Friday, March 5, 2010
a preview of text editor syllabary system. writing system types.
D - I had originally designed this system for Decimese. Since syllables are very restricted, this was fairly simple.
The consonant-vowel CV construction is pretty much the foundation for Decimese.
V exists, but is simple enough. The M/N/NG word final nasal consonants are also fairly limited.
The consonant cluster -L/R/W are also fairly simple.
Vowel diphthongs are limited too.
Even if the syllabary system was limited to only bare-bones CV syllables, this would still represent the majority in the initial, basic Decimese system.
Decimese is fairly simple, at least for CV format syllables. I figured with 5 vowels we could just use the # or related consonants. We could default to small/plain for -A, capital for -E, italic bold underline for IOU...
However, using combinations of small/capital and bold/italic/underline allows much more nuance.
E.g. capital and bold and underlined but not italic would mean something specific.
A variant font with a morse-code-esque 2 part over or under diacritic would allow yet more meaning.
I don't imagine anybody would include this during typing. An automated process could pack and/or unpack this syllabary system back into a plain Roman alphabet system.
English proved another matter entirely. I tried my hand many years ago with a simplistic system. It immediately failed.
Who would want to learn, say, 1000s of symbols?
I tried this week for a newer system for an English syllabary. First of all, even English has fairly limited options for consonant clusters. However, English essentially has both (V) CV and VC as the basic syllable formats. For that matter, CVC is tricky - is it CV + C or C +VC?
The word STRENGTHS is a killer for a syllabary- CCCVCCC. In theory, I suppose CCCVvCCC with a diphthong is theoretically possible. Ack!
D: many diacritics exist. However, I did wish to use existing ones.
Instead, I chose to start from scratch with a Morse Code style system.
I just needed ways to denote syllable initial and final consonant clusters.
Unlike Decimese, where the 12 paired consonants form the logical basis for the system to include #s, not so in English.
English is logically based on the vowel, the actual core of a syllable.
If I am unable to load enough info onto a single vowel, I may treat a vowel diphthong Vv as CV and vC - almost 2 syllables - to spread out the info onto 1 1/2 syllables, in effect.
Anyway, the morse code system would involve optionally both sub and supercritics. I.e. below and above.
I was thinking of a fairly rudimentary diacritic system of only dots and dashes. - and .
I figured we could have -. and .- and . . or ( ).( ).
The centred dot may serve another function.
English letters are not well designed. Many capital versions are identical in shape to small letters.
X x. C c. Not well thought out at all! Short of reforming the letters themselves, I figured I could use the high/low centred dot positions to denote this clearly.
With this nuance, we can then use different font sizes without confusion.
Decimese has no use for C, Q, or X in the conventional sense.
However, the pressure to use standard fonts and QWERTY keyboards (as well as phone pads) means we must restrict ourselves to Roman letters.
consonants in Ceqli:
C as in CHin
X as in SHoe
Q as in siNG
D: I'm almost tempted to let H do most of these functions, if not all.
TH, TH, SH, CH, SH, ZH, (NG)...
English has the additional problem that we have 5 vowels but many many more vowel sounds, not even including diphthongs!
It made my head swim.
There is a very good historical reason why cultures with complex syllables avoid a syllabary system, instead using an alphabet.
Abjads / Consonant Alphabets
Abjads, or consonant alphabets, represent consonants. Vowels can be indicated by using some of the consonant letters and/or with diacritics, but this is only done in specific contexts,
Alphabets, or phonemic alphabets, are sets of letters, usually arranged in a fixed order, each of which represents one or more phonemes, both consonants and vowels,
Syllabic Alphabets / Abugidas
Syllabic alphabets, alphasyllabaries or abugidas are writing systems in which the main element is the syllable. Syllables are built up of consonants, each of which has an inherent vowel, e.g. ka, kha, ga, gha. Other symbols are used to change or mute the inherent vowel, and separate vowel letters are used when vowels occur at the beginning of a syllable or on their own.
D - the colour-defined vowel part sure is handy!
A syllabary is a phonetic writing system consisting of symbols representing syllables. A syllable is often made up of a consonant plus a vowel or a single vowel.
D - I imagine the Cree system is brutal for dyslexics. Rotated images and mirrored ones. Ack.
Semanto-phonetic writing systems
The symbols used in these semanto-phonetic writing systems often represent both sound and meaning. As a result, these scripts generally include a large number of symbols: anything from several hundred to tens of thousands.
These scripts could also be called logophonetic, morphophonemic, logographic or logosyllabic.
Posted by Dino Snider at 1:45 PM