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Re: Conscripts and Vowel Harmony

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  • David McCann
    On Fri, 1 Jun 2012 19:04:43 -0500 ... Carian is an interesting case. Unlike the other peoples of Anatolia, their alphabet is based on Phoenician but without
    Message 1 of 15 , Jun 2, 2012
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      On Fri, 1 Jun 2012 19:04:43 -0500
      Chris Peters <beta_leonis@...> wrote:
      > I'm aware of Hangul from when I visited Korea for a couple of
      > weeks. I'm also aware of Cherokee as another example of a conscript
      > created whole-cloth for a natlang. (I almost bought a Cherokee New
      > Testament for linguistic curiosity purposes.) Are there any others?

      Carian is an interesting case. Unlike the other peoples of Anatolia,
      their alphabet is based on Phoenician but without paying much attention
      to how the signs were originally used. So O is /o/, but Φ is /ś/ and
      Δ /i/! For years scholars tried to make sense of the inscriptions on
      the basis of false transcriptions.
    • Charles W Brickner
      When developing the Senjecan alphabet (still in progress) I learned a new word, acrophonic . The grapheme resembles an object the name of which begins with
      Message 2 of 15 , Jun 2, 2012
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        When developing the Senjecan alphabet (still in progress) I learned a new word, "acrophonic". The grapheme resembles an object the name of which begins with or includes that phoneme. I believe the Egyptian hieroglyphics, at least some of them are acrophonic.
        Charlie

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Constructed Languages List [mailto:CONLANG@...] On Behalf Of Arthaey Angosii
        Sent: Friday, June 01, 2012 7:33 PM
        To: CONLANG@...
        Subject: Re: Conscripts and Vowel Harmony

        On Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 3:20 PM, Alex Fink <000024@...> wrote:
        > Hm, I wonder if or how such a thing would naturalistically come about.

        Don't forget that some real world scripts were created whole-cloth (hi, Hangul!) so he could "naturalistically" have the king's scholar devise it from scratch. ;)


        --
        AA

        http://conlang.arthaey.com
      • MorphemeAddict
        Hebrew too. stevo On Sat, Jun 2, 2012 at 1:41 PM, Charles W Brickner
        Message 3 of 15 , Jun 2, 2012
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          Hebrew too.

          stevo

          On Sat, Jun 2, 2012 at 1:41 PM, Charles W Brickner <
          tepeyachill@...> wrote:

          > When developing the Senjecan alphabet (still in progress) I learned a new
          > word, "acrophonic". The grapheme resembles an object the name of which
          > begins with or includes that phoneme. I believe the Egyptian
          > hieroglyphics, at least some of them are acrophonic.
          > Charlie
          >
          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: Constructed Languages List [mailto:CONLANG@...] On
          > Behalf Of Arthaey Angosii
          > Sent: Friday, June 01, 2012 7:33 PM
          > To: CONLANG@...
          > Subject: Re: Conscripts and Vowel Harmony
          >
          > On Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 3:20 PM, Alex Fink <000024@...> wrote:
          > > Hm, I wonder if or how such a thing would naturalistically come about.
          >
          > Don't forget that some real world scripts were created whole-cloth (hi,
          > Hangul!) so he could "naturalistically" have the king's scholar devise it
          > from scratch. ;)
          >
          >
          > --
          > AA
          >
          > http://conlang.arthaey.com
          >
        • Padraic Brown
          ... I think this could in some sense be said of all writing systems. Somebody had to get the ball rolling as it were. Braille I think must have been pretty
          Message 4 of 15 , Jun 2, 2012
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            --- On Sat, 6/2/12, Charles W Brickner <tepeyachill@...> wrote:

            > Don't forget that some real world scripts were created
            > whole-cloth (hi, Hangul!) so he could "naturalistically"
            > have the king's scholar devise it from scratch. ;)

            I think this could in some sense be said of all writing systems. Somebody
            had to get the ball rolling as it were.

            Braille I think must have been pretty much whole cloth. Rongo-rongo as
            well perhaps. Maybe Cherokee (though I'm sure Sequoya had at least seén
            English letters).

