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An alphabet of faces?!

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Tuesday, July 29, 2003, 11:21
Hi everyone,

I know that most of you are not like me, and don't check everyday to see if
there's something new in Mark Rosenfelder's Metaverse, his website. So I
thought the list needed to know about what just appeared :) .

Mark just put online a description of the Elkarîl writing system (the
elcari are one of the races of the world in which Verduria is set). You can
check it at this address: The language
itself is described here:

I think everyone one the list just *has* to check what's one of the most
original writing systems I ever saw. It's a featural script, a bit like
Korean, but instead of rather abstract shapes put together to form
syllables, the Elkarîl writing system is based on a system of human
*faces*. The shape of the top of the head and the chin tells about the PoA
of the stops and/or fricatives around the syllable nucleus, while the
expression of the face tells which vowel is the syllable nucleus. For the
exact value of the stops, add hair, or open the mouth, etc... For the
liquids, use various headgear and neckwear. Intensifying the expression
indicates a long vowel. Many affixes are not written fully but as small
additions to those heads (like hands, or an ear, or a sword, etc...).
Infixes are added by adding features to the face (like the tongue out, or a
nose ring), etc...

As a result, the picture on the top of the page is the full glyph for
"Elkarîl", which in the language is analysed as:
elk-   -a   -r   -îl: "of the making people"
create nom. adj. gen.
nom.: nominaliser
adj.: adjectiviser
gen.: genitive
The shape is a full rendition of the word:
- the top of the head (empty, with the line just above the eyebrows)
indicates the absence of a stop at the beginning of the syllable.
- the bottom of the head (nearly, but not completely square) indicates a
"k" stop at the end of the syllable.
- the slightly angry expression of the face corresponds to the "e" vowel.
- the nose ring indicates the "l" just after the vowel.
- the small ring under the chin indicates the -a nominaliser.
- the kind of pectoral shield under it indicates the -r adjectiviser.
- the kind of castellation at the end indicates the -îl genitive marker.

I really like this writing system. It's perfectly fit for stone, allows
very beautiful addition (as Mark explains at the end of the page). I think
it's a masterpiece, which is why I wanted to make sure the list was aware
of its existence ;))) .

Christophe Grandsire.

You need a straight mind to invent a twisted conlang.


Joe <joe@...>