|Writing system||Vaniuan script|
|Official language in||Gushlia|
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Rasha (Raşahon; Raşahon, /rəˈʂɑ̃õ/) is a Kashisan language within the Eastern Vaniuan branch of the Vaniuan language family. It is closely related to the pluricentric Jazaghan language. Rasha is written in the Rasha alphabet, a modified variant of the Vaniuan alphabet.
The Rasha language is a descendant of Old Kothlenic dialects spoken by the Huklen tribe, along with other closely related tribes, who migrated westwards into the territory now comprising Gushlia following the expansion of the Kothlen Horde. Along with influence from the Khamaian language on Proto-Kashisan, Rasha has seen considerable substratal influence from the Vucheshian language, most notably in its vocabulary.
Standard Rasha is known natively as Raşahon, pronounced /rɑˈʂɑ̃õ/. The name is derived from that of the Rasha people, the primary ethnic group who speaks the language.
Rasha is a Kashisan language descended from the Eastern Vaniuan branch of the Vaniuan languages. The Kashisan languages can further be subdivided into Kaatian and the Kothlenic languages, the latter of which includes Rasha.
- /f/ is only used in loanwords.
- The phonemes /b/, /d/, and /ɡ/ are realized as fricatives (namely [β, ð, ɣ]) in all places except after a pause, after a nasal vowel, or after a lateral consonant; in such contexts they are realized as voiced stops.
- /ʁ/ does not occur word-initially.
Standard Rasha contrasts up to 6 oral vowels and 3 nasal vowels.
The oral vowels /ɛ/, /e/, and /o/ only occur in word-final positions in loanwords, whereas all nasal vowels may be found word-finally.
- /ɑ/ and /ɛ/ are reduced to [ə] in unstressed syllables. This reduction does not apply to their nasal counterparts.
Two or more vowels are permitted to occur next to each other in Rasha, thus appearing in hiatus; in these cases the two vowels are separated by <h> in orthography. When two instances of the same vowel occur in hiatus, they are realised as a lengthened version of that vowel. However, these vowels must either all be plain or all be nasal; plain vowels cannot occur directly before or after nasal vowels, and vice versa. Thus the addition of certain suffixes may cause a preceding word-final vowel to mutate and assimilate into a nasal in the following manner:
- /ɑ/, /ɛ/ > /ɑ̃/
- /e/, /i/ > /ɛ̃/
- /o/, /u/ > /õ/
An example of such assimilation using the suffix -hon /õ/ "language" would be Raşa /rɑˈʂɑ/ ("Rasha person") becoming Raşahon /rɑˈʂɑ̃õ/ ("Rasha language") when the suffix is added; /ɑõ/ would not be a valid combination of vowels.
In theory, three vowels are permitted to occur in a single sequence in Rasha, and these follow the same nasal assimilation and stress rules as normal pairs of vowels in hiatus, but these sequences are incredibly rare. Perhaps the only somewhat common example of such a sequence in Rasha would be in Tähahon [ˈtɑ̃ːõ] "language of riding" (a former poetic name for the Rasha language), although in this case as a result of nasal assimilation and other hiatus rules the first two vowels are merged into a single long nasal vowel. Most Rasha speakers would pronounce this long vowel as short, however, and if all three nasal vowels are different such that no long vowel is created, the middle vowel is typically omitted. To take an example of a sequence of three consecutive oral vowels occurring in hiatus, a theoretical locative form for this would be Tähahonok [ˈtɛɑonok]. Once again most speakers would omit the middle [ɑ] in this case. There are currently no examples of four vowels occurring in a single sequence in Rasha.
The syllable structure of Standard Rasha is (C)V(M)(C), where M represents the medial consonants r, l, m, and n. X.
Stress patterns in Rasha words are determined based on syllable weight. In Rasha, heavy syllables are those containing a sibilant or nasal coda (i.e. s, z, ş, j, l, r, y, m, n; nasal codas have assimilated into nasal vowels in modern Rasha), while all other syllables are considered light. If a word contains one or more heavy syllables, the stress of a word falls on the first of these. If there are no heavy syllables in a word, then stress falls on the second syllable, or the first if the word is monosyllabic. This method for determining stress means that stress can easily shift, varying in different conjugations of a word. Below is an example using the verb vaya, meaning "to wake up." Heavy syllables are underlined.
- vaya [bɑˈjɑ] - "to wake up"
- vayal [bɑˈjɑl] - "[S]he wakes up"
- vayanamal [bɑjɑnɑˈmɑl] - "[S]he woke up"
- vayanamzak [bɑjɑˈnɑ̃zɑk] - "They woke up"
- vayanamşal [bɑjɑˈnɑ̃ʂɑl] - "It woke up"
An exception to this is when hiatus occurs. In a sequence of two adjacent vowels (separated by a <h> in orthography) the second one may not be stressed, and as such any stress that would be carried by the syllable containing the second vowel in the sequence is shifted over to the previous syllable instead. This means that the two syllables are effectively counted as a single syllable for weighting purposes, with the coda of the second syllable determining the overall weighting of the pair. Thus, while huğon [uˈʁõ] "west" has stress on the second syllable as per normal stress rules, pahon [ˈpɑ̃õ] "to give" has stress on the first syllable.
Another seeming exception to these rules comes when <şd> clusters are present. Although these clusters have assimilated from [ʂð] to become simply [ʐ], they are still treated as the former for the purpose of determining syllable weight and stress (i.e. the first syllable that helps to form that cluster has a sibilant coda and is thus considered heavy).
Certain foreign loanwords are also exempt from these stress rules. For instance, Açiyitqana (Achiyitqana) would normally be pronounced with stress on the second syllable according to these rules (i.e. Açiyitqana), but it is instead pronounced as Açiyitqana, with stress on the penultimate syllable. This reflects the native Achiyitqan pronunciation of the name, which features a high tone in said syllable. Unlike in the case of most native words, which exhibit variable stress depending on any affixes that are attached to the word, foreign words with irregular stress patterns have fixed stress. Thus, while the dative case form of Açiyitqana, Açiyitqanam, would be pronounced as Açiyitqanam with stress on the final (heavy) syllable according to normal stress rules, it instead maintains the stress of the base word, therefore being pronounced as Açiyitqanam.
Rasha is a moderately agglutinative language, though it does preserve fusional affixes for nouns and verbs. Nouns are divided into two animacy classes - animate and inanimate - and are inflected slightly differently depending on the class they are on; inanimate nouns don't inflect for plural number, while animate nouns do.
In Rasha nouns are split into two genders - animate and inanimate - X.