Kharulian Orthography

Kharulian is written with a morphophonemic alphabet derived from the Muipidan script. It originally followed the Muipidan script in being written either left-to-right or right-to-left, with the characters mirrored depending on the writing direction, but later settled on left-to-right.

The alphabet has 25 letters:

Letter

Name

Romanized Name

Meaning

Default Pronunciation

d

dun

ryun

large moon

/ɹ̠ʲ/

f

fay

fakh

star

/ɸ/

z

ze

she

day

/ʃ/

u

uh

ul

water

/u/

g

gi

nyi

white

/ɲ/

s

sa

sa

person

/s/

j

jin

ghyin

woman

/ʝ/

q

qir

chir

fruit

/tʃ/

o

o

o

eye

/o/

t

tap

tsap

leg

/t/

v

vur

vur

horse

/β/

w

we

ghwe

goat

/ɣ/

c

civ

kyiv

snake

/c/

k

ko

ko

wheat

/k/

a

am

am

leaf

/a/

l

lat

lyat

seed

/lʲ/

x

xu

khu

salt

/x/

m

mas

mas

house

/m/

i

i

i

to be at

/i/

y

y

khya

to make

/ç/

n

n

na

to go

/n/

h

h

la

to give

/ɫ/

e

e

e

to eat

/e/

p

p

fa

to speak

/p/

r

r

ra

to want

/r/

As mentioned, the alphabet is morphophonemic, so letters aren’t always pronounced the same way. For the most part, word stems have a fixed spelling that doesn’t change as affixes are added, even though it’s common in Kharulian for affixes to alter the pronunciation of the stem. Word affixes, meanwhile, are more phonetic, but the reader has to keep the phonological processes in mind.

Standard Kharulian is underspelled — some information isn’t written, even if it would distinguish pairs of words. In particular, voicing and palatalization are often not distinguished: the letter p might represent /p/ or /b/ or /pʲ/ or /bʲ/, with no indication of which is meant other than each variant being more common in different environments. Some unstressed vowel sounds (especially /a/) are also omitted from the written form of a word, schwas are never written, and long and short vowels aren’t distinguished.