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LotM - Sep 18: Rùma
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Fall is here, and our language of the month is walc's wonderful Rùma, an a priori conlang with a beautiful script and detailed history!
This public article was written by Admin Sheep on 3 Sep 2018, 17:35.

[comments] Menu 1. Phonology and Orthography 2. Morphology and syntax 3. More on Rùma 4. A Note on Rùma Fall is here, and our language of the month is walc's wonderful  Rùma, an a priori conlang with a beautiful script and detailed history!

[top]Phonology and Orthography

Rùma has a lovely and mostly symmetric consonant inventory. Stops have three places of articulation, with two other places of articulation for affricates. Except for the alveolar affricate, there is a distinction between voiced and voiceless stops and affricates. There are also three places of articulation, labiodental, alveolar, and postalveolar, for fricatives, with voiced and voiceless versions of each. The voiced obstruents in many places historically arise from voiceless stops between vowels. There are two phonemic nasals, bilabial and alveolar, with the velar nasal appearing as an allophone of the alveolar. Finishing up the consonant inventory, we have palatal and labial-velar glides, and an alveolar lateral and tap. For the most part, the romanization of these sounds is as one would expect, with the exception of the postalveolars. /t͡ʃ/ is written <cc>, /ʃ/ as <sc>, and /ʒ/ as <zc>.

The vowels of Rùma are an asymmetrically expanded 5-vowel system, with the additional vowels /ɛ/ <è> and /ʊ/ <ù>.

The absolute standout feature of Rùma is its gorgeous script. It is alphabetic, with a beautiful curvilinear style, and a unique letter for each phoneme. Although the script is not posted on the language's summary page or translations, here is an example:

ur[l ara noa loras. on ur[l hat toyf syev, lan fy]vy, ru qiny, ; ler c]h]lky serim ; menk[lta ga dareda, ur[r[ly krem polo hak.

[top]Morphology and syntax

Rùma nouns are fairly simple, only declining for number and definiteness. There are three numbers in Rùma, singular, paucal, and plural. The specific affixes used vary based on the phonological form of the noun, and adding plural or paucal suffixes may cause the final consonant of a noun to become voiced. Definiteness is shown by the single suffix -da.

While the nouns are simple, Rùma pronouns are fairly complex. Each pronoun has different forms for subject and object, as well as possessive forms for both alienable and inalienable possession. While nouns do not show gender, third person pronouns do, with distinct masculine, feminine, and neuter pronouns.

Rùma verbs do not show any kind of person agreement, but they do have considerable morphological complexity. There are several different verb suffixes, showing tense and mood, including past, future, conditional, imperative, negative imperative, and hortative. Added to this are progressive and habitual auxiliaries, as well as a perfect auxiliary which also inflects for tense. For instance, the base form of the verb "call" is dona (in the Rùma script, dona). "Have called" is hau dona hau dona, "had called" is haux donax hausc donasc, and "will have called" is hauyu donayu hauyu donayu.

Modern Rùma word order is SVO, but this is derived from an earlier OVS order which changed under the influence of the neighboring Skaradok language. Overall, Rùma has head-initial syntax, with nouns preceding adjectives, numerals, genitives, and relative clauses, and prepositions instead of postpositions.

[top]More on Rùma

That wraps up our review of Rùma! If you want more, check out Rùma's LexiBuild sets, grammar tables, phrasebook, grammar test, and translations! Make sure to listen to the many recorded translations as well!

[top]A Note on Rùma

Got suggestions for how the next LotM should be written? See something in Rùma that wasn't covered and you wish it had been? Feel free to shoot us (phi2dao, argyle, protondonor, or Avlönskt) a PM with your questions, comments, and/or concerns. Also feel free to drop by the LotM clan if you have other feedback, want to join in the voting process, or nominate a language!
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