passive present perfect yabemotü


have been eaten
passive past perfect yabemotuwei


had been eaten
passive future perfect yabemotioi


will have been eaten
negative present yabomü


do not eat
negative past yabomuwei


did not eat
negative future yabomioi


will not eat
negative present progressive yabomanü


is not eating
negative past progressive yabomanuwei


was not eating
negative future progressive yabomanioi


will not be eating
negative present perfect yabomotü


have not eaten
negative past perfect yabomotuwei


had not eaten
negative future perfect yabomotioi


will not have eaten
negative passive present yabomemü


is not eaten
negative passive past yabomemuwei


was not eaten
negative passive future yabomemioi


will not be eaten
negative passive present progressive yabomemanü


is not being eaten
negative passive past progressive yabomemanuwei


was not being eaten
negative passive future progressive yabomemanioi


will not be being eaten
negative passive present perfect yabomemotü


have not been eaten
negative passive past perfect yabomemotuwei


had not been eaten
negative passive future perfect yabomemotioi


will have not been eaten

Compound verbs

Rangyan has many compound verbs, reflecting the agglutinative nature of the language. A Rangyan compound verb is a multi-word compound that acts as a single verb. The main component of the compound is a verb in its conjunctive participial form, which carries most of the semantics of the compound, and determines its arguments. The other component is a vector, which carries any conjugations, indicating tense, mood, or aspect, but provides only fine shades of meaning.

For example, in yuttsubirü (讀주始르; /jut̚.tsu.bi.ɾʉ/ ) "start reading", the vector verb birü (始르; /bi.ɾʉ/ ) "start" changes according to tense, mood, aspect, and the like, while the main verb yuttsü (讀즈; /jut̚.tsʉ/ ) "read" stays in its conjunctive participial form yuttsu (讀주; /jut̚.tsu/ ) "reading" and remains unchanged.

Attributive verbs

A Rangyan attributive verb is a verb which modifies (gives the attributes of) a noun as an attributive, rather than expressing an independent idea as a predicate. Unlike English, Rangyan allows regular verbs to be attributive. In Rangyan, predicative verbs come at the end of the clause, after the nouns, while attributive verbs come before the noun. These are equivalent to relative clauses in English as Rangyan does not have relative pronouns like "who", "which", or "when".


ne oro wi dotuwei (너人위来두웨; /nɛ ɔ.ɾɔ wi dɔt̚.tu.weɪ/ )
"That person came."

ne oro-wi dot-uwei
that person-SBJ come-PST

ne dotuweit oro wi (너来두웯人위; /nɛ dɔt̚.tu.weɪt̚ ɔ.ɾɔ wi/ )
"That person who came"

ne dot-uwei-t oro-wi
that come-PST-ATTRIB person-SBJ


The Rangyan copula (르; /ɾʉ/ ) is a verb-like word used to link the subject of a sentence with a predicate (a subject complement). Rangyan sentences with most often equate one thing with another, that is, they are of the form "A is B".


khi wi ontso rü (我위兵르; /kʰi wi ɔn.tsɔ ɾʉ/ )
"I am a soldier."

Subject Predicate
khi-wi ontso
I-SBJ soldier COP

Copula can also link predicative adjectives to the noun or pronoun they modify.


muse wi ha'i rü (雪위白이르; /musɛ wi ha.i ɾʉ/ )
"Snow is white."

Subject Predicate
muse-wi ha'i
snow-SBJ white COP

Demonstratives and indefinite

Demonstratives occur in the i-, ne-, and ko- series. The i- (proximal) series refers to things closer to the speaker than the hearer, the ne- (mesial) series for things closer to the hearer, and the ko- (distal) series for things distant to both the speaker and the hearer. With ma-, demonstratives turn into the corresponding interrogative form.

