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View Full Version : written-language help needed. (a.k.a. PEACH?)



Draconi Redfir
2013-10-27, 01:58 AM
So Iíve been wanting to get back into this Longshadowed tribe thing i picked up and dropped about a year or two ago, and Iíve particularly wanted to rework the written language so i can use it to describe the symbols/writing on my character's armour and weapons better, hopefully to the point where i can have an image of him commissioned with such.

thing is, Iím kind of having some trouble doing so, either Iím at work, or Iím tired from work, or i just can't get motivated, or i just can't think of anything, so i was wondering if i could get some help/feedback on this whole thing from you guys. here's the "language" as it's written now, can i just get some seccond opinions on it? advice on what does/doesn't work, how i could improve it, or even if it's just good as it is now.


http://imageshack.us/a/img850/9854/x84u.png

Okay guys, so how does this one look? what Iíve done this time is limited each letter to a general triangle shape with only lines and the like within it. first i did the vowels of A E I O and Y, and realizing i couldn't think of a proper U that didn't look like a V, i just merged it with O. After that, every letter is in some way based off of a vowel shape, for example V is a O/U with it's "bottom" removed, while H is an I with an extra stripe through it, and J is an inversion of L, which is based on K, which is based on E. so at the very root of every consonant, is a vowel.

I took the advice of removing Q, though not X as the opportunity to use four triangles in one symbol was just too good to pass up, i did however combine S and Z into a single symbol as it was suggested that one be replaced with the other. Iíve also made letters appear similar to other letters that are similar in English (See C/D, B/P, and P/R.)

in addition, Iíve just written it all out, and Iíve successfully limited each letter to maximum of four "stops" and two "lifts", with the average being about three and two respectively.

All in all i think this is a great improvement over the older iteration, what do you guys think?

Previous text on this post:
Edit: This segment of the thread is obsolite. For the most recent version of the alphabet, please see here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=16325900&postcount=12)


http://imageshack.us/a/img837/5161/2btj.png

the two larger marks are just the main symbols of the tribe/family, feel free to ignore those if you want. the red X above the R shows that Iíd at least like to redo that.

so here are my questions to you.

1. What letters/symbols do you think look good? which ones do you think look bad? is there any reason to these?

2. a general "theme" of the tribe is that Triangles are somewhat prominent in their culture as squares are in ours, another person i showed this to compared it to the Bionicle language (http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20081214121007/bionicle/images/6/67/The_Matoran_Language.jpg) which is heavily circle-biased, with each letter being some form of decorated circle, should i do the same with these letters but with triangles?

3. the words written beneath the alphabet are a small number of words that Iíd like to each be represented via a single rune, as Iíve worked them out now however, they have a vastly different appearance to the traditional alphabet, should they be altered to more match the style of the individual letters, or remain unique among them?

4. what else would you recommend/suggest for this? at this point Iím really open to changing or altering anything about it, except for the large symbols of the tribe/family on the right, which mind you aren't exactly part of the alphabet, though they'd probably be used to depict things such as home and family.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide, thanks anyways if you can't provide any.

Rolep
2013-10-27, 07:18 AM
This isn't exactly my area of expertise but one thing that I could suggest would be to remove some of the english letters and add in certain combinations (like removing c & q since k covers them both and adding in a symbol for ch, since the sound is different from a c followed by a h), as this can add chaarcter and uniqueness to the written language.
As for the symbols you do have, I like most of them, but m, n, o, u & r seem a little bland/uninteresting. Especially since this is fantasy art, which is supposed to be overblown, I would make them more complex, to keep them in line wiht the others.
Unfortunately, lacking any artidstic talent, I cannot help you actually change the symbols themselves.:smallredface:

BWR
2013-10-27, 08:41 AM
I have a feeling this is one of those situations where A says "I want to make a realistic FTL ship: how do I do it?" and someone knowledgeable comes along and starts bringing out the math and theory why FTL travel doesn't work, and A is disappointed because she didn't want realism, she just wanted an FTL ship.

In short, don't try to make an imaginary language (or writing system, in this case) if you don't know what you're doing. If all it's going to be is English with new sounds, stick to English. It will make everything easier.
If your writing system is going to be for standard English, with just replacement symbols for each letter, stick to English. If all you want is something pretty to look at, throw in some random symbols and tell the players that it's RL nonsense but says X in-game.

With that out of the way, there is a whole lot of stuff to think about.

First of all, medium dictates form
The use of writing implements and the type of surface they will be inscrbied on are important. Cuniform was impressed on clay with a stylus. Without the specialiized sylus and soft clay, a writing system like cuniform would very hard to implement. Try hacking that into stone in small enough writing to be useful. Nordic runes were designed to be engraved on hard surfaces like stone or wood. Straight lines are alot easier to make than curves, so all runes are straight lines at angles. The traditional Chinese characters take a lot longer to hack into stone than runes, but a brush on paper works fine, as does a paint brush and flat surface.

What sort of writing implements will your setting have? If it's mostly rocks, bone and wood, something similar to runes or Japanese katakana will likely develop. If they use clay or wax, cuniform or line-based symbols will be likely, but with the addition of curved lines. Ink/paint and flat surfaces will allow more varied and detailed symbols to be regularly emplyed, such as kanji or Mayan writing.

Secondly, sounds and words
IRL, the vast majority of writing systems were meant to convey a certain spoken language, ignoring the development of Braille or sign languages. This is because spoken lanuge is universal to human societies.
While grossly inaccurate, written languages can be divided into two types: picture based and sound based. Picture based languages have literal symbolic representation of objects and to a lesser extent ideas. Traditionally, these languages have been less developed than sound based writing systems. Mostly because you would need such an immense number of symbols to convey even simple messages that it makes it hard to master. The simpler writing systems are based on he phonemes of the language they represent. You seem to be confused about what you want to do. You have a full alphabet, but have certain concepts, often rather complex concepts, represented by a single sign. What sort of grammar have you planned for that? Or is it meant to be simple signs with very specific, situational meanings, like road signs or warning lables?

Thirdly, representing sounds
Using English, because it's what you appear to base your stuff on, there are numerous reasons for why it looks the way it does now. Ignoring early history of the Roman alphabet, English uses the Roman alphabet with some additions, like 'j' and 'w'. It was developed and adapted to suit Latin, not English. However, when the Romans came to the barbaric lands in the north they needed to write down the names of the people they conquered. So say someone has the name Wulfric. 'W'? Latin doesn't have that sound, so how do they write a sound they don't have? Well, 'w' sounds sort of like a long 'u' sound (which would be written 'oooo' by most modern English speakers), so they but two ofthe letter 'u' together and used that, hence the name 'double-u'.
But combining existing letters to represent other sounds is a long tradition. The 'th' combination was in Old English represented by one or two seperate letters, the thorn and the edh (the edh was often dropped infavor of thorn). The Elder Furthark had more symbols than the Younger, so at some point they said "you know what? we have too many sound symbols, let's get rid of a few. I mean, 'g' sounds close enough to 'k' that we really only need one symbol for both, right?"


