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Pronunciation {{{pronunciation}}}
Spoken in {{{spoken_in}}}
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Official status
Official in None
Regulated by None
Language codes
ISO 639-1 rv
ISO 639-2 arv
ISO 639-3 arv

Arskovaa (Ååskoråv, ååskoṛåv, [ɑːskoʕɑw], literally "our language") is a Northern Lycanthropic Language spoken primarily in the Seven Baan of Rykkovaa, and is the sole official language of the country. It is not spoken as a first language by any significant population. Instead, Arskovaa has since the 16th century served as a lingua franca between the Baan, whose related indigenous vernaculars are mutually unintelligible. To this end the language has been preserved in its literary form nearly unchanged since the 17th century by academic concensus and later formal government regulation. It is used in literature, higher education, business and national government.

Typologically Arskovaa presents an unusual mixture of absolutive-ergative and hierarchical alignment in nominal and verbal marking. It typically uses head-final constructions, such as postpositions. The underlying basic word order of the language is subject object verb, but this is obscured by verb second word order in main clauses as well as frequent topicalization. It is an agglutinative language and nouns and verbs are inflected for several grammatical categories. This affixation is subject to a complex but highly regular system of allomorphy. There is no lexical category which corresponds to the adjective, the role being filled by stative verbs and genitives. Arskovaa is also notable for its extensive system of honorifics in the form of specialized affixes, grammatical constructions and lexical items.



Geographic Distribution

Official Status


Both the consonant and vowel inventories of Arskovaa, with 28 and 12 contrastive phonemes respectively, are relatively large. This full set of contrasts is not available in all environments. Certain contrasts for both consonants and vowels are neutralized by the allophonic processes of palatalization, pharyngealization and vowel harmony which characterize the language's sound system. Length is contrastive for both consonants and vowels.


Arskovaa distinguishes consonants at 6 different places and in 4 different manners. This set of contrasts is expanded upon by the secondary articulations of palatalization and pharyngealization for all alveolar consonants. Voice is also distinctive for obstruents with the exception of the bilabial and uvular plosives and all non-alveolar fricatives. Geminates only occur between vowels.

  Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal Glottal
Plain Light Dark Plain Light Dark
Nasal m n          
Plosive b t d tʲ dʲ tˤ dˤ c ɟ k q    
Affricate       t͡s t͡sʲ t͡sˤ          
Fricative ɸ ɸʲ ɸˤ s ç ɣ ʁ ħ h
Semivowel             j ɰᵝ   ʕ  

Palatalization and pharyngealization are the primary form of allophony for consonants. These processes neutralizes the contrast between palatalized and pharyngealized consonants and their plain counterparts found elsewhere. Allophonic palatalization occurs before front vowels, and affects all alveolar and velar consonants. It is realized as pure phonetic palatalization for alveolars and fronting to the palatal place of articulation for velars. Pharyngealization instead occurs before pharyngealized vowels and only affects alveolar consonants.


The 12 vowels of Arskovaa are contrasted by height, frontness and backness and rounding or pharyngealization. Both phonetically central and back vowels occur, but there is no pair of central and back vowels which are contrasted by this difference alone. Because of this and the nature of vowel harmony in Arskovaa, these vowels can be considered part of a single phonemic class of back vowels. Rounding and pharyngealization contrasts to do not overlap either, as only high vowels are ever rounded and only mid or low vowels are ever pharyngealized. However, rounded and pharyngealized vowels interact with consonants differently and can not be considered a single, broader phonemic class.

  Front Central Back
High i iᵝ ɨ ɯᵝ
Mid e eˤ ə ɤˤ
Low æ æˤ a ɑˤ

A system of front-back vowel harmony governs the allophony of vowels. Under this system all vowels in a word must be either front or back. Whether a word's vowels are front or back is determined by the first vowel in the root morpheme of a word. As a result all grammatical and derivational affixes, both prefixes and suffixes, display allomorphic vowel shifts. Vowel harmony effectively neutralizes the contrast between front and back vowels in all syllables of a word other than the conditioning one.


The great bulk of grammatical informational in Arskovaa is encoded in the inflection of nouns and verbs. The language also possesses a set of postpositions.



All nouns belong to one of two grammatical genders, animate or inanimate. Which class a noun belongs to affects both its own inflection and that of any verbs which must agree with it. The gender a given noun is assigned is usually based on pure semantics. The majority of animate nouns denote people or animals while most inanimate nouns denote unliving objects. There are however nouns whose class is counterintuitive. Some nouns which point to inanimate things are grammatically animate while some nouns denoting animate things are inanimate. Animacy is also key to the language's system of honorifics. A typically inanimate noun may be treated as animate to express respect and an animate noun may be treated as inanimate to express humility.


The morphosyntactic alignment of case marking in nouns is ergative except in some sentences with an SAP argument. There are 5 distinct cases: absolutive, ergative, genitive, dative and instrumental. Case is indicated by suffixation, with different suffixes for animate and inanimate nouns. The exception is the absolutive, which is unmarked for both genders.

