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Feature script

From:Andreas Johansson <and_yo@...>
Date:Thursday, November 8, 2001, 21:33
The recent posts on "feature scripts" finally caused me to sit down and
sketch a "native" writing system for Tairezazh (and Steianzh, Kesheazh,
Altaizh, Telenzh and other underdevelopped langs from the same

The script, called "Maidzhen Klaish" in Tairezazh, isn't a completely
regular feature script, but has strong tendencies in that direction. The
basic lettershapes are good for computer screens and printed text, but would
propably be difficult to write by hand (read - ample opportunity for
oddities) as "squary" vs "curvy" forms are very important. It's creators
intended it to be compatible with any language, wherefore it have numerous
signs that aren't used in Tairezazh.

There are four "basic" consonant signs, that primarily denotes voiceless
stops - normally [p t k ?], but if a language had, say, the series [p t c k]
it'd be simple to apply them to that instead. Tairezazh only have [p t k],
and don't use the "?" sign. The characters look like, respectivly, a squary
U, capital gamma, mirrored squary C and Z.

Adding a horizontal slash thru' the middle of these gives the corresponding
voiced stops. These are considered "derived" consonant signs. (Voiced [?] is
denoteable but hardly pronounceable!)

Changing the squary forms to curvy gives the corresponding fricatives [f T x
h v D G h_v] ([h_v] = voiced h). These too are considered derived signs.
Tairezazh only use "f", "T", "v" and "D".

The signs for [s z S Z] are also modifications of the basic "t" sign, and
also considered derived sounds. A language with only on voiceless and/or
voiceless near-dental fricative would not use these, using the "T" and "D"
signs instead. Affricates are written as stop plus fricative.

The nasals are represented by vertically compressed versions of "p" "t" and
"k" with a "/"-like thing attached on top. Tairezazh only use "n" and "m".

There are "additional" consonants signs for "l" and "r", looking like a
mirrored "3" and like "8", respectively.

There are five basic vowel signs for [i e a o u], which I'm to lazy to
describe. "j" and "w" are "closed" versions of the "i" and "u" signs, not
used in Tairezazh

There's four diacritics yet - a macron for length, an "acute accent" for
nasality, a small ring for rounding and vertical line for stress (combines
with the macron for a "+"-like diacritic), all placed above the modified
sign. Only the macron is used in Tairezazh.


Ps If I feel like it, I may make a webpage with graphics to show the things,
but there may yet be revision.

PPS The vowel signs look vaguely like:
_   _
\|  \   /|  O  \|/  X  X|

j  i   e   a   o   u  w

All should be a single sign - all bar "o" and "u" can be drawn in a single

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Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...>