Adjective i





that over there











Thing (-ko) iko 이고

this one

neko 너고

that one

koko 고고

that one over there

mako 마고

which one

muko 무고


soko 소고


diko 띠고


hako 하고


Person (-we) iwe 이워

this person

newe 너워

that person

kowe 고워

that person over there

mawe 마워


muwe 무워


sowe 소워


diwe 띠워


hawe 하워


Place (-su) isu 이수


nesu 너수


kosu 고수

over there

masu 마수


musu 무수


sosu 소수


disu 띠수


hasu 하수


Time (-tsa) itsa 이자


netsa 너자


kotsa 고자

at that other time

matsa 마자


mutsa 무자


sotsa 소자


ditsa 띠자


hatsa 하자


Manner (-ne) ine 이너

in this manner

nene 너너

in that manner

kone 고너

in that other manner

mane 마너


dine 띠너


Quantity (-do) ido 이또

this many / much

nedo 너또

that many / much

kodo 고또

in that other quantity

mado 마또

how many / much

Kind (-chi) ichi 이치

like this

nechi 너치

like that

kochi 고치

like that other kind

machi 마치

what kind of

Reason (-ka) maka 마가


Demonstratives limit, and therefore precede, nouns; thus i maro (이石; /i ma.ɾɔ/ ) for "this stone", ne maro (너石; /nɛ ma.ɾɔ/ ) for "that stone", and ko maro (고石; /kɔ ma.ɾɔ/ ) for "that stone over there".


All Rangyan adjectives end in -i, for example, kho'i (大이; /kʰɔ.i/ ) "big" and hyogi (重끼; /çjɔ.gi/ ) "heavy". Their syntactic role is to modify a noun or pronoun, giving more information about the noun or referent of pronoun. In Rangyan, adjectives form an open class of words, that is, it is relatively common for new adjectives to be formed via such processes as derivation.

A given occurrence of a Rangyan adjective can generally be classified into one of the two major kinds of uses:

  • Attributive adjectives are part of the noun phrase headed by the noun they modify, for example, kho'i is an attributive adjective in kho'i haku (大이牛; /kʰɔ.i ha.ku/

) "big cow". Since Rangyan is a head-final language, attributive adjectives always precede their nouns.

  • Predicative adjectives are linked via a copula to the noun or pronoun they modify, for example, kho'i is a predicate adjective in haku wi kho'i rü (牛위大이르; /ha.ku wi kʰɔ.i ɾʉ/

) "cow is big".

Adjective order

In Rangyan language, attributive adjectives usually occur in this default order, with other orders being permissible:

  1. demonstrative
  2. intensifier (adverb of degree)
  3. opinion
  4. size
  5. age
  6. shape
  7. colour
  8. proper adjective (e.g. nationality, origin, material)
  9. noun adjunct (noun used as adjective)
  10. head noun


i wa'i nitsi gani haya (이良이小지赤니鳥; /i wa.i ni.tsi ga.ni ha.ja/ )
"this good small red bird"

Dem. Intensifier Opinion Size Age Shape Colour Proper adj. Noun adjunct Head noun


Rangyan adjectives, unlike their English counterparts, do not have a comparative form. To compare two things (NP1 and NP2), the noun phrase being compared (NP2), together with the postpositional comparative particle pe, are placed between the subject noun phrase (NP1) and the predicative adjective in a sentence ended with a copula.


ne iku wi i haya pe kho'i rü (너犬위이鳥버大이르; /nɛ i.ku wi i ha.ja pɛ kʰɔ.i ɾʉ/ )
"That dog is bigger than this bird."

NP1 NP2 Predicate
ne iku-wi i haya-pe kho'i
that dog-SBJ this bird-COMP big COP


Rangyan adjectives also lack a superlative form. The adverb tsum (줌; /tsum/ ) "most" is placed before adjectives for superlative degree of comparison.


ne iku wi tsum kho'i rü (너犬위줌大이르; /nɛ i.ku wi tsum kʰɔ.i ɾʉ/ )
"That dog is the biggest."

ne iku-wi tsum kho'i
that dog-SBJ most big COP


An adverb is any word that modifies verbs, adjectives, clauses, sentences and other adverbs. Not all but many Rangyan adverbs are formed by adding -m to adjectives. For example, nepi (怒비; /nɛ.pi/

"angry") yields nepim (怒빔; /ne.pim/
"angrily") and wa'i (良이; /wa.i/
"good") yields wa'im (良임; /wa.im/
"well"). This derivation is quite productive but there are a few adjectives from which adverbs may not be derived.


Particles in Rangyan are postpositional, as they immediately follow the modified component.