  Animate Inanimate
Ergative -s
Genitive -t -i
Dative -n -no
Instrumental -vi -åk

The unmarked absolutive is the basic case and is used as the citation form. Its primary grammatical function is marking the sole argument of an intransitive verb and the patient of a transitive verb. It is also sometimes used to mark the agent of a transitive verb. This occurs only when the agent is a first or second person pronoun and the verb is in the direct construction (see LINK HERE).

The compliment to the absolutive case is the ergative case. It is uses to mark the agent of a transitive verb, except when absolutive is used instead as described above.

The genitive case is used to mark possession. In modifies the possessor, which is placed before the possessed noun.

It is also used with a number of postpositions.

The dative case serves several functions. The first of these is indicating the indirect object of a bitransitive verb.

Similarly, the dative can be used to mark the beneficiary of an action.

That dative is also used to mark the perceiver in sentences denoting perception or emotion. The includes both sensations with an identifiable souce and those with out.

In a related construction, the dative is also used to indicate inalienable possession, marking the possessor.


Demonstratives which modify nouns occur not as independent lexical items but as suffixes. There are two levels of demonstratives, proximate and distal, which are equivalent to English "this" and "that" respectively. In the absolutive case animate and inanimate nouns use different suffixes, while the remaining oblique cases use a third set of suffixes.

  Absolutive Oblique
Animate Inanimate
Proximate -åx -sq -x
Distal -xp -sp -f

The proximate demonstratives are also used as definite articles. This use is grammatically obligatory for any definite noun, unless it is marked by a distal or possessive suffix instead.


Nouns which do not bear a demonstrative suffix may bear a possessive suffix instead. In order for this to be grammatical, the possession in question must be inalienable. Items which can be relatively trivially gained and lost may not be inflected for possession. Whether or not a noun meets the appropriate criteria is not lexically fixed, and the absence or presence of a possessive suffix can be used to create meaningful alterations.

ktaṛv "my fur (as part of my body)"
våx kta "my fur (from an animal)"

As demonstrated by the example above, in cases of alienable possession the only manner in which to indicate ownership is with the genitive case. Also shown is how a pronomial genitive is typically dropped when there is a possessive suffix on the noun. This is not obligatory, and the pronoun may be retained, typically for emphasis. Like the demonstrative suffixes, the first and second person possessive suffixes have special, gender specific forms unique to the absolutive case. There is no such complication for the third person possessive suffixes.

  Absolutive Oblique
Animate Inanimate
1st Person Exclusive -åv -su -vå
Inclusive -ååc -yyc -caa
2nd Person -åś -si -si
3rdPerson Animate -ge
Inanimate -do

All the forms given in the chart above are singular, except for the inclusive first person, which is necessarily plural. Plural forms for all other suffixes are derived simply by lengthening the vowel.


There are two systems of grammatical number present in Arskovaa. The dominant of the two is the common singular-plural system found in many other languages. The singular is unmarked, and the plural is indicated by lengthening the first vowel of the first lexical morpheme in a noun.

The second system of marking number in Arskovaa is the collective-singulative. For nouns which fall under this paradigm, the unmarked collective denotes multiple instances of the noun while the marked singulative indicates a single item. The singulative is marked in one of two ways. Nouns which end in a vowel take the suffix -x, while nouns ending in a consonant take -h instead. In both cases however the suffix is always written as h.

jango "eyes"
jangox "eye"
dvet "forest"
dveth "tree"

There is no way to predict with absolute certainty which paradigm any given noun will belong to. Collective-singular nouns are usually things which are expected in groups while singular-plural nouns are those which are typically found on their own, or not found in groups significantly often.









extra long vowels vowels next to vowels inappropriate sonority/geminate word finally vowel deletion


Letter Value Transliteration
  /i/ <i>
  /ɨ/ <ï>
  /ɯᵝ/ <u>
  /iᵝ/ <ü>
  /e/ <e>
  /ə/ <ë>
  /ɤˤ/ <o>
  /eˤ/ <ö>
  /æ/ <a>
  /a/ <ä>
  /ɑ/ <å>
  /æˤ/ <å̤>
  /ɨ/ <y>
  /i/ <ÿ>
  /m/ <m>
  /mʲ/ <ḿ>
  /mˤ/ <ṃ>
  /n/ <n>
  /nʲ/ <ń>
  /nˤ/ <ṇ>
  /ɸ/ <f>, <p>
  /ɸʲ/ <f́>, <ṕ>
  /ɸˤ/ <f̣>, <ṗ>
  /b/ <b>
  /bʲ/ <b́>
  /bˤ/ <ḅ>
  /s/ <s>, <z>
  /sʲ/ <ś>, <ź>
  /sˤ/ <ṣ>, <ẓ>
  /t͡s/ <c>
  /t͡sʲ/ <ć>
  /t͡sˤ/ <c̣>
  /t/ <t>
  /tʲ/ <t́>
  /tˤ/ <ṭ>
  /d/ <d>
  /dʲ/ <d́>
  /dˤ/ <ḍ>
  /h/, /ː/ <h>
  /ç/ <h́>
  /ħ/ <x>
  /k/ <k>
  /c/ <ḱ>
  /ɣ/ <g>
  /ɟ/ <ǵ>
  /ʁ/ <r>