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Head direction
Nouns decline according to...
Case Number
Definiteness Gender
Verbs conjugate according to...
Voice Mood
Person Number
Tense Aspect


The southernmost member of the Rotenmuhl language family, and its namesake. Like neighbouring but unrelated language Viisyal, Rotenmuhl has a wide variety of clicks and lateral consonants. On top of these, Rotenmuhl also features emphatic consonants (ejective plosives and germinate sibilants), three tones, and a robust gender conjugation system. Peculiarly, Rotenmuhl prefers to decline its articles instead of its nouns, and these articles take on a heavy grammatical load.



Almost all Rotenmuhl words are monosyllabic.  Words appear in the forms V, CV, and CVC.  Both germinate fricatives and ejective consonants cannot appear syllable-finally.  [w] is only found when connecting a two-syllable word.  Two-syllable words only exist as syllable+[w]+V.


Labial Alveolar Post-alveolar Lateral Velar Uvular
Nasal m n ŋ1
Plosive p  p'  b t  t'  d k  k'  g
Affricate pf  p'f  bv ts  t's  dz tʃ  t'ʃ  dʒ tɬ  t'ɬ  dɮ
Fricative2 f  f:  v s  s:  z ʃ  ʃ:  ʒ ɬ  ɬ:  ɮ X
Approximant w L
Trill & Flap ɺ R
Click kǁ ɬǁ ŋǁ

1. [ŋ] only present syllable-finally.
2. The germinate fricatives do not appear bewteen syllables, since almost all words are monosyllabic, but rather are syllable-initial long-held fricatives.


Front Central Back
Close i u
Close-mid e o
Open a
Tones low ˨ mid ˧ high ˦


The following romanisation scheme will be used for the rest of this article.

IPA p p' b t t' d k k' g ɬǁ ŋǁ m
Romanised p pp b t tt d k kk g q hlq nq m
IPA pf p'f bv ts t's dz t'ʃ t'ɬ n
Romanised pf ppf bv ts tts dz ch cch dzh tl ttl dl n
IPA f f: v s s: z ʃ ʃ : ʒ ɬ ɬ: ɮ
Romanised f ff v s ss z sh ssh zh hl hhl zl -ng
IPA i u e o a (a)˧ (a)˦ (a)˨ X ɺ R L -L -ɬ
Pataka i u e o a a ä â h l r lh -hl -lh


People and objects are grouped into three "genders": muni, shinti, and juni ['].  These three genders correspond to the three sexes of a non-human species.  If spoken by humans, one must convert one's idea of oneself into the Rotenmuhl society's gendering of the three alien sexes, since none of the three sexes are analogous to male or female, and Rotenmuhl lacks a gender neutral terminology.  Plants and any bi-gendered animals are referred to as "it," assumed inanimate.  A human speaker should not want to be considered inanimate.  That said, the muni gender is the dominant grammatical gender, meaning that in a group of people, if even one of them is a muni, the entire group is referred to by muni gender.
(Note that muni shinti and juni are not native Rotenmuhl terms, and when spoken in Rotenmuhl, take on the forms /munwi/ /shintwi/ /ünwi/)

An adult  muni or person of a respectable age and position are addressed as muni.  Munis have wide hips, as well as thicker arms and legs.  They also tend to be taller than the other sexes.  In animals, munis tend to be the largest individuals, and somewhat drab.

Muni objects include : animals, plants, places, languages, and some abstract ideas.

An adult shinti is addressed as shinti.  Shintis have spindly bodies, tiny waists, and large eyes.  Although their stretched proportions make them seem tall, they are the shortest sex.  In animals, shintis tend to be the individuals with the most ostentatious secondary sexual characteristics.

Shinti objects include : celestial objects, diseases, and most abstract ideas.

An adult juni or children of any age are addressed as juni.  Junis have wider shoulders than a muni, and a stocky midsection.  They tend to be larger than a shinti but smaller than a muni.  In animals, junis tend to have competitive secondary sexual characteristics like horns.