Case markers

Particle Süngkwetkatsya Function
wi nominative case; subject
wei additive case; inclusive subject
ye accusative case; direct object
wa 哇洼 dative case; indirect object
tu 覩都妬 genitive case; possession
yo 舁妤 instrumental case; by means of
ti locative case; location
hi allative case; direction
yu 庾喩愈 ablative case; from
to 忉朷 up to; until; as far as; indicates a time or place as a limit
pe comparative

Other particles

Particle Süngkwetkatsya Function
ta conjunction; and
tai moreover; and
wai 崴嵬 for
tsoi 栽哉 as
kwe 圭邽 concerning; about
ton when
ten although
gwa but; however
yai because
khui 巋虧 thanks to
mo 芼皃氂 interrogation; question
ho 号毫 tag question; asks agreement or confirmation
re emphasis; certainty
yei 曀曵 indirect speech; reported speech

Sound symbolic words

Sound symbolic words or mimetic words occur more often in Rangyan than in English. They are found in formal as well as vernacular language.

These words cannot all be considered onomatopoeia. Many mimetic words in Rangyan are for things that do not make any noise originally.

Mimetic words can be classified into three main categories:

  • Phonomime or onomatopoeia (isengzhi 擬声詞
or iimzhi 擬音詞

): words that mimic actual sounds; isengzhi refers to sounds made by living things, while iimzhi refers to sounds made by inanimate objects;

  • Phenomime (ithaizhi 擬態詞

): mimetic words to represent non-auditory senses;

  • Psychomime (ijengzhi 擬情詞

): mimetic words that represent psychological states or bodily feelings.

In Rangyan grammar, sound symbolic words function as adverbs, and most of them can be applied to only a handful of verbs or adjectives (heads).


Mimetic word Head Meaning
puppup 붑붑
beat fast with a throbbing heart
khingringkhangrang 킹링캉랑
make clinking sounds; cling-clang
tingringtongrong 딩링동롱
make tinkling sounds; jingle-jangle
piripara 비리바라 yerü 言르
chatter away; rattle on; talk endlessly
kirikuru 기리구루 yerü 言르
talk in an indistinct manner


The system of Rangyan numerals is the system of number names used in the Rangyan language. The Rangyan numerals in writing are entirely based on the Chinese numerals and the grouping of large numbers follow the Chinese tradition of grouping by myriads (10000) rather than thousands (1000). Two sets of pronunciations for the numerals exist in Rangyan: one is based on Sino-Rangyan readings of the Chinese characters and the other is based on the native Rangyan readings.

The distinction between the two sets of numerals is very important. Everything that can be counted will use one of the two sets, but seldom both. For example, the native Rangyan numerals are used for the hours while the Sino-Rangyan numerals are used to denote the minute of time, therefore, jopu-zhi uzhipruk-pun (12時56分 ) means "12:56". The native Rangyan numerals are also used for the five-minute interval of time khük (刻; /kʰək̚/ ), therefore, he-zhi me-khük (8時1刻 ) means "8:05" while he-zhi cho-khük (8時3刻 ) means "8:15".

When denoting the age of a person, one will use yumpi (歳; /jum.pi/ ) for the native Rangyan numerals, and sei (歳; /seɪ/ ) for Sino-Rangyan. For example, chojohe yumpi (38歳 ) and samzhippat sei (三十八歳 ) both mean "thirty-eight years old".

Basic numbering

There are two ways of writing the numbers in Rangyan, in Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3) or in Chinese numerals (一, 二, 三). The Arabic numerals are more often used in horizontal writing, and the Chinese numerals are more common in vertical writing.

Number Character Native Rangyan Sino-Rangyan
0 零 / 〇 moi reng
1 me it
2 pu i
3 cho sam
4 ke shi
5 tha u
6 che ruk
7 ju chit
8 he pat
9 kon kyu
10 jo zhip
100 sottso pak
1000 hattso chen
10000 mittso men

The number 4 is considered unlucky in Rangyan, as 4, pronounced shi in Sino-Rangyan, is a homophone for death ( ). The number 13 is sometimes considered unlucky, though this is a carryover from Western tradition.

In large numbers, elements are combined from largest to smallest, and zeros are implied.

Number   Writing Native Rangyan Sino-Rangyan
11   十一 jo me zhip it
17   十七 jo ju zhip chit
151   百五十一 sottso tha-jo me pak u-zhip it
302   三百二 cho-sottso pu sam-pak i
469   四百六十九 ke-sottso che-jo kon shi-pak ruk-zhip kyu
2025   二千二十五 pu-hattso pu-jo tha i-chen i-zhip u

Decimal fractions

Rangyan has a traditional system of numerals for decimal fractions.

