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Re: Kjaginic: 8 points of articulation

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  • Benct Philip Jonsson
    ...  This is how Tengwar fonts work. The normally tall rectangular Tengwar table is mapped sideways to the physical keys of the broad rectangular QWERTY
    Message 1 of 34 , Oct 1, 2008
      > Ämne: Re: [CONLANG] Kjaginic: 8 points of
      > articulation Från: Herman Miller
      > <hmiller@...> Datum: Mon, 29 Sep 2008
      > 21:15:11 -0400 Till: CONLANG@...
      > Benct Philip Jonsson wrote:
      >> It seems to me like Kjaginic is best regarded
      >> as similar to the Tengwar: a basic grid of
      >> symbols where the columns can be assigned to
      >> PsOA and the rows to MsOA according to the
      >> needs of the language to be written!
      > That may turn out to be the best way to think of
      > writing systems like this. Even with the IPA,
      > there are conventional spellings that don't
      > always correspond with the chart: e.g., eth for
      > the Danish alveolar approximant, while the
      > turned r symbol is used for a range of American
      > English "r" sounds.
      > Or I could come up with a different arrangement
      > of the more commonly needded symbols for
      > convenience in typing, e.g.:
      >| 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
      >| stop Q q W w E e R r T t Y y U u I i
      >| fricative A a S s D d F f G g H h J j K k
      >| nasal z x c v b n m
      >| approx. Z X C V B N M
      >| lat. fric. O P { }
      >| lat. appr. o p [ ]
      >| trill l ; '
      >| tap/flap L : "
      > The vowels could use the top row of the
      > keyboard; "Kjaginic" could be written "YB3y1c1R"
      > (as Standard Tirelat uses the retroflex stop
      > symbols for the alveolar affricates). But
      > learning to type with this keyboard arrangement
      > would be time-consuming and error-prone.

      > Still, I need an assignment
      > of glyphs to characters that makes sense, in
      > order to create the font for Kjaginic. So far
      > I've been using mostly IPA characters, which has
      > the advantage that text written in Kjaginic is
      > still readable without the Kjaginic font. I
      > could continue filling in the gaps with capital
      > letters, accented characters, and so on,
      > something like this:
      >| 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
      >| stop p b ŧ đ t d ʈ ɖ c ɟ k ɡ q ɢ ʡ ʔ
      >| nasal M m Ń ń N n N̢ ɳ Ɲ ɲ Ŋ ŋ ɴ
      >| trill B ʙ Ŕ ŕ R r Ř ř Ŗ ŗ ʀ
      >| tap/flap ɾ ɽ
      >| fricative f v θ ð s z ʂ ʐ ç ʝ x ɣ χ ʁ ɦ h
      >| lat. fric. ɬ ɮ Ł ł Ļ ļ
      >| approx. Ʋ ʋ Δ δ ɹ ɻ J j ɰ
      >| lat. appr. Λ λ L l ɭ ʎ ʟ

       This is how Tengwar fonts work. The normally
      tall rectangular Tengwar table is mapped sideways
      to the physical keys of the broad rectangular
      QWERTY keyboard. Since a picture says more than 1K
      words I uploaded one:


      or <http://tinyurl.com/4zyqjl>

      which should be compared to Tolkien's canonical
      Tengwar table from Appendix E of "The Lord of
      the Rings":


      The tengwar with both ascending and descending
      stems assigned to !@ and some capital letter key
      positions and missing from the canonical table are
      the aspirate signs. The rest of the capital letter
      key positions and other characters are for the
      most part assigned to (vowel) diacritics and

      Pace Mark and other Unicode purists the idea of
      a faux mapping to IPA and other suitable Unicode
      characters has one big thing to recommend it over
      both such geographical keyboard mappings and
      Private Use Area mappings, viz. that it retains a
      modicum of human readability in the absence of the
      correct font. There is obviously one place where
      this is of paramount desirability, namely on web
      pages, as long as there are no mechanism for
      embedding fonts or using server-side fonts -- the
      latter would obviously be the most desirable! To
      be sure Unicode purists would retort that one can
      always accompany a PUA representation with an
      appropriate Latinization. The retort to that is
      that font substitution being what it is you may
      end up with PUA representations from the wrong
      font, which would lead to on end of confused
      emails along the lines of "your conscript looks
      exactly like Tengwar, you copycat!"[^note_1].

      Better then to have a faux-mapping which makes the
      representation in absence of the correct font look
      like a reasonable Latinization. In fact I'd impose
      two further desiderata:

      1) to limit the faux-mapping to characters present
      in some widely available Windows font like
      Arial. This would probably mean that you'd have
      to take advantage of the Greek and Cyrillic
      blocks as well, in addition to Basic Latin, Latin-
      1 Supplement and Latin Extended-A -- which kind
      of wouldn't make it a Latinization any more,
      but intergreeks are time-honored in Romance and
      Iranian philology, and Russian linguists have
      used intercyrillics for some time.[^note_2]

      2) to avoid pairs of cap and smallcap letters
      being used at the same time, if only because I
      detest intercaps. This may be harder to
      implement, however, if constrained to a small
      subset of Unicode like Arial, and since it's
      also mostly a matter of taste I'd not make it a
      hard requirement.

