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Shortly after embarking on your trans-oceanic voyage, you meet an extended family who speak Stulano.* Although you don't share a language, they quickly "adopt" you as one of their own. You pass a couple of days playing with the kids and trying, through much trial and error, to communicate. By the end of the week, you can understand simple sentence structures in Stulano, but you're still trying to figure out how everyone is related.

The family consists of:

  • Four men: Boba, Chinu, Ghoregi, and Lesle
  • Three women: Hana, Nesuadu, and Olivia
  • Four boys: Mateho, Pietru, Stusla, and Timio
  • Four girls: Aliche, Dido, Ionie, and Vasti

The children range in age from around nine years old down to baby Pietru, who's not even crawling yet.


Dido, one of the older girls, takes a particular interest in explaining her family to you. "Mateho is my dresca," she tells you proudly, pointing to a boy around her age, "and Stusla"--a solemn little boy of perhaps eighteen months--"is my slui. Our bena and pama are there." She points to Boba and Olivia. "Pama is the merila of her family. I am the merila of Stusla, but not of Mateho.

"Timio and Vasti here are my pasli," she says, as a younger boy and girl chase each other around you. "Timio is the dresca. Their bena is my spiezu Ghoregi, who is Pama's slui. Rumispo Hana and Spiezu Lesle are also Pama's slui. Spiezu Ghoregi's neti is Rumispo Nesuadu, and Rumispo Hana's cico is Spiezu Chinu. Spiezu Lesle doesn't have a neti."

"Dido!" calls a girl around Dido's age, beckoning to her from across the deck.

"Call me Stitra Dido," Dido yells back. The other girl comes toward her, speaking in rapid-fire Stulano, and Dido replies with equal gusto. The good-natured argument lasts for half a minute and ends with both girls shoving each other and laughing.

"Ionie is Timio and Vasti's merila," says Dido, "but she's my pasli."

"Yes, Stitra Dido," Ionie says, rolling her eyes. "But I am the stitra of Stusla and Aliche and Pietru."

"So am I," Dido replies. "I'm the stitra of all of you!"

"Not of Mateho," Ionie retorts.

"No, but Mateho is your musua."

Wanting to prevent another argument, you ask Ionie, "Nesuadu is your pama, yes?"

She nods brightly.

"And Olivia is your rumispo?"

The girls burst into laughter. "No, no!" Ionie corrects you, "she's my snama. She's Aliche and Pietru's rumispo. My rumispo isn't here--this is my bena's family."

"So Boba is your..."

"Locrale."

"Is Lesle your locrale?"

Ionie nods again. "My bena is his dresca."

"And Rumispo Hana is his merila," says Dido, "although she's Spiezu Ghoregi's slui."


From what you now know about this family, fill in the blanks in the following statements:

  1. Ghoregi is Lesle's ____.
  2. Boba is Olivia's ____.
  3. Hana is Vasti's ____.
  4. Lesle is Stusla's ____.
  5. Chinu is Aliche's ____.
  6. Pietru is Dido's ____.
  7. Timio is Ionie's ____.
  8. Aliche is Pietru's ____.

Bonus question: What was Dido and Ionie's argument about?

* Stulano is a constructed language made by me, but for the purposes of this question you can treat it as if it were a natural language. However, you should not assume that it categorizes family relationships the same way as English does! You may assume that every child in this family has a father and mother who are monogamously married to each other, and that none of the children are married.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Ok, so I can't pull out the final answer, but here's my take so far: spiezu and locrale mean something like 'uncle', with rumispo and snama as 'aunt'. Dresca is brother, without a doubt. There seems to be an important distinction between older/younger, with slui only used for younger relations while merila and stitra are only for older. neti and cico might indicate marriage. Not sure. $\endgroup$ – Jakob Lovern Mar 16 '18 at 21:30
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Some translations

Immediate family

bena = father
pama = mother
dresca = older brother
merila = older sister
slui = younger sibling
neti = wife
cico = husband

Extended family

pasli = cousin
stitra = older female cousin
musua = older male cousin
rumispo = aunt (mother's side)
spiezu = uncle (mother's side)
snama = aunt (father's side)
locrale = uncle (father's side)

Family tree

Family tree Siblings are arranged from oldest > youngest

Answers

Ghoregi is Lesle's dresca.
Boba is Olivia's cico.
Hana is Vasti's snama.
Lesle is Stusla's spiezu.
Chinu is Aliche's bena.
Pietru is Dido's pasli.
Timio is Ionie's slui.
Aliche is Pietru's merila.

Bonus:

Dido and Ionie were arguing over who is older.

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    $\begingroup$ But Dido refers to Chinu as Spiezu and Nesuadu as Rumispo, which aren't reflected in your family tree.. are there multiple incestuous relationships going on here? $\endgroup$ – dooog Mar 16 '18 at 22:27
  • $\begingroup$ @doog oh you're right, I changed some translations from my original wording but I forgot to keep that in consideration. I'll change them back now $\endgroup$ – as4s4hetic Mar 16 '18 at 22:31

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