Fourthly, orthography
In short, spelling. How long has your culture been literate? How widespread is literacy? How much actual literature is there? Do you know why languages like French and Irish seem to have immense differences between spelling and pronounciation? Why learners complain "Why don't they just write things the way they are spoken?" Because they were written down a long time ago and orthography stagnated while pronounciation changed. It's the same with English. Why does the letter combination 'ough' at the end of words sometimes get prounounced 'o' and sometimes 'uff'? Why is 'tough' written that way rather than 'tuff'? Why is 'though' written that way rather than 'tho'? Why doesn't 'ghoti' spell 'fish' (and no, it doesn't, no matter how clever whatshisname thought he was).
Because at some time in the past, people did write the words they way they spoke them, to the best of their ability, and conventions got stuck. You want to know why people stick with one correct spelling? At one point in England there were some fifty different ways of spell 'should'. Having one spelling makes reading a lot faster than having to read it aloud to guess what the words are supposed to be.

Fifthly, why bother?
Putting all that work into something can be fun, but I have feeling you aren't looking for that. Like I said in the beginning, if you don't want to do anything but make English with funny symbols, fine. Just replace the symbols and be done with it, but be aware that that is what you are doing, not creating a new language or a new writing system.

Morgarion
2013-10-27, 09:59 AM
BWR's is some good advice. In regards to point 3, if you're not going to eliminate characters or conflate sounds together, then I would suggest making certain graphemes more similar to each other.

Sounds are grouped into various overlapping category, based on place of articulation (lips, teeth & tongue, alveolar ridge, etc.), manner of articulation (complete stop and release, almost complete stop and turbulent air, etc) and voicing (the only difference between /t/ and /d/). These elements of our phonemes are actually represented in orthography fairly often.

If I was doing this, I'd default to making the largest similarity occur between sounds that share a place of articulation. So /b/ should look more similar to /p/ than /f/ to /s/. The nasals /m/ and /n/ will probably go together, as you have them. Then, of course, all the vowels should look more similar to each other than to the consonants. Categorizing them is going to be tricky if you're doing a one-for-one transliteration from the English orthography, because we have - as BWR pointed out - weird spelling (well, it's actually not that weird if you know which sound changes happened when, but that's another discussion).

I've written this with the assumption that you're going to make the script more phonetic, but it should work pretty well even if you're not going to. Either way, I'd add glyphs for the <sh> sound, as well as both of the <th> sounds.

Here are some links that might help.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Place_of_articulation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manner_of_articulation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonemic_orthography

Draconi Redfir
2013-10-27, 01:08 PM
This isn't exactly my area of expertise but one thing that I could suggest would be to remove some of the english letters and add in certain combinations (like removing c & q since k covers them both and adding in a symbol for ch, since the sound is different from a c followed by a h), as this can add chaarcter and uniqueness to the written language.
hmm that could be possible... though i am a little hesitant due to my experience with another written-language thing which combined C and K and lacked a Q altogether, you eventually got to the point where it was tricky to tell if people were trying to say Koukh, Couch, Kouch, or Couke, and when you wanted to write things such as "quick" or "question" it essentially boiled down to Kueick and Kuestion.



As for the symbols you do have, I like most of them, but m, n, o, u & r seem a little bland/uninteresting. Especially since this is fantasy art, which is supposed to be overblown, I would make them more complex, to keep them in line wiht the others.
Unfortunately, lacking any artidstic talent, I cannot help you actually change the symbols themselves.:smallredface:

Weird, i was actually thinking Iíd need to make others like H G and Q simpler to make them easier to see.


I have a feeling this is one of those situations where A says "I want to make a realistic FTL ship: how do I do it?" and someone knowledgeable comes along and starts bringing out the math and theory why FTL travel doesn't work, and A is disappointed because she didn't want realism, she just wanted an FTL ship.

in those situations i think it'd be better to simply answer the questions the asker asked rather then explain things they didn't ask for. for example if somebody asked "how powerful of an engine would i need to make a ship go FTL" rather then avoid the question by saying "you can't it's impossible because "maths"" just answer it and give the theory, such as "you would need an engine that can produce ten to the power of ten cubed gigawats of power per second" or whatever it may be. if you can't answer the question that someone is asking, why are you trying so hard to tell them you can't?



In short, don't try to make an imaginary language (or writing system, in this case) if you don't know what you're doing. If all it's going to be is English with new sounds, stick to English. It will make everything easier.
If your writing system is going to be for standard English, with just replacement symbols for each letter, stick to English. If all you want is something pretty to look at, throw in some random symbols and tell the players that it's RL nonsense but says X in-game.

i'm sorry, but this just came off as rude.




First of all, medium dictates form
The use of writing implements and the type of surface they will be inscrbied on are important. Cuniform was impressed on clay with a stylus. Without the specialiized sylus and soft clay, a writing system like cuniform would very hard to implement. Try hacking that into stone in small enough writing to be useful. Nordic runes were designed to be engraved on hard surfaces like stone or wood. Straight lines are alot easier to make than curves, so all runes are straight lines at angles. The traditional Chinese characters take a lot longer to hack into stone than runes, but a brush on paper works fine, as does a paint brush and flat surface.

What sort of writing implements will your setting have? If it's mostly rocks, bone and wood, something similar to runes or Japanese katakana will likely develop. If they use clay or wax, cuniform or line-based symbols will be likely, but with the addition of curved lines. Ink/paint and flat surfaces will allow more varied and detailed symbols to be regularly emplyed, such as kanji or Mayan writing.

Hmmm, Iíll have to think about that, paper is a fairly recent development isn't it? i could see the tribe not having access to it in the time period that it existed, that could possible call for a lot of straight lines and angles as they had to carve things into clay, stone, wood, etc the hard way. could be a good reason to alter everything into some variant of a triangle.


Secondly, sounds and words
IRL, the vast majority of writing systems were meant to convey a certain spoken language, ignoring the development of Braille or sign languages. This is because spoken lanuge is universal to human societies.
While grossly inaccurate, written languages can be divided into two types: picture based and sound based. Picture based languages have literal symbolic representation of objects and to a lesser extent ideas. Traditionally, these languages have been less developed than sound based writing systems. Mostly because you would need such an immense number of symbols to convey even simple messages that it makes it hard to master. The simpler writing systems are based on he phonemes of the language they represent. You seem to be confused about what you want to do. You have a full alphabet, but have certain concepts, often rather complex concepts, represented by a single sign. What sort of grammar have you planned for that? Or is it meant to be simple signs with very specific, situational meanings, like road signs or warning lables?