Juni objects include : tools, other manmade objects, weather terms, body parts, and as a catchall noun gender.


Rotenmuhl distinguishes between inclusive and exclusive "we" pronouns.  We1 applies when the addressee is included in the "we" with the speaker, we2 applies when they are not.

I you he it we1 we2 y'all they those
Muni ü ä mu â et lhe hlqa te
Shinti äm qol me âm lat lhin hlqö tin
Juni än qoq ân lët lhô hlqal


The article of a noun conjugates for number, gender, definite, indefinite, partitive, genitive/ablative, dative/locative, and instrumental.

The indefinite articles are the default articles, often taking precedence over the definite unless the distinction is absolutely necessary. The indefinite article is used in and statements, where two or more nouns using the basic indefnite article acts as a linked llist: "me, a store, and a fruit" /e ü e fin e gës/. Pronouns and names beginning a sentence can drop the indefinite article: "me and a fruit" /ü e gës/.

The definite article also means "this" or "these."

The partitive or "some" forms are used in sentences like "I'd like some x" "do you have any x" and "x's are y", in general to declare a plural noun. "I have some fruit" /ü qung ê gës/.

A genitive article attaches its noun to a noun or pronoun after it ; it is used for showing ownership of the noun after it. The genitive also covers the ablative case for "from" statements to show movement away from something.  The noun after a genitive noun must be preceded by an article. "My store" /ke ü e fin/ ; "fruit from my store" /ke ü ke fin e gës/ ; "I go from the store" /ü tli ke fin/ ; "I go from my store" /ü tli ke ü ke fin/. The genitive is also used in causal statements with the conjunction /hle/: "I go because of fruit" /ü tli hle ke gës/.

The dative case covers both a direction "to the store", effect of an action "did it to the store", and some senses of location "in the store." A dative article indicates that the action affects the noun after it.  "I go to the store" /ü tli se fin/ ; "fruit in the store" /e fin se gës/.

The instrumental case shows when an object is used for something "by use of x." Historically, the instrumental case and locative case merged due to sounding very similar, so that the instrumental covers "at or by x" as well. "I go by bus" /ü tli ra chet/ ; "I write with a pen" /ü nus ra shar/ ; "I wait at the store" /ü lhas re fin/.

To form the plural of any article, [ŋ] /ng/ attatches to the end.

INDF = indefinite, DEF = defininte, GEN = genitive, DAT = dative, and INS = instrumental, some = partitive.



some DAT

Muni e u ê ke hu te se zu sse re lu tse
Shinti ä ö ï tï ssï tsï
Juni a o i ka ho ti sa zo ssi ra lo tsi


All verbs have mid tone vowels.  The verb infinitive appears as this mid tone stem.  A verb can take two ending particles, for actor and recipient/object.  The actor ending always comes first and has its initial consonant.  The recipient ending tacks appears with ending only.  The initial consonants conjugate by person, and the endings by person and gender.  Eg. I love you, /me tot as/. He loves it, /me dof am/.

I you he it we1 we2 y'all they those
initial t k n d s f g h l
Muni at as af am um ud an ab ad
Shinti ot os of or er ir ur ob il
Juni et es ef on en in un eb id

Tone ApplicationEdit

The main conjugation scheme for verbs is by applying low or high tone to the verb stem.  Low tone indicates an action happened in the past, or is of a perfect aspect.  High tone indicates something will happen in the future, or a subjective mood.  Helper verbs and adverbs can refine other case distinctions.

Helper VerbsEdit

Rotemuhl uses helper verbs to express negation, questions, modality, and mood.  The verb "to be" is also classed as a helper verb.  Helper verbs precede the main verb i applicable, and only conjugate for the actor using only the actor's verb ending, such as /-at/ /-os/ /-ef/.

negation question imperative modality probability to be
s- ts- tj- lh- zh- k-

When using the question helper verb, the main verb is conjugated in subjective high tone.