Number Character Native Rangyan Sino-Rangyan
10-1 (0.1) hittsi pun
10-2 (0.01) wi'tsi ri

This system, however, is not often seen in modern usage except for representing decimal fractions of rate or discount. For example, cho-pun tha-ri heirün (三分五厘減른 ) "35% discount". Instead, decimal fractions are typically written with either Chinese numerals (in vertical writing) or Arabic numerals (in horizontal writing), preceded by a decimal point, and are read as successive digits, as in Western convention. Note that, in written form, they can be combined with either the traditional system of expressing numerals (42.195 四十二・一九五), in which powers of ten are written, or with the place value system, which uses zero (50.04 五〇・〇四). In both cases, however, the reading follows the traditional system (kejopu tem me kon tha for 42.195; thajo tem moi ke for 50.04).

Fractional values

To construct a fraction, the denominator is written first, followed by pun tu (分두 ) "parts of" and then the numerator. This is the opposite of how fractions are read in English, which is numerator first. Each half of the fraction is written the same as a whole number. Mixed numbers are written with the whole-number part first, followed by ta (다; /ta/ ) "and", then the fractional part.

Fraction Writing Reading
2/3 三分두二 cho-pun tu pu
3 5/6 三다六分두五 cho ta che-pun tu tha

Ordinal numbers

Ordinal numbers are formed by adding tai (第; /taɪ/ ) "sequence" before Sino-Rangyan numerals and by adding hin (힌; /çin/ ) after native Rangyan numerals.

Ordinal Native Rangyan Sino-Rangyan
Writing Reading Writing Reading
1st 一힌 me-hin 第一 tai-it
2nd 二힌 pu-hin 第二 tai-i

Negative numbers

Negative numbers are formed by adding byu (負; /bju/ ) "negative" before the number.

Formal numbers

As with Chinese numerals, there exists in Rangyan a separate set of hanji for numerals called daishyuji (大数字; /daɪ.ɕju.dʑi/ ) used in legal and financial documents to prevent unscrupulous individuals from adding a stroke or two, turning a one into a two or a three. The formal numbers are identical to the Chinese formal numbers except for minor stroke variations. In some cases, the digit 1 is explicitly written like 壱佰壱拾

for 110, as opposed to 百十
in common writing.
Number Common Formal
In use Obsolete

Counter words

In Rangyan, counter words can be used along with numbers to count things, actions, and events.

Unlike Japanese, Korean and Chinese, Rangyan numerals, if possible, can quantify nouns without counter words. Therefore to express the idea "two birds" in Rangyan one can either say pu ik tu haya 2翼두鳥

(lit. "two wing's bird"), haya i ik 鳥二翼
(lit. "bird two wing") or simply pu haya 2鳥
("two bird"). Notice that native Rangyan number is used if the number comes before the head noun, while Sino-Rangyan number comes after the head noun. And here haya 
means "bird", pu / i 
is the number 2, and ik 
is the counter for birds. These counters are not independent words and always appear with a number (or question word) before them. If the number is unknown, a question word is used, most often ma 

, as in mameng 마名

"how many guests?", or maya 마夜
"how many nights?".

This is a selective list of some of the more commonly used counter words.

Writing Reading Usage
ka general measure word, used when there is no specific counter
in people
meng polite counter word for people (lit. means "name")
kwen books
men mirrors, boards for board games
pai cups and glasses of drink

Sentence and clause patterns

Clause constructions

Relative clause

Rangyan does not employ relative pronouns to relate relative clauses to their antecedents. Instead, the relative clause directly modifies the noun phrase as an attributive verb, occupying the same syntactic space as an attributive adjective (before the noun phrase).


aso wi ne dotuweit oro ye bumuwei (아소위너来두웯人여見무웨; /a.sɔ wi nɛ dɔt̚.tu.weɪt̚ ɔ.ɾɔ jɛ bu.mu.weɪ/ )
"He saw that person who came."

aso-wi ne dot-uwei-t oro-ye bum-uwei
he-SBJ that come-PST-ATTRIB person-OBJ see-PST

Speech constructions

Direct speech

Direct speech is a sentence (or several sentences) that reports speech or thought in its original form, as phrased by the first speaker. In Rangyan, it is enclosed in quotation marks. The cited speaker is either mentioned or implied.

khi wi ajaboti ye yabanü aso wi yeruwei (「我위朝膳여食빠느。」아소위言루웨; /kʰi wi a.dza.bɔ.ti jɛ ja.ba.nʉ a.sɔ wi jɛ.ɾu.weɪ/ )
" 'I am eating breakfast,' he said."