            Padraic

            > AA
          • Matthew A. Gurevitch
            Dear Conlangers, I think that I read (perhaps in Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond?) that Sequoya was given a book trying to teach kids the English
            Message 5 of 15 , Jun 2, 2012
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              Dear Conlangers,

              I think that I read (perhaps in Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond?) that Sequoya was given a book trying to teach kids the English version of the Latin Alphabet, and thence he got the idea to make the Cherokee syllabary, even though he could not decipher the English.

              For my conlangs with which I started this thread, (sorry if this is taking us back from a good conversation) I was thinking historically that the people of the language with vowel harmony borrowed their writing system from two different neighbors who did not have it. Their language was spoken in two kingdoms that were closely connected commercially but rivals, one to the south and east, and one to the north and west.

              The language to the south had an abuguida where each of the consonant clusters was on a vertical line and the vowels /ɛ i ɔ u/, and the harmonic language had those plus /ʌ ɯ œ y/. They took the three vowel diacritics the neighbors used (and borrowed the inherent ɛ from their southern neighbors), and invented two new diacritics to be placed alongside the ones already in use- one to indicate that one made a front unrounded vowel into a back unrounded and one made a back rounded into a front rounded vowel. Eventually, the two new diacritics, because any word would only use one because of the vowel harmony, would need to be used only once across a word, and that is how the lines above and below came about.

              The language to the west of the language with harmony had an abjad, where each of the characters fit roughly into a square, and the five vowels /a e i o u/ were all indicated with a diacritic, and final consonants were made smaller and placed to the side (like in the Cree syllabary invented by a Western missionary for Ojibwe). The language with harmony, Sequoya like, were inspired to create a syllabary inspired by those. In about two generations, when the writing system was in flux, there was a movement to adopt the script of the neighbors to the west, using the diacritic for /e/ to indicate both /e/ and /ʌ/, the one for /i/ to mean both /i/ and /ɯ/, /o/ for /o/ and /œ/, and /u/ for /y/ and /u/. That movement, because they wanted to create more ties with their more wealthy western neighbors (and also prized their culture), became widespread, but it caused a huge ambiguity if a word had front harmony or back harmony. Because the two systems, which were fairly easy to use together because one was based on the forms of the other, existed side by side, people started disambiguating their words in the newer abjad by making the first letter using the older syllabary, which was unambiguous but was considered old-fashioned. Eventually, the hybrid system was adopted, because they wanted to be more like their western neighbors.

              Hope that you enjoyed the long passages of conworld history.

              --Matthew


              -----Original Message-----
              From: Padraic Brown <elemtilas@...>
              To: CONLANG <CONLANG@...>
              Sent: Sat, Jun 2, 2012 6:40 pm
              Subject: Re: Conscripts and Vowel Harmony


              --- On Sat, 6/2/12, Charles W Brickner <tepeyachill@...> wrote:

              > Don't forget that some real world scripts were created
              > whole-cloth (hi, Hangul!) so he could "naturalistically"
              > have the king's scholar devise it from scratch. ;)

              I think this could in some sense be said of all writing systems. Somebody
              had to get the ball rolling as it were.

              Braille I think must have been pretty much whole cloth. Rongo-rongo as
              well perhaps. Maybe Cherokee (though I'm sure Sequoya had at least seén
              English letters).

              Padraic

              > AA
            • George Corley
              For Sequoya s alphabet: As I recall, many of the Cherokee characters are variations on the letters of Sequoya s English name (George Guess or George Gist),
              Message 6 of 15 , Jun 2, 2012
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                For Sequoya's alphabet: As I recall, many of the Cherokee characters are
                variations on the letters of Sequoya's English name (George Guess or George
                Gist), since he could not read or write English.
              • Nikolay Ivankov
                ... For what I know about Sequoya, he first tried to make a hieroglyphic alphabet, then gave up when found that there were already too many signs (presumably
                Message 7 of 15 , Jun 3, 2012
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                  On Sun, Jun 3, 2012 at 4:02 AM, Matthew A. Gurevitch <mag122293@...>wrote:

