Wednesday, February 4, 2009

apologies for truncated blog yesterday. font designers, 3 iterations for decimese?

D: this blog builder does not fare well with cut and paste.
If the pasted section is wider than the permitted screen,
things get cut off.
Many small font passages become invisible.
When I catch them, I change their colour.
Otherwise, just highlight with "select all".

Good news! My pal Sanjay ordered me a font designer.
We shopped around and found that Fontlab's stuff is both
as good as any and cheaper. 100 bux bought me even the
ability to make Adobe-compatible fonts.
I did find the the SIB bitmap font maker for 30 bux, but it is
pretty limited. Many other programs could handle OTF and
TTF but not Adobe.

I can now roll-my-own Old Persian font.
I can also make a working font for my HIOXian system.

Next stop: I'm building a 3d polarized rig this month. It involves
2 cruddy old used LCD monitors from the local campus surplus
sale, a half-silvered mirror ($40-100) and a nice wood box.
I am intensely curious about loading language information on top
of existing standard alphabet writing.
A local university computer guy and another computer prof too
are both pitching in to get things going.
I am also am pals with one U computer hardware gal, so I have
my bases covered.
( Humming tune of "I get by with a little help from my friends...".)

Hmm. I wonder if I could show pitch with depth information...

Well, if nothing else, my display will make a sweet gaming rig for
World of Warcraft, LOL.

Re: HIOXian font.
1) standard version, medium thick bar segments, straight and diagonal lines only
2) baroque style, circular/curved/swirly motif
3) examples of cursive handwriting, also a font.
D: I don't think any existing software can accommodate my colour-coded
Rainbowesque letter-stacking idea.
There is no reason that could not also work with existing fonts.
It would work better, I think, with letters that overlap heavily.

I'll likely build HIOXian to the 2 suggested standards of LangX.

I will need to think about keyboard layout. I looked into that before.
I have an idea for a "hand and a half" keyboard.
It emphasizes only dominant hand dexterity.

A coupla thoughts on HIOXian.
1) keyboard layout needs to be based on QWERTY and DVORAK
considerations of letter frequency
2) the order of the 'alphabet' will likely be an homage to the Indian
system which methodically lists letters by place of articulation.

Another homage, readily apparent in HIOXian:
In Korea, the Hangeul alphabet was scientifically created by Korean scholars under King Sejong in 1443. Understanding of phonetic alphabet of Mongolian Phagspa script aided in creation of phonetic script that suited Korean vocal language. Mongolian Phagspa script in turn was derived from the Brahmi script. Hangeul is a unique alphabet in a variety of ways: it is a featural alphabet, where many of the letters are designed off of a sound's place of articulation (P to look like widened mouth, L sound to look like tongue pulled in, etc.); it was consciously designed by the government at the time; and it situates individual letters into syllable clusters with equal dimensions as Chinese characters to allow for mixed script writing (one syllable always takes up one type-space no matter how many letters get stacked into building that one sound-block).

D: from LangX.

A Consonantal Script

The potential print-saving achievable by a consonantal script is astounding. With 27 consonants, 551,880 words of four letters or less are possible (27 + [27 × 27 =] 729 + [27 × 729 =] 19,683 + [27 × 19,683 =] 531,441 = 551,880) - four or fives times more than the total vocabulary of English (if the endless progression of names for numbers, chemical compounds etc. is excluded).

D: using the single digit numbers to denote which word could work.

This would work better earlier, with fewer vowels.

E.g. CVCV(nasal ending). V1 and V2 , if there are 5 each, allows 25 possibilities.

... OK I just refuted myself. There is no way to shorten the word this way.

The only benefit would one could assign vowels to the shift-for-capital letter category.

The #s could be briefer.

Language X is onto something important. One must adhere to standard computer hardware.
Read about the hassle of trying to type in Chinese!
Better yet, find out how hard a Chinese dictionary is to use.
The keyboard pretty much dictates a cap of c. 52 phonemes/letters in the near future.
Again, beyond 100 years from now we have NO idea what things will look like.
Perhaps the QWERTY keyboard will be supplanted by direct brain implants. Who knows?
A game plan past 500 years from now assuming business-as-usual is very conservative.

If Kurzweil is right, even planning beyond one generation has serious issues.

D: I attempted to try a LangX approach to Decimese.
Generation 1: 5 consonants pairs, 3 vowels, generic nasal ending.
Generation 2: 5, 5, 2 nasals
Generation 3: 6, 5 plus diphthongs, 3 nasals.
D: a carefully planned offloading of word particles onto consonant clusters, new sounds, as
well as diphthongs could result in very rapidly spoken synthetic language.
Generation 1 is likely a decent basis for a starter IAL, with world appeal.
Generation 2 is within the reach of Mandarin speakers.
Generation 3 requires Cantonese or more.
If one is in love with the idea of a highly variable word order, then Gen3 would do so.
I.e. M, N, NG word termination for noun/verb vocabulary items.
Once subject, object (nouns) and adjective/adverbs and verbs are addressed, one can engage
in Latin-like variable word order.
My friend in classics explained Latin to me once. I was gobsmacked by the complexity.

Generation examples.
1 - PB (same thing for now) - AUI (pick one) - MNNG (generic nasal ending)
2 - as per 1 but SH/CH pair, WY or LR consonant cluster, AUIEO, M or N
3 - as per but W Y L R, (vowel diphthongs), M N NG. H is now a consonant.
Note how limited Generation 3 is compared to Lang53 of LangX.
This makes it a near-future proposition.

Words in each generation.
1) pb aui m, e.g. pam
2) p lr a m
3) p l a y m.

D: a quick scan of the dictionary will indicate what consonant clusters are acceptable
to English speakers.
A list of Chinese monosyllables will the same for them.

In this respect, Decimese is unlike most IALs other than Ceqli.
It serves Mandarin interests now, and English interests later.
Generation 1 is the nod to the needs of the rest of the world.
Vocabulary items are culturally neutral though.
In that respect, it resembles LangX.
Ceqli has too many phonemes from the very start to serve as a world IAL.
At most, it could serve as a Chinese-English interlang.
Which is what it is designed for, as well as a valid design purpose.

Well enough rambling thoughts.
I'll try to stick to 1 topic tomorrow.

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