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romulan

romulan/rihan is a conlang from star trek. my unofficial iso code for it is qrh.

phonology

labial dental alveolar palatal velar glottal
nasal m n nh [ɲ]
stop p t c k ; q ' [ʔ]
b d g
affricate ch [tʃ]
j [dʒ]
fricative f th [θ] s sh [ʃ] hh [x] h
v dh [ð] zh [ʒ]
tap r [ɾ]
trill rr [r]
approximant w y [j] w
lateral ll [l̪] l lh [ʎ] llh [ʟ]

there's also ⟨fv⟩ [v̥] in there but it made the table look terrible. and zh and q don't appear in any romulan phonology guide but they do in words.

and uh. why are there four laterals? why would you need that many laterals. ever.

the laterals and rhotics can all be syllabic. as can [j] except that it's actually [y]. speaking of vowels,

front fron't
close i y
close-mid ae, æ [e] o
open-mid e [ɛ] u [ʌ]
open a [ɑ]

long vowels are written twice. yes that means ⟨aeae⟩ [eː].

orthography

you thought klingon had a lot of multigraphs? ⟨ch gh ng tlh⟩? well guess what.

romulan has thirteen.

⟨ae ch dh fv hh lh ll llh nh rr th sh zh⟩.

wh- why.

romulan also has its own writing system, and if the omniglot page is to be believed, the latin digraphs are also digraphs in the actual writing system! it was apparently designed to fit on a sideways 7-segment display ... which is something it does not do.

grammar

romulan can be either SVO or VOS.

nouns have six groups ...

  1. proper nouns
  2. -ae, -e, i
  3. -a, -o, -u
  4. -C but not -am
  5. -sam
  6. -am but not -sam

... and three cases (nom-acc, gen, dat). here's a declension table thing:

group singular plural
nom gen dat nom gen dat
proper (-ha) s'- -(h)'ri -su ch'- -su'ri
1 -n -vha -in -en -vher
2 -m -r -'en
3 -ai -evha -ir -en -evher