Well, i suppose i should have linked it sooner, but the tribe phonically "speaks" common as most humans do, but was creating it's own language in order to differentiate itself from it's estranged kin, this only started out as a written language, and as the tribe existed many centuries before the "modern" day, a full-blown spoken language was never truly created before they either died off or were re-integrated into modern human society. as for the word-symbols, i feel that it would be simpler to have commonly used words depicted as a single symbol rather the needing to write out the entire word itself, for example if we assume the letter "X" represented the word "Family" and the letter "Q" represented the word "Blood", then rather then needing to write "The Family of Blood arrived just in time", you'd need only write "The X of Q arrived just in time", saving valuable space on whatever you may have been writing on, be it a weapon, a block of wood, or even a paper.


[Language

The Longshadow tribe did not have it's own spoken language; instead speaking common as most humans do. They did however possess the beginnings of a written language, represented as a series of triangles, circles, and occasionally squares along with various lines and the rare recognizable symbol such as a skull. The written language itself was composed of about twenty seven simple symbols used to replace the common alphabet, and at least a dozen more complex symbols to represent major words or phrases such as "home" "shadow" or "death".

http://img714.imageshack.us/img714/2937/shadowtribething2.png

an example of the shadow tribe alphabet.



Thirdly, representing sounds
Using English, because it's what you appear to base your stuff on, there are numerous reasons for why it looks the way it does now. Ignoring early history of the Roman alphabet, English uses the Roman alphabet with some additions, like 'j' and 'w'. It was developed and adapted to suit Latin, not English. However, when the Romans came to the barbaric lands in the north they needed to write down the names of the people they conquered. So say someone has the name Wulfric. 'W'? Latin doesn't have that sound, so how do they write a sound they don't have? Well, 'w' sounds sort of like a long 'u' sound (which would be written 'oooo' by most modern English speakers), so they but two ofthe letter 'u' together and used that, hence the name 'double-u'.
But combining existing letters to represent other sounds is a long tradition. The 'th' combination was in Old English represented by one or two seperate letters, the thorn and the edh (the edh was often dropped infavor of thorn). The Elder Furthark had more symbols than the Younger, so at some point they said "you know what? we have too many sound symbols, let's get rid of a few. I mean, 'g' sounds close enough to 'k' that we really only need one symbol for both, right?"

Sooo is this you suggesting that i remove/combine a few letters as Rolep was?



Fourthly, orthography

Feel like i already answered this bit, so Iím just gunna skip over it if you don't mind.


Fifthly, why bother?
Putting all that work into something can be fun, but I have feeling you aren't looking for that. Like I said in the beginning, if you don't want to do anything but make English with funny symbols, fine. Just replace the symbols and be done with it, but be aware that that is what you are doing, not creating a new language or a new writing system.

that um... kinda is what i'm trying to do? ish? i said i wanted to do this so that i can get an image of my character, who is a decedent of this tribe, in his full armour and weapons, all of which bear the marks of the tribe, thing is i also want them to make sense, spelling out prayers or phrases or the like, i don't want it to be just random gibberish.

long-term if i ever get back into the Origins of the tribe (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=11966030#post11966030) as i began some time ago, Iíd like to eventually print it out as a small self-published book, it wouldn't happen for awhile most likely, but if i can get this one element of it finished in a way that i like then with any luck it would prompt me to continue with the rest of it.


*snip*

Unfortunately i am only looking for visual help, how the language looks rather then sounds, as mentioned before it's still more or less common just written differently.

to re-iterate what Iím looking for;


so here are my questions to you.

1. What letters/symbols do you think look good? which ones do you think look bad? is there any reason to these?

2. a general "theme" of the tribe is that Triangles are somewhat prominent in their culture as squares are in ours, another person i showed this to compared it to the Bionicle language (http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20081214121007/bionicle/images/6/67/The_Matoran_Language.jpg) which is heavily circle-biased, with each letter being some form of decorated circle, should i do the same with these letters but with triangles?

3. the words written beneath the alphabet are a small number of words that Iíd like to each be represented via a single rune, as Iíve worked them out now however, they have a vastly different appearance to the traditional alphabet, should they be altered to more match the style of the individual letters, or remain unique among them?

4. what else would you recommend/suggest for this? at this point Iím really open to changing or altering anything about it, except for the large symbols of the tribe/family on the right, which mind you aren't exactly part of the alphabet, though they'd probably be used to depict things such as home and family.

lsfreak
2013-10-27, 06:59 PM
Overall:
I like that there's a theme, rather than fairly arbitrary collections of shapes. Roman likes its lines and tight curves like for r s n, yours is circles and triangles. However, everything is equal-sized; it might add some flavor to it to have circles or triangles of other than a single size throughout the alphabet.

In terms of the letters themselves:
I don't particularly like C, H, P, Q, R. C and P have half-triangles that simply look odd to me, and I also could see them changing more directly into < and >-shaped strokes rather than the half-isosceles-triangle you have. H and Q just have a *lot* of strokes to them, and I'd expect strokes to disappear or merge together to make a simpler glyph (for H, I could see the [] transforming into a smaller circle like I mentioned previously about uniform size).

I'd also expect T to develop a longer tail in order to differentiate easily between T and V. D and E might be a bit close together as well, but I'm not so sure there.

Two things to think about:
First is the dropping/adding letters that others have talked about. It's relatively easy to do with consonants [overlap between c/s, c/k/q, g/j, don't need x at all, add specific glyphs for th, sh, ch, and maybe "zh" (azure) and ng], but even that's not completely straightforward (we write s when the word sounds z all the time), and there's dialect differences as well. Vowels are a complete cluster**** that basically requires an understanding of phonology and maybe English dialectology in order to pull it off. So the major consonants we write as digraphs, maybe, but I wouldn't worry about any more detail than that.

The second thing is that this is a detailed alphabet. It's got quite a few strokes per character (looks like most are in the 4-5 range, compare English with 2) and the glyphs don't easily join together in connected text. In everyday handwriting, people will take shortcuts, they'll merge strokes, and so on (e.g. my d and g are often single strokes, B looks like "el-3", j g y have different allographs depending on whether they're followed by e, before a break, or neither). Not that you have to fix it, or have to develop how people would write it everyday, but just be aware that this level of detail may represent the "correct" version that people learn and is present in religious texts and legal documents, but not what you'll find in diaries or personal letters.

The Logographs:
Just something to be aware of is that, in the real world, words written as a single symbol in an otherwise-alphabetic writing system usually don't have special meaning, such as these seem to, but rather are the very common grammatical words like "the" or "and" (& from et), conjugations/declension shorthands, and similar (words ending in -x in French as variation of -us). Were this a real writing system, I'd expect logographs with specific cultural meanings such as the ones you've presented to have ritualized meaning, rather than being present in everyday writing. Not that I'm saying not to do it - just be aware that this could be ritualized, or could be a deliberate departure from reality.

