Rinaki is spoken by the Naruerinaki, a people living upon two Island chains in the ocean east of Namjog.


Rinaki comes from rina 'to speak' and simply means language, speech, tongue. Naruerinaki comes from the same root and means the to speak something with the plural marker.


  • Consonants

Stops p t k /p t k/

Fricatives f v s z sh / f v s z S/

Affricates pf ts ch /pf ts tS/

Liquids r l /r l/

Approximants w y /w j/


a ä e i ì o u / A @ I i Q U/

ay ey oy /aI eI oI


p t ts k m
f s s h v

/m/ only lenits when followed by a vowel


Rinaki is an ergative absolutive language. This is marked on nouns and not on the verb.

Ntuekasha nchuwem navi

Boy-erg fish-acc hunts

The boy hunts the fish

Word order is relatively free as cases show the relationship between words, however as a default order most speakers use SOV/EAV

The verb isn't marked for person nor tense but for perfectiveness or imperfectiveness, benefactive or antibenefactive and lauditive or pejorative. Aspect and various moods are used by placing infixes in 2 positions.

Example Syllables Infix Positions
Wu 1

Wu<1>/ w<2>u


Tun 1

Tu<1>n / T<2>un


Lipo 2 Li<1>p<2>o
among 2



The perfective is used for complete actions, also for actions in the future you are definate you will complete.

The perfective is made with the infix -y+duplication of previous vowel.

tiuluyuu looked after some one

yäyääna I saw, have seen


The imperfective is made with the infix w+duplication of previous vowel. Both the perfective and imperfective are made in infix position 1

pawaa was climbing/ am climbing

äwääsu was burning/ is burning


The benefactive shows that the action has benefited the speaker in some way

It is made in infix position 2 with -ol-

navoli hunts for my benefit

tsolu sings for me

To show the benefactive for the listener add the hnunuhna tsolu singing for you/ for your benefit


The benefactive show that the action harms the speaker.

It is made again in infix position 2 with -ur-

kura comes to harm me

yänura sees me to my loss

again adding Hnunuhna puts focus on the listener


The lauditive show the speaker is happy about the action and is made with the infix -onk- in infinx position two if used with either the benefactice or antibenefactive it come after

eshonka I'm eating and am happy about it

tiumakonka i gladly give it


The perjorative shows the speaker is not happy about the action. It is made with the infix -ämp-

tiueyeeshämpa i ate it (and it was horrid)

rueloyookämpu some thing bit me (and didn't like it)


Causatives are used to make verbs or nouns do something, i.e to die, becomes to kill; to make die/to cause to die. Adding a causative to a noun; house, to make a house. In a noun this infix will always come after the last syllable, intervining between the consonant and the vowel causing the vowel to move after -an-

Die intr – tuki > Kill tr – tukani
House – zunka > to build a house zunkana

These verbs follow normal verbal rules, however the first infix will come after any grammatical prefixes

To build a house – Zunkana
Have built a house - Zuyuunkana
Building a house - Zuwuunkana

  • Brother made me break the spear > Tuskosha foywem urichoyunkipom winano

Notice in this statement me has been demoted to accussative and the spear is now genitive from accussative

Passive Voice[]

A passive can be created by taking away an arguement and putting it into the accussative case

The boy hunts the fish Ntuekasha nchuwem navi > The fish is hunted Nchuwem navi


The boy hunts Ntuekasha navi > The Boy is hunted Ntuekawem navi

Addtional moods[]

There are suffixes which can come after final vowel

  • Opative - want > Machakwe
  • Possibilitve -can > Machawiu
  • Obligative - should/must/ought > Machanga

Negation is marked with the prefix pu-, this is followed by lention.

I didn't teach him what to hunt > He navi, foysha smowem puvachämpa


There are two forms of the imperative, one used to make polite commands and the other informal. The formal is made in position infix 1 with -yun-

please follow/come > kayun Please eat > eyunsha

The informal is the simply stem of the verb come! Ka!