                  > Dear Conlangers,
                  >
                  > I think that I read (perhaps in Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond?)
                  > that Sequoya was given a book trying to teach kids the English version of
                  > the Latin Alphabet, and thence he got the idea to make the Cherokee
                  > syllabary, even though he could not decipher the English.
                  >

                  For what I know about Sequoya, he first tried to make a hieroglyphic
                  alphabet, then gave up when found that there were already too many signs
                  (presumably compared with what he has seen in the English books) and then
                  came up with a syllabic system. I don't remember such a passage in GG&S,
                  but I've read this book about 2 or 3 years ago already, so I can forget
                  what exactly was written there.


                  >
                  > For my conlangs with which I started this thread, (sorry if this is taking
                  > us back from a good conversation) I was thinking historically that the
                  > people of the language with vowel harmony borrowed their writing system
                  > from two different neighbors who did not have it. Their language was spoken
                  > in two kingdoms that were closely connected commercially but rivals, one to
                  > the south and east, and one to the north and west.
                  >
                  > The language to the south had an abuguida where each of the consonant
                  > clusters was on a vertical line and the vowels /ɛ i ɔ u/, and the harmonic
                  > language had those plus /ʌ ɯ œ y/. They took the three vowel diacritics the
                  > neighbors used (and borrowed the inherent ɛ from their southern neighbors),
                  > and invented two new diacritics to be placed alongside the ones already in
                  > use- one to indicate that one made a front unrounded vowel into a back
                  > unrounded and one made a back rounded into a front rounded vowel.
                  > Eventually, the two new diacritics, because any word would only use one
                  > because of the vowel harmony, would need to be used only once across a
                  > word, and that is how the lines above and below came about.
                  >
                  > The language to the west of the language with harmony had an abjad, where
                  > each of the characters fit roughly into a square, and the five vowels /a e
                  > i o u/ were all indicated with a diacritic, and final consonants were made
                  > smaller and placed to the side (like in the Cree syllabary invented by a
                  > Western missionary for Ojibwe). The language with harmony, Sequoya like,
                  > were inspired to create a syllabary inspired by those. In about two
                  > generations, when the writing system was in flux, there was a movement to
                  > adopt the script of the neighbors to the west, using the diacritic for /e/
                  > to indicate both /e/ and /ʌ/, the one for /i/ to mean both /i/ and /ɯ/, /o/
                  > for /o/ and /œ/, and /u/ for /y/ and /u/. That movement, because they
                  > wanted to create more ties with their more wealthy western neighbors (and
                  > also prized their culture), became widespread, but it caused a huge
                  > ambiguity if a word had front harmony or back harmony. Because the two
                  > systems, which were fairly easy to use together because one was based on
                  > the forms of the other, existed side by side, people started disambiguating
                  > their words in the newer abjad by making the first letter using the older
                  > syllabary, which was unambiguous but was considered old-fashioned.
                  > Eventually, the hybrid system was adopted, because they wanted to be more
                  > like their western neighbors.
                  >
                  > Hope that you enjoyed the long passages of conworld history.
                  >
                  > --Matthew
                  >
                  >
                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > From: Padraic Brown <elemtilas@...>
                  > To: CONLANG <CONLANG@...>
                  > Sent: Sat, Jun 2, 2012 6:40 pm
                  > Subject: Re: Conscripts and Vowel Harmony
                  >
                  >
                  > --- On Sat, 6/2/12, Charles W Brickner <tepeyachill@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > > Don't forget that some real world scripts were created
                  > > whole-cloth (hi, Hangul!) so he could "naturalistically"
                  > > have the king's scholar devise it from scratch. ;)
                  >
                  > I think this could in some sense be said of all writing systems. Somebody
                  > had to get the ball rolling as it were.
                  >
                  > Braille I think must have been pretty much whole cloth. Rongo-rongo as
                  > well perhaps. Maybe Cherokee (though I'm sure Sequoya had at least seén
                  > English letters).
                  >
                  > Padraic
                  >
                  > > AA
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
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