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"Modern Rokugani" case system

From:Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...>
Date:Friday, November 15, 2002, 2:29
NOTE: This is for a play-by-email freeform RPG campaign in an, um, skewed
future for Legend of the Five Rings.  So I thought I'd screw with
"Rokugani" ("Japanese," mostly).  There've been some fairly bland sound
shifts, but I had fun deriving cases from the particles...don't flame me,
please, I'm still learning Japanese and I acknowledge fully that this is a
non-naturalistic "extrapolation."  That, and frankly none of the players
quite has enough linguistics background to bother reading this anyway, but
I enjoyed coming up with it.  (The phonology is "dumbed down" a bit for
the non-IPA-er players.)


A nominative-accusative case system developed in Rokugani, derived from
the particle system.  (For the curious, it's a bastard child of Latin and
Turkish in many ways.)  There are three classifications of noun
inflections, based on phonology: -a/-o/-u nouns, -i/-e nouns, and -n nouns,
   which are pretty much what you'd expect.  (It is likely that the trend
toward vowel harmony will only increase in the future.)  A focus-trigger
system a la Tagalog also developed from the topic particle "wa," though
details will have to wait until I've wrassled with the verb system in more

             derived from     -a/-o/-u    -i/-i       -n
nominative    ga            kadan/a     tor/iNa     roni/Na
accusative    o             kadan/o     tor/io      roni/no
dative        ni            kadan/i     tor/ini     roni/n~i+++
locative      de            kadan/de    tor/ide     roni/nde
ablative      kara          kadan/Na+   tor/igara   roni/nka
genitive      no            kanan/ano   tor/ino     roni/n~o
vocative      ya++          kadan/ya    tor/iya     roni/n~a
focus         wa            kadan/va    tor/iva     roni/mba
                              (sword)     (bird)      (ronin)

+ This one comes from the Korean vocative particle, just because.  Its
appearance probably is one reason for the attenuation of honorific
++ [N] is SAMPA/Kirschenbaum for the velar nasal stop, as in siNG or briNG.
+++ n~ is n-tilde as per Spanish, a palatal nasal stop.

There are *two* classifications of adjective inflections, which agree with
the associated noun in case; these are the -na adjectives (derived from
the "adjectival nouns" that are themselves generally derived from Chinese
in "real" Japanese) and -i adjectives (standard).  Note that -i adjectives
have mostly ceased to function like stative verbs, as they do in Japanese.

             derived from     -na          -i
nominative    ga           kirei/na      kiro/Na
accusative    o            kirei/no      kiro/yo
dative        ni           kirei/nani    kiro/ni
locative      de           kirei/nde     kiro/de
ablative      kara         kirei/Na      kiro/ga
genitive      no           kirei/no      kiro/no
vocative      ya+          kirei/n~a     kiro/ya
focus         wa           kirei/mba     kiro/va
                             (beautiful)   (yellow)

Yoon Ha Lee []

Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to
accomplish it.  The time will pass anyway.