The death symbol is strange because it's completely filled in; I'd expect it to be more like two circles for eyes with a W underneath representing teeth or something. The other thing is that you could have fun building the cultural background with these symbols; death as a skull is one depiction, but maybe it's a rendering of the sun low at winter solstice, or a stylized animal with mythological connections to death. They may share a language with us English-speakers, but that doesn't mean they have a similar understanding of the world and interpretations of what things are connected, and this is a chance to fill out what some of those cultural differences are if you so desire.

BWR
2013-10-28, 06:06 AM
Hmmm, Iíll have to think about that, paper is a fairly recent development isn't it? i could see the tribe not having access to it in the time period that it existed, that could possible call for a lot of straight lines and angles as they had to carve things into clay, stone, wood, etc the hard way. could be a good reason to alter everything into some variant of a triangle.


It doesn't really matter how recent a development it was IRL, does your tribe have access to it? Do they use rough skins to write on? Do they prepare it to membrane (parchment and vellum)? Do they write on sticks and bones? Do they readily adopt new things?
It is perfectly possible they developed angular characters but that these evolved into rounder characters once they got hold of small made-for-writing surfaces. It's also possible they had two alphabets, one based on the other, one for scratching into hard surfaces, one for painting on all surfaces, so you could have both a triangle alphabet and a circular one. Why did two different ones develop? Who knows? Maybe the circular one came first but they quickly realized that it wasn't very good for engraving, so they developed the angular characters to make permanent inscriptions.



as for the word-symbols, i feel that it would be simpler to have commonly used words depicted as a single symbol rather the needing to write out the entire word itself, for example if we assume the letter "X" represented the word "Family" and the letter "Q" represented the word "Blood", then rather then needing to write "The Family of Blood arrived just in time", you'd need only write "The X of Q arrived just in time", saving valuable space on whatever you may have been writing on, be it a weapon, a block of wood, or even a paper.


And as I tried to get into, this won't work as a real written language. You could easily have a bunch of unique characters that function as rough signposts with very limited and non-specific meanigs, like road signs (http://visual.merriam-webster.com/transport-machinery/road-transport/road-signs/major-international-road-signs_1.php), warning labels (http://hqstockphotos.com/image/shutterstock-eps-77037973), etc, but it won't work as a complete written system. Quite simply, you need too many unique characters to convey even basic concepts, not to mention more advanced ones. If you use existing symbols as shorthand for certain concepts, fine, but you will be left with a very limited set of usable characters. If space is a problem, you won't be writing much.

A better approach would be to adopt some ideas from real world languages. Hebrew, for instance, is notorious for writing only the consonant sounds and omitting vowels sounds, relying on people knowing the language and understanding the context enough to fill in the missing sounds. Ts cts dn n t sz f txt. Bt t mx t hrd t fll.
Common abbreviations also work. E.g. 'manuscript' was abbreviated to MS for years. The use of apostrophes to show where there aren't letters where there should be is very common nowadays and could easily have been introduced by your tribe.

Also, punctuation. historically, punctuation is a bit iffy and far too detailed to get into here, but suffice to say that in many Classical texts, as well as most ON and OE and many ME texts, punctuation is infrequent at best, haphazard and possibly entirely lacking at worst. And space between words is unusual, as is the distinction between capital and non-capital letters.
SOYOUWOULDOFTENGETRUNONSENTENCESWHICHTAKETIMETODEC IPHERANDGETRIGHTITWASNOTAWAYOFWRITINGTHATENCOURAGE DQUICKPERUSALTRYTRANSLATINGENTIRETEXTSWRITTENTHISW AYESPECIALLYCONSIDERINGTHELESSTHANREGULARSHAPEOFTH ELETTERSITSABITOFAPAINICANTELLYOU.




Sooo is this you suggesting that i remove/combine a few letters as Rolep was?

Only if that's what you want. Modern English does have a few archaic, 'useless' letters, like c/k/q and x. c and q came from Latin, and the q has a disctinct phonemic value there: there's a reason all the 'kw' sounds are spelled with a q. However, you can replace 'q' with 'kw' and be done with it. Also, 'c' has developed into a number of different sounds, most of which can be replaced by combinations of other letters.
Of course, if you want all sounds in your language to be represented by a single character, you will need to introduce a lot more, for 'th, 'dh', 'ch' 'zh' 'ng', to name a few.
What sort of symbols this tribe has depends on a number of things. What sort of writing their system was based on (basiclly, if I understand you, they dumped their former alphabet and invented new characters that did exactly the same thing as the old, just like you did with English -> this), what sort of sounds their language has (English has a lot more sounds than most people are consciously aware of), how their language has changed since they first started writing, how strict they were about orthography (write any given word only one way or just write it the way it sounds), how ruthless they have been in pruning away 'useless' letters (see Elder vs. Younger Futhark),



If you don't want information to work with but me telling you what to do:

If you just want a distinctive look, fine. Run with what you have.

If you want a distinctive look that works, consider the points on medium and form (painted characters can be round on hard surfaces, but will wash away easily, unless enameled; engraved characters tend to be angular and will last longer).

If you want it to 'make sense' you have already chosen the alphabet to be modern English letters that are used for modern English. Keep it at that and don't mess around with more or fewer characters, avoid toying with anything. Keep it at straight letter replacement.

If you want road signs/warning labels, create a few unique symbols for them but remember they don't work in real text. I would advise against trying to kitbash written English into a hybrid phonemic-ideogrammatic language.

Morgarion
2013-10-28, 10:43 AM
Unfortunately i am only looking for visual help, how the language looks rather then sounds, as mentioned before it's still more or less common just written differently.

I think you might have misunderstood my commentary. I wasn't trying to say anything about inventing a phonology, just giving you advice on how to make a writing system that makes sense. I'm not sure if you checked the links, but they were just quick references to the criteria that we use to categorize sounds.

Just categorize the letters by the sounds they tend to make, then make the members of those categories similar to one another. Like in the Latin alphabet, <s> and <z> look like each other because they sound like each other. It's not accidental. In your alphabet, the character for <s> and <z> look as much like each other as they do like <p>, which I would expect to look something like <b>.

Draconi Redfir
2013-10-28, 11:46 AM
*more or less all of it*

Pretty much exactly what i'm looking for here, thank you. i'll try and re-do the language a bit while keeping all of this in mind sometime later



And as I tried to get into, this won't work as a real written language. You could easily have a bunch of unique characters that function as rough signposts with very limited and non-specific meanigs, like road signs (http://visual.merriam-webster.com/transport-machinery/road-transport/road-signs/major-international-road-signs_1.php), warning labels (http://hqstockphotos.com/image/shutterstock-eps-77037973), etc, but it won't work as a complete written system. Quite simply, you need too many unique characters to convey even basic concepts, not to mention more advanced ones. If you use existing symbols as shorthand for certain concepts, fine, but you will be left with a very limited set of usable characters. If space is a problem, you won't be writing much.