Direct speech statement
khi-wi ajaboti-ye yab-an-ü aso-wi yer-uwei
I-SBJ breakfast-OBJ eat-PROG-PRS he-SBJ say-PST

Indirect speech

In Rangyan, indirect speech is not enclosed in quotation marks, and does not phrase the reported statement or question the way the original speaker did; instead, person is changed when the person speaking and the person quoting the speech are different.

aso wi ajaboti ye yabanü yei aso wi yeruwei (아소위朝膳여食빠느아소위言루웨; /a.sɔ wi a.dza.bɔ.ti jɛ ja.ba.nʉ jeɪ a.sɔ wi jɛ.ɾu.weɪ/ )
"He said that he is* eating breakfast."

Indirect speech statement Particle
aso-wi ajaboti-ye yab-an-ü yei aso-wi yer-uwei
he-SBJ breakfast-OBJ eat-PROG-PRS he-SBJ say-PST

Writing system

The modern Rangyan writing system uses two main scripts:

  • Hanji (漢字; /han.dʑi/

), ideographs from Chinese characters, and

  • Yenmun (諺文; 연문; /jɛn.mun/

), a Korean phonemic alphabet organised into syllabic blocks that make up words. To a lesser extent, modern written Rangyan also uses the Latin alphabet. Examples include abbreviations such as "CD" and "DVD".

Romanised Rangyan, called romaji (로마字; /ɾɔ.ma.dʑi/ ), is frequently used by foreign students of Rangyan, who have not yet mastered the two main scripts, and by native speakers for computer input.

Usage of scripts



Yenmun is a phonemic alphabet organized into syllabic blocks. Each block consists of at least two of the 24 yenmun letters (jimu), with at least one each of the 14 consonants and 10 vowels. These syllabic blocks can be written horizontally from left to right as well as vertically from top to bottom in columns from right to left. Originally, the alphabet had several additional letters for pre-modern Korean, however, these letters have never been used in Rangyan.


Jimu (字母; 찌무; /dʑi.mu/ ) are the units that make up the yenmun alphabet. Ji means letter or character, and mo means mother, so the name suggests that the jimu are the building-blocks of the script.

There are 39 jimu, of which 24 are equivalent to letters of the Latin alphabet. The other 15 jimu are clusters of two or sometimes three of these letters. Of the 24 simple jimu, 14 are consonants (tsiim; 子音; /tɕi.im/

"child sounds") and 10 are vowels (muim; 母音; /mu.im/
"mother sounds"). 5 of the simple consonant letters are doubled to form the five voiced consonants (see below). The 10 basic vowel jimu can be combined to form 10 more complex ones. Here is a summary
  • 14 simple consonant letters: ㄱ, ㅋ, ㅇ, ㄷ, ㅌ, ㄴ, ㅂ, ㅍ, ㅁ, ㅈ, ㅊ, ㅅ, ㅎ, ㄹ
  • 5 double letters (voiced): ㄲ, ㄸ, ㅃ, ㅉ, ㅆ
  • 6 simple vowel letters: ㅏ, ㅓ, ㅗ, ㅜ, ㅡ, ㅣ
  • 4 simple iotized vowel letters (semi consonant-semi vowel): ㅑ, ㅕ, ㅛ, ㅠ
  • 10 compound letters: ㅐ, ㅒ, ㅔ, ㅖ, ㅘ, ㅙ, ㅚ, ㅝ, ㅞ, ㅟ

Four of the simple vowel jimu are derived by means of a short stroke to signify iotation (a preceding i sound): ㅑ /ja/, ㅕ /jɛ/, ㅛ /jɔ/, and ㅠ /ju/. These four are counted as part of the 24 simple jimu because the iotating stroke taken out of context does not represent /j/. In fact, there is no separate jimu for /j/.

Of the simple consonants, ㅋ, ㅌ, ㅍ, and ㅊ are aspirated derivatives of ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅂ, and ㅈ, respectively, formed by combining the unaspirated letters with an extra stroke.

The doubled letters are ㄲ, ㄸ, ㅃ, ㅉ, ㅆ. Double jimu do not represent geminate consonants, but rather a voiced phonation.

