New Alphabet

-K2-

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Though not exactly new in that I designed this alphabet for a barbarian culture I developed (and its few thousand word language) many years ago, since I'll be re-using this in the next novel in the series I'm writing (taking place in 2030) for the Pastoral pidgin vocabulary, I thought you might enjoy seeing it.




How it looks when applied:




Written from top to bottom, left to write to accommodate a primarily right handed people and to cope with potentially messy writing implements, it is intended to be easy to learn, and easy for a non-user of it to decipher. Based in threes, it utilizes 3 simple marks, the line, point and talon. Each shape is generated by filling the outer edge of a triangle divided 9x, excluding the space for the row of three letters it denotes. An additional 3 portions designate which letter in that line of three it is using a talon.

3-base symbols (line, talon, point)
A triangle (3-sides) divided into 9-parts, three designators added around it.



By avoiding one of the 9 sub-divisions, you get a shape.



In the end, you actually only have 3-shapes:



Each of those 3-shapes, have 3-designator/talon positions, and each of those 9-possible variations is rotated one of 3-ways. What that means is, actually only 9-printing blocks would be required to generate the entire alphabet. Numerals are even simpler, requiring only 3-printing blocks rotated 3-postitions, plus zero.

K2
 

thaddeus6th

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Quite like it, though there's an awful lot of (deliberate) similarity.

When scanning runes, not that I'm nerdy enough to write in runes, the fact so many have vertical straight line makes it much trickier than scanning Greek or Latin alphabets to quickly get the meaning.

Of course, the vertical lines of runes and the eyeball-scuttling similarity of cuneiform does provide good real world precedent for that.

Interesting formula for symbols. At first I thought that was going to be something like the foundation of a base 12 numerical system, as per the Babylonians (and our currency before the UK embarked upon the modernist tomfoolery of decimalisation).
 

Brian G Turner

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It does look both very pretty and very clever - I love the principle of defining the characters. :)

My only concern is that it may be seen as just a replacement for the latin alphabet, and struggle to convince of being for a different language.
 

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Thanks for the input @thaddeus6th , hehe, I'm going to have to google some of that :giggle:

@Brian G Turner ; Actually, it is supposed to be a replacement for the latin-alphabet by both of the races I've used it for. Regarding the barbarians, "Crown" or common was already an established and known language throughout the 'Third-Continent.' However, it (like lower High-Humans) was considered unfaithful in in it's spoken and written word. So, that clan devised their own faithful language and alphabet. However, neither was meant to be complex, confusing or to work as code. As stated "spoken words are meant to be understood, and the written word clearly read."

In my next novel continuing the last ( ;) see, I'm getting better), it will be used by the 63% of society which is now the 94%. Their slang or pidgin initially meant to grant a common bond to the various nationalities in CASE City (previously MR1), is actually a real world common thing. People, often due to class structures will develop their own language for various reasons. So it applies in my first story.

As to the alphabet however, though most people speak English, though also now speak pidgin, they have a bigger problem that has been growing everyday, intentionally devised by the ruling class. That being, illiteracy.

To that end, and now with limited abilities at printing in volume, they'll decide to reduce the characters of their alphabet to help in that regard. They'll also do so to make the characters easier to remember by all so it can be easily taught, even deciphered by those just learning. Just like with the barbarians they need to accommodate for messy writing implements... yet most of all just like with the pidgin they'll do so to further separate themselves from the government.

American independence and freedom was stripped from them. The language and alphabet just one more wedge in the gulf to take it back.

Thanks fellas for having a look!

K2
 

Joshua Jones

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Overall, I like it. It makes quite a bit of sense, and I like the design elements you included.

My only critique is that it is a one to one coorespondence of the English alphabet, even where the English alphabet doesn't necessarily make sense. Why not include symbols for the ch, sh, th, and kh sounds? Symbols for Germanic umlot sounds which aren't in English, or the Spanish ñ? Or, pull an Akkadian and have symbols which aren't pronounced, but denote what an object is made of, or what god it belongs to, or what have you. In my mind, a convincing language makes sense in some ways other languages don't, and doesn't make sense in its own, unique ways.

But, that critique aside, I think you have done a great job altogether on this.
 

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Thanks for that @Joshua Jones ;

I understand what everyone has suggested and you are now, however, to not have it be a direct replacement for the Latin alphabet, betrays the described intent of it.