Again, i'm not looking for one symbol for everything in existance here, just a dozen or so common words that are used often by the group, that's it.


I think you might have misunderstood my commentary. I wasn't trying to say anything about inventing a phonology, just giving you advice on how to make a writing system that makes sense. I'm not sure if you checked the links, but they were just quick references to the criteria that we use to categorize sounds.

Just categorize the letters by the sounds they tend to make, then make the members of those categories similar to one another. Like in the Latin alphabet, <s> and <z> look like each other because they sound like each other. It's not accidental. In your alphabet, the character for <s> and <z> look as much like each other as they do like <p>, which I would expect to look something like <b>.

ohhh oky i see now.

Palanan
2013-10-28, 12:59 PM
Just a few quick comments for now:

Is there a reason the tribe doesn't have their own language? This is the first thing that leaps out at me, because in many regions with tribal cultures there's a great deal of linguistic diversity. I really have a hard time imagining a culture like this not having their own unique language, or at the very least their own dialect of a broader tribal language.

On the symbols for the written language, two things to keep in mind: first, as others have pointed out, duplicating the exact composition and sequence of the English alphabet doesn't ring true, and it makes more sense to work out what sound values your culture is using and then match the characters accordingly. This is a little more work, but gives you a vastly better result.

And second, as BWR points out, the available writing materials will have an overwhelming influence on the shape of your characters. A tribal culture would have a difficult time etching so many perfect circles into wood or stone. Probably the strongest example of this is Ogham, which is very cool but about as far from circles as you can get.

Also, you mention the need to save space on writing surfaces, and this is certainly a concern for societies that don't have mass-produced paper or other materials. One approach to this is to use a syllabary, which uses characters for syllables; the classic example of an early syllabary would be Linear B, and the standard example of a modern one is the Korean Hanggul, created around 1446 in a fairly well-documented process. Syllabaries have more characters, typically 50-80, but they can be a little more compact on the page.

For inspiration, I would suggest you take a look at one of my absolute favorite books on languages and writing, which is Lost Languages (http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Languages-Enigma-Undeciphered-Scripts/dp/050028816X/), an extremely readable and fascinating look at ancient languages around the world. You may find the chapter on Etruscan especially interesting, since the characters are forerunners to the Latin alphabet and the Etruscan language remains mainly unknown. There are also great chapters on the Indus Valley script and the rongorongo of Easter Island--both of these are complex systems of pictograms which have yet to be deciphered.

After that, take some time to look through The World's Writing Systems (http://www.amazon.com/Worlds-Writing-Systems-Peter-Daniels/dp/0195079930/), which is an amazing survey of writing from across human history. You'll see more kinds of writing than you ever knew existed, and it's a fantastic source of inspiration. This is a hefty book, and a little steep for a casual purchase, but you should be able to find a copy at your local library.



Finally, an editorial note:


Originally Posted by BWR
Cuniform was impressed on clay with a stylus.

This style of writing is known as cuneiform. For a good overview of the modern decipherment of cuneiform, take a look at Empires of the Plain (http://www.amazon.com/Empires-Plain-Rawlinson-Languages-Babylon/dp/0312330022/), which charts the progress of a remarkable man as he explores the remnants of Mesopotamia.

Draconi Redfir
2013-10-29, 03:21 AM
Just a few quick comments for now:

Is there a reason the tribe doesn't have their own language? This is the first thing that leaps out at me, because in many regions with tribal cultures there's a great deal of linguistic diversity. I really have a hard time imagining a culture like this not having their own unique language, or at the very least their own dialect of a broader tribal language.

The tribe goes through some combination of extinction/re-merging with more "common" humans at some unspecified point, i figure that while they may have accumulated an accent of some sort after generations of isolation from most of the rest of the world, their spoken language never had time to evolve into a fully separate one. the written language was actively created to differentiate themselves from other humans, while the spoken language just sort of never changed all too much.


Anyways, i just hand-wrote each letter in the English alphabet and counted out how many stops to change direction, and how many lifts of the pen to start a new line/detail it takes for each letter, granted i made the mistake of counting the "letter is done" stop as one of the stops, but all the same i found that the number of "Stops" averages out to about two, and the average number of "lifts" is about one (not counting the more common "zero" lifts.)

I plan to use this as a baseline for re-working the language into a simpler format, if i can, Iíll try and keep each or at least most letters from having more then double of these numbers, so preferably no letter should have more then four "stops", and no letter should have more then two "lifts". there may be one or two divinations from that, but that remains to be seen.

I've also decided that Iím going to try and keep the language primarily triangles, removing squares entirely and keeping the circles to a minimum, perhaps only including them in Vowels and the like. I'm still unsure if the word-symbols should be more fancy or not however.

All that said though, Iíve made myself a primitive "To do" list for the next time i work on this, hopefully tomorrow, but you never know. Let me know if you have any suggestions for it.


To do list:

Attempt to make Signs with at most Four stops and Two lifts.

Attempt to work in good ideas from commentators:

1. Remove some consistents to replace with others. (note: Not all/any guaranteed to happen)
1a. C and Q to be replaced with K/Kw.
1b. Symbol for Ch (cheese), Th (thanks) Sh( Shady) Zh(?)(Azure) Ng (-ing at end of words?)
1c. Remove C, replace with S, possible vice versa
1d. Replace S with Z, possible vice versa
1e. Remove X

2. Make letters that look/sound similar in English appear smiler in Lownghshadow. (S/Z, B/P)
3. Throw in different sized shapes/triangles, such as a small triangle inside a larger one
4. Change ďDeathĒ symbol to be less filled in (two circles + W shape?)
5. No/better drawn half-triangles

Probably go with the ďAll letters are triangles/decorated trianglesĒ approach
( Make A E I O U and maybe Y plain triangles? Only letters to feature circles?

Consider numerical system? Roman lines possible, something similar possible, unique symbols for 0-9 possible but more hassle.

Draconi Redfir
2013-10-30, 10:58 PM
http://imageshack.us/a/img850/9854/x84u.png

Okay guys, so how does this one look? what Iíve done this time is limited each letter to a general triangle shape with only lines and the like within it. first i did the vowels of A E I O and Y, and realizing i couldn't think of a proper U that didn't look like a V, i just merged it with O. After that, every letter is in some way based off of a vowel shape, for example V is a O/U with it's "bottom" removed, while H is an I with an extra stripe through it, and J is an inversion of L, which is based on K, which is based on E. so at the very root of every consonant, is a vowel.