Jimu order

The alphabetical order of yenmun does not mix consonants and vowels as Western alphabets do. Rather, the order is that of the Indic type, first velar consonants, then coronals, labials, sibilants, etc. However, the vowels come after the consonants rather than before them as in the Indic systems.

Historical order

The consonantal order of yenmun in 1446 in the document titled Funmintsengim (訓民正音; /ɸun.min.tsɛŋ.im/ ) "The Proper Sounds for the Instruction of the People" was,

ㄱ ㅋ ㆁ ㄷ ㅌ ㄴ ㅂ ㅍ ㅁ ㅈ ㅊ ㅅ ㆆ ㅎ ㅇ ㄹ ㅿ

and the order of vowels was,

ㆍ ㅡ ㅣ ㅗ ㅏ ㅜ ㅓ ㅛ ㅑ ㅠ ㅕ

Modern Rangyan order

In the Rangyan order, double jimu are placed immediately after their single counterparts. No distinction is made between silent and nasal ㅇ:

ㄱ ㄲ ㅋ ㅇ ㄷ ㄸ ㅌ ㄴ ㅂ ㅃ ㅍ ㅁ ㅈ ㅉ ㅊ ㅅ ㅆ ㅎ ㄹ
ㅏ ㅐ ㅑ ㅒ ㅓ ㅔ ㅕ ㅖ ㅗ ㅘ ㅙ ㅚ ㅛ ㅜ ㅝ ㅞ ㅟ ㅠ ㅡ ㅣ

The modern monophthongal vowels come first, with the derived forms interspersed according to their form: first added i, then iotized, then iotized with added i. Diphthongs and triphthongs beginning with w are ordered according to their spelling, as ㅏ or ㅓ plus a second vowel, not as separate digraphs.

The order of the final jimu is,

(null) ㄱ ㅇ ㄷ ㄴ ㅂ ㅁ ㅅ ㄹ

"Null" stands for no final jimu.

Direction of writing

Written language reforms


There are a number of methods of rendering Rangyan in Roman letters. The Mackenzie method of romanisation makkhenzhi-sik romaji (막컨씨式로마字; /mak̚.kʰɛn.ʑi.sɪk̚ ɾɔ.ma.dʑi/ ), designed for English speakers, is a de facto standard widely used inside and outside Rangya.

Mackenzie k g kh (null) t d th n p b ph m ts j ch s, sh z, zh h, f r
IPA k g (null) t d n p b m ts~tɕ dz~dʑ tsʰ~tɕʰ s~ɕ z~ʑ h~ç~ɸ ɾ
Mackenzie a ai ya yai e ei ye yei o wa wai oi yo u we wei ui, wi yu ü i
IPA a ja jaɪ ɛ jeɪ ɔ wa waɪ ɔɪ u~ʊ weɪ uɪ~wi ju~jʊ ʉ i~ɪ
Mackenzie k ng t n p m s l
IPA ŋ n m s l


The Sokolov method of cyrillisation sokorop-sik kirilji (소고롭式기릴字; /sɔ.kɔ.ɾɔp̚.sɪk̚ ki.ɾil.dʑi/ ), designed for Russian speakers, is the official standard of rendering Rangyan in Cyrillic letters.

Sokolov к г кх (null) т д тх н п б пх м ц дз цх с з x, ф р
IPA k g (null) t d n p b m ts~tɕ dz~dʑ tsʰ~tɕʰ s~ɕ z~ʑ h~ç~ɸ ɾ
Sokolov а ай я яй э эй е ей о уа уай ой ё у уэ уэй уй, уи ю ы и
IPA a ja jaɪ ɛ jeɪ ɔ wa waɪ ɔɪ u~ʊ weɪ uɪ~wi ju~jʊ ʉ i~ɪ
Sokolov к нъ т н п м с л
IPA ŋ n m s l


Süngkwetkatsya (僧訣假借; /sʉŋ.kwɛt̚.ka.tɕja/ ), also known as Kagakatsya (迦伽假借; /ka.ga.ka.tɕja/ ) after the first two syllables, is an archaic writing system that represents the Rangyan language in hanji. It was mainly used by Rangyan monks to render Buddhist sutras written in Sanskrit into understandable Rangyan, and occasionally used by government officials as a tool to comprehend texts written in Classical Chinese.

