Eleanor asked me to map out a Romulan alphabet for an upcoming database module in Prolixus. So I started jotting down some notes based on screenshots from various Star trek productions. After a few revisions I came up with a final design for a Romulan alphabet that followed the designs and layout of the script as seen in the show.
The idea for how the script works was inspired by the Arabic and Hebrew alphabets; in particular the square shapes of Hebrew reminded me of Romulan glyphs. It was for this reason, as well a need to keep texts from growing too cumbersome, that I decided to incorporate the rule about dropping vowels within words.
The script is written both horizontally and vertically within the show, so it seemed only right that this was included in the reference image. I chose to have the script go from right-to-left, in horizontal mode again, as a direct inspiration from Arabic and Hebrew, and also, because it seemed more alien. The vertical script running in columns, from top-to-bottom, left-to-right, is a direct consequence of rotating the script in horizontal mode, 90° counter-clockwise. Something similar is observed in the real world with the Mongolian alpahabet.
The alphabet as it appears here is based on canon (no official translation of the glyphs appears in canon, but we think this works).
Originally posted by Greig Isles on 17 July 2012.