To form questions add the particle aswi to the end of the main clause.

Would you like to eat? > hnunu eshakwe aswi?

Have you eaten today? > hnunu chuzi eyeesha aswi?

Verbal Morphology[]

  • -ki; nominalizer; makes verbs into nouns.

Rina – Speak > Rinaki – language/Rinaki

Bibi – Drink > Bibiki – a Drink

  • -tsono; verbalize an adjective;

Tsèngi - hunger > tsèngitsono - to be hungry

Pìvang – cruel > pìvangitsengi – to be cruel

Verbs that take tsengi and huna as an ending add their infixes to the root of the word

  • -hùna; to use a noun;

punga – fist > pungahuna – to punch

myeta – flesh > myetahuna – to have sex

  • -laki; derive abstract nouns from verbs,

tuki – die > tukilaki - death. Ketu – love > ketulaki – love

-kwi; to go somewhere to do...; to go somewhere to die > tukikwi; he went to die > smoko tuyuukikwi.

-hano; to come somewhere to do...; to come to eat > eshahano;

he came here to eat > smoko eyeeshahano.



There are three numbers in Rinaki, singular, the prefix dual tyo- and the prefix Na- denoting more than two. The dual is used for anything that occurs in natural pairs and whatever the speaker wants to join. Both prefixes cause lenition.

Brother Tsusko > Brothers Nasusko

My eyes > Foypom Tyonari


Subject of a transitive verb sha, otherwise known as the actor.

The Brother hit the Sister> tuskosha zurawem puyuungahuna.


Object of an intransitive verb wem, otherwise known as the patient.

The Brother hit the sister tuskosha zurawem puyuungahuna


-run is used to indicate movement to a location or time, with the location being either the final or non final destination then the locative suffix is used.

I went to the House > Foy zunkarun keyeehe

-nan indicates a static static location such as in/on/at

I am in my house > Foy zunkanan seze


With/by are translated with the instrumental suffix -yun if the preposition indicates an instrument used by the subject to perform the action of the verb.

I always hunt with a bow > Foysha ngakyoeyun uyongi navoli

-kutu is used to show joint participation in some situation described by the verb.

I hunt with my brothers > ''Foysha foypom nasuskokutu tiunavi'


-pom is used to show posssession

The father's fish > Anampom nchu

My mother > Foypom nanta


-hna indicates the beneficiary of an action and is usually translated as for or to, any verb will also have the benefitative suffix

Kuoyenrìmata gave us the world > Kuoyenrìmatasha tuuntawem nafoyhna soyoongoli


-tsi show respect towards spirits and used for politeness

mother nanta> honoured mother nantatsi



The vocative oe is used to address people or a group

Hello brother > Koswo oe tusko

Phrases and clauses[]


Noun phrases can be conjuncted with kwòmo (and), however Rìnaki does not use conjunctions with joining verb phrases.

Dependent and relative clauses[]

Simple relative clauses can be formed adjectivized verbs, which have the suffix -yo and come beofre the noun

The men who hunted the the shark > Kuaneo nayaaviyo Nasumpo

The bird that chases the children > Kwesmi twumpoyo namwey

Before and after[]

Before and after occur last in the first clause and is always the first clause

Kwerum - Before

S1 kwerum,S2 > before S1, S2

Before you eat, you should thank the spirits > Hnunusha tiueshola kwerum, hnunusha Nayunetsiwem toyholunga

Fisko - After

S1 fisko, S2 > after S1, S2

After we killed the fish, we sailed home > Nafoysha nchuwem tuyuukanoli fisko, zunkarun iyiinchu

Makto - When

Is used to express simultaneity and occurs in the first clause

When the weather is good, the children play on the beach > Hvìna rungo' seze makto, do navewe erekonan wanukwi'

When I am tired, I don't hunt well > Foy hweri sezämpe makto, foysha hvìna putiunavurämpi