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In the Verse:Lõis timeline, Riphean is an Azalic language, like English. It is inspired by Vietnamese and Welsh.

It is in the Judeo-Brythonic-Cubrite sprachbund and its main post-proto-Azalic loan source is Greek.


as in Vietnamese; note: r /ɹ/, d /z/, j /ʒ/, g is always /ɣ/, x /s/, s /ʃ/, đr = /ɖ~ɭ/

m n l can be syllabic


Riphean is natively written in either the Hebrew alphabet or Latin orthography based on the in-universe Old English orthography.



  • conj. i, du/u, khê, si, it, gia, dul/ul, doi/oi
  • disj. mi, du, khim, kher, it, eox, dul, dam
  • poss. mơ, ur, khex, kher, itx, eor, dux, dar

inflected prepositions


Two cases (nominative and genitive), no gender

  • Genitive singular is always -x or -ơx
  • Plural is almost always nom. -i, gen. -xi

The definite article is invariably . There is no indefinite article.

Umlaut, known in-universe as affection, is used for some plurals: for example,

  • mon 'man', mơn (gen. mơnxi) 'men'.


Only the imperative/infinitive survives in lexical verbs. There is also a passive participle in -ơd (only used as an adjective).

VSO syntax with the verbal noun form is often used in narratives.


Riphean has an auxiliary verb system similar to Colloquial Welsh. In addition, there is a T-V distinction: the 2nd person plural is also used as a polite pronoun.

The choice of preposition before the lexical verb also controls the tense:

  • Im ot het = I eat/I am eating (lit. I am at eating)
  • Im pho het = I have eaten (lit. I am after eating)
Various auxiliaries in Riphean
→ Person I thou he she it we blotp they Non-pronominal
Present (sêu is from *sekw 'see') im dur khês sis its giar dulơr dar sêu
Pres. Interrogative am i ar du is khê is si ist ar gia ar dul ar doi is
Pres. Negative or neg. interr. nam i nar du nis khê nis si nist nar gia nar dul nar doi nis
Past (from aorist *dʰéh₁t of *dʰeh₁ 'to do') ted i ted u ted khê ted si ted it ted gia ted ul ted oi ted
Future/Subjunctive ter i ter du ter khê ter si ter it ter gia ter dul ter doi ter

Sample text

From "The Nightingale and the Rose" (Oscar Wilde)

Dơ Noitingươl đu dơ Vard

"Ted si gêu ter si pho khơrđi gim vưt ter i pho ơdvơr vardơx radơx đor," biêc dơ Mathit dưng; "ơlt nis vard rad in ol mơ buxtn."

Phar kher nert on dơ đriêu kholm-uôc khar dơ Noitingươl khim, đu otơc si eot thơr dơ lavơx, đu pharơcs si.

"Nis vard rad in ol mơ buxtn!" biêc khê, đu phêl khis êux phormuôs gi đơr. "Ơi, on khot thengơx lihtl tis dơ phơlíxơđê ot dơpénd! Im pho cri ol thengơx tis dơ sajơx pho scriv, đu sêu ol misriơx philóxophi mơ dal, ơlt on devit vard rad tis mơ loiv pho khoel bilihtơd."

The Nightingale and the Rose

'She said that she would dance with me if I brought her red roses,' cried the young Student; 'but in all my garden there is no red rose.'

From her nest in the holm-oak tree the Nightingale heard him, and she looked out through the leaves, and wondered.

'No red rose in all my garden!' he cried, and his beautiful eyes filled with tears. 'Ah, on what little things does happiness depend! I have read all that the wise men have written, and all the secrets of philosophy are mine, yet for want of a red rose is my life made wretched.'