When using the modality helper verb, distinction between the modalities is in conjugation of the main verb : "must / required to" is in mid tone, "should / may" are in high tone, and "need to" is in low tone. 

Probability acts similarly on the main verb when using its helper verb: "able to" is in mid tone, "probably/could" is in high tone, and "definitely" is in low tone.

Passive voice adds the "to be" copula /k/ in front of a main verb.  /k/ conjugates only with the actor's verb ending, but the main verb conjugates normally.


The direction or intent of an action is expressed by placing the shinti gender article /ssï/ before the verb, treating the verb like a noun.  Eg. "I travelled north to see him/her"  /lü zûq tet ring ssï to qol/.

Nouns & AdjectivesEdit

Sentences appear in SVO order, head initial.  Adjectives come after nouns and adverbs after verbs.  Articles precede the nouns they modify, and every noun except for a pronoun requires an article.  Nouns may appear in any tone, and the noun itself does not decline, rather its article conjugates to express the gender and number of the noun.

Adjectives do not decline.  Adjectives can be identical to nouns, such that forming a noun from an adjective may simply be to place it after a noun without an article.

Verbs may be made into adjectives or nouns by adding the ending /-wa/.  In the case of epressing a noun from a verb in the form of "one who does," the ending is /-wü/ which shortens to /ü/ if the verb ends in a consonant.

Comparatives & SuperlativesEdit

Comparatives and superlatives take the form of : some A more/less/same/most/least some B.  In this format, more, less, same, most, and least are verbs that conjugate with A's gender first as actor and B's gender second as recipient.  The "some" articles are the default for comparisons, but "the" articles may be used when comparing two things that are actually present, such as saying "this A is more than that B", and in expressing "the most B-ish A."  An example of some A more some B : /ê qât lin hab ab ê gës/ "houses are bigger than fruits". To specify what value is being compared, the statement takes the form of : some A of-some X (comparative) B. "Fruits are tastier than houses" /ê qât te täf lin hab ab ê gës/.

More /lin/, less /mat/, same /tal/, most /lif/, least /maf/.


When a preposition is needed which is more definite than the dative (to), genitive (from), and conjunction (and, with) articles, prepositions may be used.  Prepostions precede articles and the article used in conjunction with them must match the preposition's category.  A sample:

Dative (to) Genitive (from) Conjunction (with)
above, across, at, before, behind, below, beyond, for, inside, in front of, near, on, over, toward, under, until

after, because, except, despite, off, from, instead of, out of, outside, through, since

about, against, alike, among, beside, between, but, by, during, with


Rotenmuhl uses a base 12 number system, with examples below.  It has two different words for "twelve", one used for combining forms, and one for the plain number. All number and colour nouns are shinti gender.  All body parts are Juni gender.  Other nouns have gender marked with M (muni) S (shinti) J (juni).

one two three four five six seven eight nine ten
her ffë nqö kïn küq tobv taq äq rür sar
eleven twelve "11" (13) "70" (84) "183" (243)


blue yellow white black
maq ffam lher fel fel taq qen fel äq nqö nats ccë lhäm lhüs ccuj
body arm leg hand intestine face eye ear nose mouth
cits utj matj qun tjef kät ühl ön rït lâq
day month year earth fire sky water person thing animal
tsä S leq S lhön S nqê M kün S pfü S hus M lur J qoq J cöf M
go come exit enter say, talk hear write read see know
tli jel hahl an po mot has nots to ri

Example textEdit


Ê xïx qopf um kud cipf fud tï gö tsï özj
ssï quq tï tsoq gö tsïq nüq.
Jqal kud tsiq fud il tï nöt tsï jiv re lhud ütj fud ud
ssiq xïx iq ciq hoq re bos ke kul täl.

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.  They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

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