The süngkwetkatsya script employs hanji for their phonetic value rather than their meaning to indicate Rangyan verb endings and other grammatical markers that are different in Rangyan from Chinese. Several hanji can represent the same sound, the choice of which to use often being decided for stylistic reasons. And this made both the meaning and pronunciation difficult to parse, and was one reason why the system was gradually abandoned, to be replaced with yenmun originated from Korea, in the late 15th century. In this respect, it faced problems analogous to those that confronted early efforts to represent the Japanese and Korean language with hanji, due to grammatical differences between these languages and Chinese.

Below is the table of süngkwetkatsya where one character represents one syllable.

k g kh (null) t d th n p b ph m c j ch s z h r y w
a 他佗 娜拏 吒左咤 叉詫 娑沙 訶賀 也惹野 哇洼 a
e e
o 忉朷 芼皃氂 号毫 舁妤 o
u 覩都妬 布補 暮慕 庾喩愈 u
ü ü
i 伊爾 哩里利 i
ai 崴嵬 ai
ei 閉篦 吠陛 隸禮 曀曵 ei
oi 栽哉 oi
ui 巋虧 尾味 ui
ya 舍捨 ya
ye ye
yo yo
yu 戍輸 yu
wa wa
we 圭邽 we
k g kh (null) t d th n p b ph m c j ch s z h r y w


Example texts

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 1)

"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights."
mogi oro wi bomün kotsan yu jiyu yo sü tai tsonyem ta gwenri kwe bengtüng yo sü.

mogi oro-wi bomü-n kotsan-yu jiyu-yo tai tsonyem-ta gwenri-kwe bengtüng-yo
all mankind-SBJ birth-NMLZ time-from freedom-INS COP CNJ dignity-and right-about equality-INS COP

"They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."
oro wi riseng ta rangshim ye thenpyuim kibemotü tai dungpo tu tsengjin yo mobim hangdungnusü.

oro-wi riseng-ta rangshim-ye thenpyu-im kib-em-ot-ü tai dungpo-tu tsengjin-yo mobim hangdung-n-us-ü
mankind-SBJ rationality-and conscience-OBJ innately confer-PASS-PFV-PRS CNJ compatriot-GEN spirit-INS mutually act-do-NECESSITATIVE-PRS

Featured banner

"This language was once featured."
i yoyen wi kum zhyokainemuweiya

i yoyen-wi kum zhyokai-n-em-uwei-ya
this language-SBJ once introduction-do-PASS-PST-HON

"Thanks to its level of quality, plausibility and usage capabilities, it has been voted as featured."
phimtsit ta khashinseng ta khayongseng tu suibeng khui, iko wi düksik tsoi ritsemotüya.

phimtsit ta khashinseng ta khayongseng tu suibeng khui
quality and plausibility
(lit. creditability)
and usage capabilities
(lit. usability)
of level thanks to
iko-wi düksik tsoi rits-em-ot-ü-ya
this one-SBJ feature as vote-PASS-PFV-PRS-HON

The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11: 1-9)

  1. Now the whole earth had one language and the same words.

kokotsan, mogi oro wi bomi yoyen ye yeranuweiya.
"At that time, all mankind was speaking the same language."

  1. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.

orooro wi tungpang yu thinnuwei ton, shinal tu gada ti bengya ye kabuuttuwei tai kosu ti jorujimuweiya.
"When people moved from the east, (they) found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there."

  1. And they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly." And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar.
  2. Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth."
  3. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built.
  4. And the Lord said, "Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.
  5. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another's speech."
  6. So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city.
  7. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.

The Analects of Confucius

  • Confucius said: "To learn and then practise it time and again is a pleasure, is it not? To have friends come from afar to share each other learning is a pleasure, is it not? To be unperturbed when not appreciated by others is gentlemanly, is it not?"

Tsi wi yerü, "Bopu iko ye shim samü, tum patsui romü mo? Eke wi hüminhen yu dotü, tum hatti romü mo? Naromemü ten nepomü, tum kuntsi romü mo?"

  • Confucius said:"To learn without thinking, one will be lost in his learning. To think without learning, one will be imperilled."

Tsi wi yerü, "Bopü ten upomü, immopün ti nalrü. Upü ten bopomü, numsu ti nalrü."

  • Confucius said: "While your parents are alive, do not journey afar. If a journey has to be made, your direction must be told."

Tsi wi yerü, "Tsokoüwi wi jaiseinü, hümim yusonomü. Hümim yusonügattsü, yuso tu hen ye yottattsü."

See also

External links