Using my new series of work as an example; most people speak, read and write English (or did at one time). Over the years, they developed their own slang/pidgin (which is typical in a detached and oppressed society), which most speak with splotches of English splashed in, though due to the constant barrage of disinformation, propaganda and psychological manipulation, they have begin to 'dumb-down.'

IOW, morality, how they live and so on, even how to speak properly, read and write they're slowly losing. To that end, a select few in the resistance have devised a simple alphabet to learn (as people forget English and the Latin Alphabet). The reasons are many:
1. The new alphabet is easier to teach and learn.
2. It maintains a direct relationship to the Latin Alphabet in the hope that the people will not lose their knowledge of it (Latin alph. and English).
3. It is easier to generate mass print using mechanical printing in that there are only 'nine-characters,' each simply rotated one of three ways.
4. It is easier to transcribe from one to the other with no confusion.
5. The individual sounds/pronunciations remain the same.
6. In the meantime, to not trust that which is written in Latin, only that in the new alphabet.
etc..

The point being, not to get the people to learn some new alphabet and language, yet to get them to faintly remember the old, and ultimately not lose their ability to speak and hopefully write in English. In fact, if the Latin alphabet is all but forgotten (which it shouldn't be, in that keys are exactly as above), the ability to speak the English language shouldn't be.

Though it is a bit more involved than that (sorry yet I myself still even need to find how to explain it so that I make sense), it is meant to try and keep the people from forgetting. To keep them linked to their nation's heritage, yet at the same time give them something that is their own so that they feel some ownership in using it... and by using it, do not lose their ability to read and write.

Did any of that make sense? hehe.

K2
 
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Joshua Jones

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Thanks for that @Joshua Jones ;

I understand what everyone has suggested and you are now, however, to not have it be a direct replacement for the Latin alphabet, betrays the described intent of it.

Using my new series of work as an example; most people speak, read and write English (or did at one time). Over the years, they developed their own slang/pidgin (which is typical in a detached and oppressed society), which most speak with splotches of English splashed in, though due to the constant barrage of disinformation, propaganda and psychological manipulation, they have begin to 'dumb-down.'

IOW, morality, how they live and so on, even how to speak properly, read and write they're slowly losing. To that end a select few in the resistance have devised a simple alphabet to learn (as people forget English and the Latin Alphabet). The reasons are many:
1. The new alphabet is easier to teach and learn.
2. It maintains a direct relationship to the Latin Alphabet in the hope that the people will not lose their knowledge of it (Latin alph. and English).
3. It is easier to generate mass print using mechanical printing in that there are only 'nine-characters,' each simply rotated one of three ways.
4. It is easier to transcribe from one to the other with no confusion.
5. The individual sounds/pronunciations remain the same.
6. In the meantime, to not trust that which is written in Latin, only that in the new alphabet.
etc..

The point being, not to get the people to learn some new alphabet and language, yet to get them to faintly remember the old, and ultimately not lose their ability to speak and hopefully write in English. In fact, if the Latin alphabet is all but forgotten (which it shouldn't be, in that keys are exactly as above), the ability to speak the English language shouldn't be.

Though it is a bit more involved than that (sorry yet I myself still even need to find how to explain it so that I make sense), it is meant to try and keep the people from forgetting. To keep them linked to their nation's heritage, yet at the same time give them something that is their own so that they feel some ownership in using it... and by using it, do not lose their ability to read and write.

Did any of that make sense? hehe.

K2
Fair enough; that would pretty well remove the non-spoken symbols. But, it wouldn't necessarily remove the additional symbols for different sounds, especially for ch, sh, and th (and, to an extent, kh)

Of course, it is your language, so do what you want with it. But, there is opportunity within the Latin alphabet for such things.
 

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@Joshua Jones ; Thanks again for the input. Please any of you don't think that it's wasted. Just because on this project today with this series I'll not be applying it (feeling that it is critical to the story for the citizens to be the ones to cling to American ideals in that the government isn't, yet needing to drive a wedge between them)... Doesn't mean I'll not take and use those lessons another time.

It would have been invaluable advice when I developed that barbarian language, truly then making it all unique, yet that's history.

So it is something I'll hold onto to use on what comes after.

Thanks again!