I took the advice of removing Q, though not X as the opportunity to use four triangles in one symbol was just too good to pass up, i did however combine S and Z into a single symbol as it was suggested that one be replaced with the other. Iíve also made letters appear similar to other letters that are similar in English (See C/D, B/P, and P/R.)

in addition, Iíve just written it all out, and Iíve successfully limited each letter to maximum of four "stops" and two "lifts", with the average being about three and two respectively.

All in all i think this is a great improvement over the older iteration, what do you guys think?

DarkLightHitomi
2013-10-31, 02:22 AM
I like the direction this is going, however there are some concerns over the usability.

Some of the letters are the same except orientation, this leads to dislexia issues and mixed with nearly all letters being complete triangles in a variety of directions, leads a reader to wonder if they have the text upside down.

Some of your letters are also too similar, (f & m, k & r)

Suggestions,
Make the triangles all go one way, this makes it clear what direction the text is going. For greater variety increase the number of incomplete triangles (triangles with outer sections missing)

Try to make each letter have at least one, and preferably two elements, be completely distinct. I.e. only two letters might be missing the top corner, one of them has a dot there. Both of these letters are distinctive.

If you use a second orientation for some triangles, or include diacritics (like a dot) make it mean something, such as only vowals, or for hard letters, in the latter case the two letters might be the same symbol except for direction. (Hard vs soft, s, f, t, etc are soft, z, v, d, etc are hard versions of the same letters)

Last but not least, write each symbol by hand a couple dozen times in a row. This will lead to simplifications. Do this on note cards, then when finished with all letters, arrange them as fast as you can in proper order. If you have trouble or mistake one letter with another, consider revising that symbol to make it more distinct.

Draconi Redfir
2013-11-06, 08:29 PM
Darklight i will respond to you at some point, but for the moment at least i'd just like to get a few more seccond opinions on this, i'm not looking for any huge details or interrogaitions on how to speak the dang thing, i'm just looking for wnsers to the qestions of "do you like it, why or why not?" and little else.

that said, i'm bumping this as it's been at least a week now and nobody's responded to my attempts at getting a simple seccond opinion, so this'll be one last attempt at getting such.

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-11-07, 08:00 AM
Currently reading through the thread, though I can't see the images on this computer, due to network restrictions, so I'm waiting till I get internet back at my home before really putting effort into responding. :smallwink: Don't worry, I'm coming.

Draconi Redfir
2013-11-07, 01:02 PM
Some of the letters are the same except orientation, this leads to dislexia issues and mixed with nearly all letters being complete triangles in a variety of directions, leads a reader to wonder if they have the text upside down.

My immediate thought regarding this script is that it will be a nightmare for dyslexics. I'd strongly recomend making them more distinct in some way.

Well what would you suggest? from the existence of our on English letters such as b and p, and v and u, it's clear that our language wasn't built with dyslexics in mind, why should this language, having been invented and procedurally killed off before even the "modern" fantasy period of the setting, be any different?



Suggestions,
Make the triangles all go one way, this makes it clear what direction the text is going. For greater variety increase the number of incomplete triangles (triangles with outer sections missing)
Tht limits the way i can decorate the triangles quite a bit actually, and it would be harder to identify many letters due them now looking absolutely nothing like their English equivalent don't you think?



I notice in your older posted image, you have 32 words with no associated letter. What if in your fantasy world each of those words is fundamentally associated with a letter in some way, and use that concept as the basis for deciding the base shape, rather than drawing inspiration off our usual alphabet for the base shape?

Yes i plan on giving a symbol for each word there, words commonly used in the tribe to make for easier writing and sentences taking up less room on whatever they are written on. however for the moment at least i am focusing on the letters themselves, as i still have not received any input as to whether or not the words should follow the same triangle-shape pattern of the individual letters or not.


Aside from letter forms, have you considered writing direction? English is written left to right, top to bottom, front to back. But many variations (18, I think) are possible; some cultures traditionally wrote alternate lines left to right then right to left.

i'm not concerned with issues like this, phonics, pronunciation, or placement of specific words. all i am focusing on is what the language looks like, it's essentially English but with different shapes.

Draconi Redfir
2013-12-07, 02:29 AM
alright, so Iíve pretty much decided i'm sticking with the alphabet i have now, and i would have bumped this thread earlier, but work and play have kept me busy and the dang thing has just slipped my mind too often to count.

anyways, i come to you with a new question, as Iím going with the triangle and lines alphabet, should the symbols for special words that Iím planning on making follow a similar theme?

on one hand making them fallow the same theme of triangles and lines would make sense and keep things better related to one another, and as one player in my real life game pointed out, the alphabet looks like it would be good for "writing with a dagger", so having something smiler could be helpful. The downside to this would be that trying to focus on trianguler shapes really limits what i can do and make them look like, they would all have to look different from the already triangular alphabet, and there would be some things such as the words "Shadow" and "demon" that couldn't be designed to resemble what they represent. As well, making the word-symbols triangular would likely call for them to take up more strokes and hand movements then most of the letters or even small words to create, for example i could make a "demon" symbol an upside-down triangle with two smaller triangles on top of it resembling a demonic face with pointed ears or horns, however doing so would make drawing the symbol take more time then drawing a simple letter, though with luck still less time then writing out the word the symbol represents as a word.

On the other hand, if i make the word-symbols have more freedom and allow the introduction of curves and the like, it gives me a much wider variety of things i can do, i can make the symbol for "Shadow" resemble a cloaked figure with a head, and i can make a "death" symbol more closely resemble a bone or a scull. It wouldn't match the more trianguler frame of the usual alphabet, and it wouldn't be easy to write with a knife, but this could potentially be explained by saying they are more ritualistic maybe? carved with special tools in special circumstances, such as for lore books or marking territory or the like. it would also probably take shorter to write them via pen on paper. but again, it wouldn''t really match the alphabet and might even seem unrelated entirely, so Iím worried it might not make sense.

in the end i suppose it boils down to "makes sense but is harder in every way" Vs "doesn't make sense but is easier in every way".

what do you guys think?

BWR
2013-12-07, 07:01 AM
The short answer: KISS.
If it's easier, do the easy thing. Most people will probably not notice and you can spend less time on something few others than you will enjoy. Spend your time on sensible things like real work and play.


The long answer.
If you really want to put a lot of effort into it, fine. It's your life.
You are quickly running into the territory of pictographic language here, and I think you are getting a little too ambitious in what you want simple signs to be able to accomplish. You have already pointed out the major problems.

If the purpose of these basic symbols are to be hastily scratched into road signs, keep it to a minimum. A simple "Danger!" symbol should be enough. If it needs to be more explicit you either have the time to make a proper sign that says "here there be dragons", however you want that to be done. If you don't have time for that you don't have time to write "Danger!" either, even if it's nothing but a triangle.