      This might give you something like:

      | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
      | stop p b ŧ đ t d ť ď c ĝ k ɡ q ġ ħ ¦
      | nasal M m Ń ń N n Ň ň Ņ ņ Ŋ ŋ ɴ
      | trill Б б Ŕ ŕ R r Ř ř Ŗ ŗ г
      | tap/flap D Ď
      | fricative f v θ ð s z š ž ç ĵ x γ χ я ĥ h
      | lat. fric. Λ λ Ł ł Ļ ļ
      | approx. Β β Δ δ ż Ž J j ğ
      | lat. appr. Ĺ ĺ L l ľ љ л

      (I think you made a mix-up of some kind in col 8.
      I mean for ħ to correspond to ʡ, ¦ to
      correspond to ʔ and ĥ correspond to ɦ).

      For safety I'd have the Kjaginic letters faux-
      mapped those letters that look alike in the three
      Latin, Greek and Cyrillic alphabets, like B and c
      in several places!

      [^note_1]: To be sure I've refrained to faux-map
      the RTL Sohlob script to Hebrew for the very same
      reason! OTOH if there were a Unicode block with
      reversed Latin letters I'd be all set.

      [^note_2]: I'm used to intergreeks but about as
      suspicious of of intercyrillics as of intercaps --
      wholly taste-governed and irrational of course!

      >> Interestingly fan usage has resurrected the
      >> rows for aspirated stops which Tolkien
      >> mentioned as being preserved as mere variants
      >> of the fricative rows but did not include in
      >> his table for use as affricates in languages
      >> like German!
      > Hmm, that would work if the language only has
      > voiceless affricates (or if Tolkien had symbols
      > for both voiced and voiceless aspirated stops).

      The Tengwar being what they are characters with
      extended (both
      ascending and descending) stems and two bows could
      be retro-created. In fact preserved specimina
      by Tolkien use extended-stem series I and II
      tengwar with two bows for the English words "the"
      and "of" while extended-stem tengwar with one bow
      (which would be the original voiceless aspirate
      tengwar) are unattested. Besides modes for Quenya
      use double-bow tengwar for (pre)nasal(ized) sounds,
      so extended double-bow tengwar might have been
      used for reconstructed Old Quenya {nth} etc.

      > Languages like Chinese (with both aspirated
      > stops and affricates) could use the voiceless
      > stop symbols for aspirated stops. Does any
      > language have voiced, voiceless, and aspirated
      > stops along with affricates?

      The established practice for Slavic languages is
      to use extended stem series III tengwar for palatal
      stops and affricates and grade 1 & 2 (descending-stem)
      tengwar for retroflex affricates. I'd rather reverse
      that, for obvious reasons, but something similar could
      be applied to Chinese, so that grade 1 & 2 are q and j
      and extended-stem are ch and zh, and Tolkien's otherwise
      unneeded symbol for [r_0] could be used for sh, and
      series III grade 3 for x.

      >> I've been thinking that languages like Tamil
      >> and Malayalam which have up to many PsOA but
      >> few MsOA (could be assigned to tengwar the
      >> other way around, with the four columns as MsOA
      >> and the six rows as PsOA.
      > That might work, but it would take some
      > getting used to if you're familiar with the
      > more normal usage.

      Sure. In fact Tamil script assigns sounds without
      Sanskrit equivalents to a rag-bag at the end of the
      syllabary, and Tolkien's similar rag-bag could
      conveniently be used for that too.
    • Herman Miller
      ... Could be. I haven t heard recordings of Venda, but I have a Venda dictionary I found at a Half Price Books, which has a note about the sounds written as
      Message 34 of 34 , Oct 14, 2008
        John Vertical wrote:

        > Not quite. The contrast can be found in a number of Volta-Congo languages,
        > probably most famously Ewe. Wikipedia claims this to exist also in a
        > southern Bantu language going by the name of Venda...
        > John Vertical

        Could be. I haven't heard recordings of Venda, but I have a Venda
        dictionary I found at a Half Price Books, which has a note about the
        sounds written as "fh" and "vh": "fh, vh are voiceless and voiced
        bilabial fricatives". I assume that plain "f" and "v" are labiodental
        fricatives, but that's not explicitly stated.

        A language with all three of bilabial, labiodental, and dental
        fricatives would be problematic in Kjaginic script, but I could use dots
        to distinguish those as the older Tharkania system uses.
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