K2
 

Joshua Jones

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@Joshua Jones ; Thanks again for the input. Please any of you don't think that it's wasted. Just because on this project today with this series I'll not be applying it (feeling that it is critical to the story for the citizens to be the ones to cling to American ideals in that the government isn't, yet needing to drive a wedge between them)... Doesn't mean I'll not take and use those lessons another time.

It would have been invaluable advice when I developed that barbarian language, truly then making it all unique, yet that's history.

So it is something I'll hold onto to use on what comes after.

Thanks again!

K2
Glad to hear that. It sounds like you know exactly what you are trying to do with your language and the bounds of what makes sense in universe. And, more importantly, you know what to do with critiques which will cut away from that intention. I genuinely hope, in such a setting, that you would not accept the critique I put out.

Feel free to use these ideas in any other languages you create.
 

Joshua Jones

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Not to mention dh and zh (the voiced versions of th and sh).
We could also include tz, ß, and rr sounds, as well as tonal aspects, and others. The great thing about languages is there is a huge range of what is possible. If one is particularly enterprising, a language could be made with a different symbol for each syllable sound. My invented language comes close, borrowing from Hebrew that vowels are dots and dashes within and under the consonants...
 

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Not to mention dh and zh (the voiced versions of th and sh).
Okay, so though I will not be altering it for my current work, what say we discuss it for future work (my own a given, for others the value debatable).

Right off we're speaking of the nation of Babel, the U.S.. Though other nations have their own immigrant cultures, that's what we're founded upon. Oh! And before I forget, we also have numerous indigenous languages (of which I recently delved into, and are incredibly complex)... Add to that, the Canadian's, all Caribbean nations, various groups from around the world (drawn in by corporations), have all converged on the land of a thousand languages, the Bos-Wash Megaregion.

So with 63% of the population crammed into the worst areas, soon to be merged with another 31% making 94%, you can see where there might be a vast number of languages, many having their own alphabets and countless inflections, sounds... Well you name it, if it's written or spoken, it's there.

That said, since speaking is becoming a lost art due to the crushing system, naturally reading and writing are (besides the fact most books are gone, there is no internet, newspapers, etc.). To that end, the masses as naturally happens have begun to develop their own mish-mash form of pidgin. Words from here used, others chopped up, shortened, reapplied or containing a number of meanings to be inferred from the context they're used in.

Finally, the majority at one time spoke English or used it as a second language.

So, they can either simplify the language as best they can (though for exactly the opposite reasons the government would (new-speak)), and the writing of it, plus try and insure that translations from English to Pastoral Pidgin and the associated alphabet are direct... Or they can confuse the heck out of it and have it become so complex no one will use it.

Part of the logic being... If you write in this new alphabet, if in pidgin, it will sound exactly as the pidgin does. If it is in English, when spoken back it will sound exactly as English does. Lastly, most pidgin words are simply mash-ups or twisting of the primary language. So in reality it is a crude, slang based form of English anyhow.

In the end as I've already noted, the goal is not to segregate themselves from the American standard, yet to segregate and exclude the now corrupt government.

Thanks for the discussion!

K2
 

Ursa major

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is there a thread somewhere for discussion of fictional languages?
Using the search function, and focusing on "Writing Forums", I found a couple of short thread on the topic, but they are both asking specific questions, the first whether some text of theirs works with invented langauge in it, the second whether there are computer programs that would help in creating a language. This does not, of course, mean that there is no such thread, only that I can't find it/them.

I guess that the only way of having the sort of thread you want would be to create one. :)
 

Joshua Jones

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Using the search function, and focusing on "Writing Forums", I found a couple of short thread on the topic, but they are both asking specific questions, the first whether some text of theirs works with invented langauge in it, the second whether there are computer programs that would help in creating a language. This does not, of course, mean that there is no such thread, only that I can't find it/them.

I guess that the only way of having the sort of thread you want would be to create one. :)
Perhaps I will... where do you think such a think would be best placed? I have inadequate permission to place it alongside science and the like as a thread folder... maybe Writing Resources?
 
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The Judge

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Being contrary, I'd say if it's a thread about writing fictional languages and discussing them and our efforts generally in writing them, the best place is in Writing Discussion. I'd save Writing Resources for threads which have links to good outside sources or which give unambiguous and accepted advice on a topic, not ones which are more of a general chat. So really, it's a case of deciding the purpose of the thread and taking it from there.
 
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