The purpose of road signs and warning signs and what not is to have a very specific meaning that can be instantly recognized and understood. The less time it takes from perception to understanding, the better. Also, uniqueness. Important symbols should be distinct enough from others that misunderstandings are almost impossible to occur.
The actual production time is pretty much irrelevant.

Draconi Redfir
2013-12-07, 06:16 PM
uhh.... sorry? can you repeat that maybe? i'm not exactly sure what you just said or how it equates to my question.

BWR
2013-12-08, 04:57 AM
should the symbols for special words that Iím planning on making follow a similar theme?

No. The less resemblance road signs have to a proper alphabet, the less chance there is of confusion between the two. To quote my previous post: "The purpose of road signs and warning signs and what not is to have a very specific meaning that can be instantly recognized and understood. The less time it takes from perception to understanding, the better. Also, uniqueness. Important symbols should be distinct enough from others that misunderstandings are almost impossible to occur."


As well, making the word-symbols triangular would likely call for them to take up more strokes and hand movements then most of the letters or even small words to create, for example i could make a "demon" symbol an upside-down triangle with two smaller triangles on top of it resembling a demonic face with pointed ears or horns, however doing so would make drawing the symbol take more time then drawing a simple letter, though with luck still less time then writing out the word the symbol represents as a word.
Production time and effort of road signs are pretty much a non-issue. Symbols like this are generally not designed with speed of inscription in mind, nor minimality of effort.
The point of such signs is to make a single symbol that is quickly and easily understood and pretty much uniquely defines the thing it represents. The amount of effort put into carving a skull and crossbones into a road sign is irrelevant if everybody who sees it immediately thinks "deadly danger ahead":
the symbol has served its purpose.

Another consideration is use of space. If a single symbol, however complex, takes up less space than a easier to write sentence, that can be useful.

Mostly though, don't go overboard with making the symbols complicated. The point of having single symbols for things is to make them instantly recognizable. The more time you have to spend looking at a symbol to determine what it is, the less useful it is. If you have to spend a couple of seconds puzzling it out, you might as well just write it normally.


and it wouldn't be easy to write with a knife, but this could potentially be explained by saying they are more ritualistic maybe? carved with special tools in special circumstances, such as for lore books or marking territory or the like. it would also probably take shorter to write them via pen on paper. but again, it wouldn''t really match the alphabet and might even seem unrelated entirely, so Iím worried it might not make sense.


What would be the point of having these symbols be ritualistic? Or written in books? The point of road signs and warning symbols is immediacy of understanding and conservation of space. If you are writing it down in a book (or equivalent) you can either write it out entirely or stick to a set of conventional abbreviations without the need to bring in more symbols cluttering things up. If space really is such a premium they need speacial symbols to write certain words, they won't have a terribly extensive written body of work in the first place and would likely devolve into primitive pictographs rather than a proper alphabet.


in the end i suppose it boils down to "makes sense but is harder in every way" Vs "doesn't make sense but is easier in every way".

Choose the easy option. Unless it's very important to you to make this make sense, just choose the easy option. Gives you more time for real work and real play.

Draconi Redfir
2013-12-08, 12:31 PM
im... im not making road signs?... ._.

BWR
2013-12-08, 12:44 PM
If you are not making road signs/warning labels/conventional signs then what is the point of having a bunch of unique symbols in the place of words?

I have brought this up several times before and you haven't reacted to that description of them.

Draconi Redfir
2013-12-08, 12:59 PM
okay dude, settle down. i'm going to explain this slowly.

This ia a written language that has an alphabet

AND

Symbols to represent a SELECT FEW words that are VERY IMPORTANT to the writers.

They have both.


You can type out the word "And" as either A-N-D Or &

You can type out the word Precent Or use the % symbol.

It's just like that.

Exept with more ritualistic words that are a big part of the tribes culture or are otherwise important.

its the same thing.

BWR
2013-12-08, 01:54 PM
Egyptians, Chinese, and Mayans, oh my.
To spell it out "If you are not making road signs/warning labels/conventional signs then what is the point of having a bunch of unique symbols in the place of words [if you already have a phonemic alphabet]?"




This ia a written language that has an alphabet

AND

Symbols to represent a SELECT FEW words that are VERY IMPORTANT to the writers.


But WHY? Is there any real reason to do it this way except 'because'?



You can type out the word "And" as either A-N-D Or &
the ampersand is a ligature of the letters in the Latin word 'et', meaning 'and'.


You can type out the word Precent Or use the % symbol.
A devlopment from common abbreviations using regular letters.


It's just like that.
So the unique signs are based on abbreviations, contractions and/or ligatures of the common spelling of these words?


Exept with more ritualistic words that are a big part of the tribes culture or are otherwise important.

its the same thing.

Ritualistic...let's make sure we're on the same page here: these are words that are used primarily or entirely in very specific circumstances, in special communal and/or religious situations, right?
Not just ritual meaning habitual, in the same way that my morning ritual is getting up, turning on my computer and going to the bathroom?

If so, why are these words reserved for ritual? Do they not come up in normal everyday conversation? Is there some special reason they have to be treated differently than other words?

Draconi Redfir
2013-12-08, 02:09 PM
But WHY? Is there any real reason to do it this way except 'because'?

because i decided that the written language i was making was going to have both an alphabet and sevral symbols for twenty-seving-ish words that appear prominently in the culture of the people who use it. i fail to see how this is so difficult to understand, and quite frankly i'm getting tired of repeating myself while not getting any of the actual questions i freaking asked awnsered.

if you aren't going to actually awnser the questions i'm looking for, or give an opinion that's actually related to something i'm looking for an opinion on, then please don't.

BWR
2013-12-09, 03:51 AM
because i decided that the written language i was making was going to have both an alphabet and sevral symbols for twenty-seving-ish words that appear prominently in the culture of the people who use it. i fail to see how this is so difficult to understand, and quite frankly i'm getting tired of repeating myself while not getting any of the actual questions i freaking asked awnsered.

if you aren't going to actually awnser the questions i'm looking for, or give an opinion that's actually related to something i'm looking for an opinion on, then please don't.

I did answer. My very first line answered exactly what you asked for.
Here:

do the easy thing. Most people will probably not notice and you can spend less time on something few others than you will enjoy. Spend your time on sensible things like real work and play.

I'm trying to understand the rationale here and I just don't get it. Why do some words need special made signs if you are merely using them in text?


Why not? That is exactly what modern Japanese does, what Korean did around a hundred years and more ago, and what ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs did.

Modern Japanese and Korean and hieroglyphs started out with a phonemic alphabet and decided to insert specific signs for a limited set of words?
I'll admit I'm not very knowledgable about those languages but I was under the impression that they started out as ideogramatic and developed towards a more phonemic system.


