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Relative Pronouns
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This public article was written by Remy Remington Lucien, and last updated on 20 Nov 2018, 16:29. Editing of this article is shared with A Priori Conlangers.

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Ric has three relative pronouns, listed below with their approximate English translation. We will go through each of these three and show their uses individually, with examples.

Kjo /kʲo̞/ - “what/which/who/that”
Klo /klo̞/ - “when”
Kro /kɾo̞/ - “where”


Kjo is the most frequently used of the three relative pronouns. When in the accusative case it becomes kjoc and when in the dative case it becomes kjok. As will become evident, this is the most versatile of the relative pronouns, and can be implemented to indicate a greater number of distinct meanings than the other two.

Consider the following example:

“I believe that we will fight.”
Xi kjoc zeji vu bajacen bo.
1S what.ACC believe 1PL fight.1PL go

In this example, the word kjoc represents the entirety of the clause “we will fight”. The initial clause, Xi kjoc zeji, means “I believe that/I believe what”. On its own, this would read as a question such as “What do I believe?” The clause which follows, however, acts as an answer to the question, thus transforming the meaning into something like “What I believe is we will fight” or “I believe that we will fight”. This is the case for most of the relative pronouns in the majority of their roles. When the relative clause is removed, the statement typically becomes a question.

Kjo can also be used to refer to an animate relative phrase, in the way that the English “who” does. In this role, kjo takes the dative case.

Consider the following example:

“I am the man who buys an apple.”
Xi dacoc kjok so lo o pepoc adulen.
1S man.ACC what.DAT be 3S INDEF apple.ACC buy.3S

The word kjo can be used in a similar way to refer to inanimate relative phrases, in the way that the English “what/which” does. This formation requires the use of passive voice in the relative clause, and the use of the word jit meaning “this”, in the accusative position of said clause.

Consider the following example:

“I understand that which I can see.”
Xi kjoc sajni jitoc xi co jo.
1S what.ACC know this.ACC 1S see can

This formation is similar to that of the relative pronoun kro which we will observe later. It also uses the passive voice in this way, though to describe a location of a noun rather than a condition of it.

In informal speech, the word kjo is often omitted entirely from the statement. This is why the passive voice is important when forming statements like the previous example above, as removing it changes the meaning of the phrase.

Observe the difference between these two informal statements:

“I understand that which I can see.”
Xi sajni jitoc xi co jo.
1S know this.ACC 1S see can

“I understand that I can see this.”
Xi sajni xi jitoc co jo.
1S know 1S this.ACC see can

These two unique statements are written the same way informally, except for the passive voice in the relative clause. This is the only use of the pronoun kjo which requires any additional syntactic specificity. In its other roles, the meaning of the statement formed with the pronoun kjo is not affected by the use of passive voice, it only changes its delivery.

For a final example sentence with this pronoun, consider the second example now written informally:

“I am the man who buys an apple.”
Xi dacoc so lo o pepoc adulen.
1S man.ACC be 3S INDEF apple.ACC buy.3S

Simply omitting the pronoun kjo leaves no ambiguity as to the meaning of the phrase, and shortens/simplifies the statement for conversational speech.


Klo is used most often to refer to a situation or circumstance. When in the accusative case it becomes kloc and when in the dative case it becomes klok.

Consider the following example:

“I hate when you leave.”
Xi kloc dori lo paj karmo.
1S when.ACC hate 2S if leave.2S

In this example, the word kloc represents the clause “(when) you leave”. The use of the adverb paj, meaning “if”, puts this clause in the potential/hypothetical mood, which is standard when using the relative pronoun klo in this manner. Unlike with the first example for kjo, omitting the relative clause does not produce a question in this case. If one wanted to ask “When do you leave?” for example, the pronoun would be added to the relative clause itself, the parent clause dissolved, and the potential adverb removed (i.e. Lo kloc karmo?)

In informal speech it is common for this formation to be reduced via pronoun dropping, like with the word kjo. This informal formation results in the above example becoming Xi dori lo paj karmo, which reads “I hate if you leave”, a statement understood to mean the same thing as the initial example.


Kro is used most often to refer to a physical place or location. When in the accusative case it becomes kroc and when in the dative case it becomes krok.

Consider the following example:

“I know where you live.”
Xi kroc sajni jitoc lo folo.
1S where.ACC know this.ACC 2S live.2S

In this example, the word kroc is used to refer to the physical relative phrase “(where) you live”. When used in this way, the relative phrase is in the passive voice (as is indicated by the OSV word order) with the word jit, or “this”, in the accusative position. This forms a statement comprised of two clauses which could be read individually as “I know where” and “you live this”. Together, it is understood that the “where” of the first clause refers to the “this” in the second, forming the statement “I know where it is you live” or more simply “I know where you live”.

In informal speech this formation is often simplified, though in a different way than the other relative pronouns. Rather than deleting the relative pronoun itself, the word jit is often omitted from the statement. This would result in the statement Xi kroc sajni lo folo, which can be read simply as “I know where you live.”


And that concludes this introduction to Ric relative pronouns. There are of course additional ways these pronouns can be manipulated to form more complex and convoluted statements, as with English, but this is a strong baseline for understanding their most common uses, and will make 95% of their occurrences in Ric literature comprehensible.
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on 20/11/18 16:29-21Remy Remington Lucienbold/italics correction
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