Written language doesn't really make much sense from a design point of view. That's why English, for example, has the letters Q and X, but no specific letter for the "ch" or "sh" sounds.
Eh, a bit inaccurate. First of all, the English alphabet was originally Latin, so they had to make do with trying to adapt Latin sound signs. See my earlier point about the origin if the letter 'w'.
Also, the palatalized sounds were likely not palatalized as much (or at all) when Latin was introduced. Even if they were pronounced in one way they were at first considered merely allophones of other sounds - k/ch and s/sh.
Also, English did import signs for important sounds. The introduction of thorn and edh, for instance. These were important sounds, while the distinctions k/ch and s/sh were not important enough to have developed their own letters.
Then, once spelling started getting out of hand and there started to emerge a standard, people didn't really see any point in making new letters,they just stuck with the ones they had.

Anyway, the talk of design is actually releveant because Draconi's letters were designed by his tribe. And I have been trying to bring up important considerations as well as why some things are more likely or less likely to happen.

A simple 'does it look pretty?' is a fairly meaningless question, and since it seemed like he put some effort into it I have tried to give real help, not just a meaningless pat on the back.

Eldariel
2013-12-09, 06:22 AM
Modern Japanese and Korean and hieroglyphs started out with a phonemic alphabet and decided to insert specific signs for a limited set of words?
I'll admit I'm not very knowledgable about those languages but I was under the impression that they started out as ideogramatic and developed towards a more phonemic system.

Japanese has their own syllable-writing systems (romanized, it's called 'hiragana' for domestic words and 'katakana' for foreign words). However, they also have a symbolic word writing system that they mostly rely on, adapted from the Chinese han-signs. Basically, hiragana and katakana are derived from the signs to phonetically describe the language while kanji are used for symbolic description and writing (also of course more economical to write a word in a single sign where appropriate; as a consequence Japanese has great degrees of homonymy where the same phonetic sequence can have many different meanings).

Basically, they have a syllable-writing system and a symbol-writing system side-by-side and proficient writers know which words are to be written in syllables (Japanese has a fairly complex morphology compared to most Chinese 'dialects' too, given e.g. Mandarin is basically an isolating language while Japanese is agglutinative, so many morphemes need to be handled in this regard among others) and which are written with writing signs. By sixth grade, a Japanese speaker needs to know about 1000 kanji; before that point they're considered more or less illiterate. 2000 is the level necessary for adults able to read newspapers and such, high school graduates usually learn ~5000, university graduates go over that. At about 10000 kanji they're able to read basically all written works (though about 50000 kanji exist overall; most of them are ancient and appear almost nowhere).


As for your language:
The five vowel sounds, a, e, i, o, u are very commonly present in human languages. The semi-vowel 'y' is not a real replacement for 'u'; those five vowels present most of the range of vowel sounds we can produce (most of the variation to those sounds is present in many languages as allophones), unless you intend for the written 'y' to stand in for the vowel phoneme? In any case, if you roll [o] into an allophone of /u/, the existence of /w/ makes very little sense.

Draconi Redfir
2013-12-09, 01:53 PM
I'm trying to understand the rationale here and I just don't get it. Why do some words need special made signs if you are merely using them in text?


and i


Well, i suppose i should have linked it sooner, but the tribe phonically "speaks" common as most humans do, but was creating it's own language in order to differentiate itself from it's estranged kin, this only started out as a written language, and as the tribe existed many centuries before the "modern" day, a full-blown spoken language was never truly created before they either died off or were re-integrated into modern human society. as for the word-symbols, i feel that it would be simpler to have commonly used words depicted as a single symbol rather the needing to write out the entire word itself, for example if we assume the letter "X" represented the word "Family" and the letter "Q" represented the word "Blood", then rather then needing to write "The Family of Blood arrived just in time", you'd need only write "The X of Q arrived just in time", saving valuable space on whatever you may have been writing on, be it a weapon, a block of wood, or even a paper.

have


Again, i'm not looking for one symbol for everything in existance here, just a dozen or so common words that are used often by the group, that's it.

already


Yes i plan on giving a symbol for each word there, words commonly used in the tribe to make for easier writing and sentences taking up less room on whatever they are written on. however for the moment at least i am focusing on the letters themselves, as i still have not received any input as to whether or not the words should follow the same triangle-shape pattern of the individual letters or not.

awnsered


okay dude, settle down. i'm going to explain this slowly.

This ia a written language that has an alphabet

AND

Symbols to represent a SELECT FEW words that are VERY IMPORTANT to the writers.

They have both.


You can type out the word "And" as either A-N-D Or &

You can type out the word Precent Or use the % symbol.

It's just like that.

Exept with more ritualistic words that are a big part of the tribes culture or are otherwise important.

its the same thing.

this


because i decided that the written language i was making was going to have both an alphabet and sevral symbols for twenty-seving-ish words that appear prominently in the culture of the people who use it. i fail to see how this is so difficult to understand, and quite frankly i'm getting tired of repeating myself while not getting any of the actual questions i freaking asked answered.

if you aren't going to actually answer the questions Iím looking for, or give an opinion that's actually related to something Iím looking for an opinion on, then please don't.

MULTIPLE times! Because these words MEAN something to these people! They have RELIGIOUS importance, FAMILY importance, MAGIC importance, they are as common as the words iphone computer and every curse word in the book in our language, so they set up special symbols for some of these words so they don't need to write out the entire dang thing when writing something about it, wich happens A LOT because nearly EVERYTHING IS ABOUT IT!

I have explained this to you AGAIN AND AGAIN and you just keep asking the same questions while here i am asking ďshould the symbols for these words follow the triangle pattern or noĒ and not getting a response to that one simple question!

For gods sake if someone asks you whether or not you like the red dress or the blue dress you don't just go into a two-hour rant about why picking one over the other is inherently wrong or why the green dress is superior in every fashion, you just freaking pick one!

Balyano
2013-12-09, 02:29 PM
I'll admit I know nothing of your peoples background or the invention of their writing system. But one thing I noticed. While it's obviously an artistic thing here in an everyday writing system your symbols would be too similar. Having symbols look distinct is an aid in comprehension. Having them all be triangles with some lines in them makes them all blend together. This slows reading, especially if paired with the lack of spaces and punctuation of most historical writing systems. Having two or three symbols look like each other isn't a problem. If they make similar sounds it can be of some use. But when all the symbols look similar it would be a problem for the reader. If this writing system was made by your people as a planned system, perhaps they saw that other people had writing and made some of their own, then it makes some sense that the symbols might have such a design. But if people start using it for every day stuff I would expect the symbols to start diverging. Some parts of some symbols would get left out, moved, extended, rotated, ect. until the symbols no longer looked like pretty triangles and instead looked like a mishmash of various shapes. Perhaps you should develop two scripts, an original pretty triangle script, and a messier everyday script. Or not if you don't want to.