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Conscripts 101

From:Chris Peters <beta_leonis@...>
Date:Saturday, April 7, 2007, 20:06
I'm in the process of developing a script for my "Ricadh" language project.
The language has a very specific syllabic structure, which lends itself to a
writing system much like Hangul, so that's the direction I'd like to go as a
start.  (I spent a brief period in South Korea some years ago, and I was
fascinated by the writing I saw.)

I've been researching a lot of natscripts recently for other comparisons.  I
think natlangs have covered most of the practical possibilities, from
alphabetic (Roman, Greek, Cyrillic) and consonantal (Hebrew, Arabic), to
syllabic (Hiragana, Cherokee), and ideographic (the various dialects of
Chinese).  Significant examples also exist of compound writing, like
Japanese and Egyptian (Hieroglyphics).  Korean Hangul is the freaky
exception -- alphabetic writing in syllabic clusters -- but that was a
conscript designed to fit within a specific natlang context.

Am I missing any major classes of writing styles?  Any other notable
exceptions, like Hangul?

What I have in mind as my goal for Ricadh is a Hangul-like alphabetic
cluster system for the main content words, compounded with an ideographic
mark-up system to write grammatical markers like verb tenses and noun cases.
  Much the way that Japanese uses Kanji to write content words, and kana to
write the grammatical bits.  (Even further down the line -- maybe my Ricadh
speakers could even "reverse evolve" their syllable clusters *back* into
ideography.)  Does such a beast exist in any natlang?  I wouldn't be
surprised to find it in somebody else's conlang, so I'd like to see examples
of those as well.

Thanks ...

PS:  Completely off-topic natscript question -- is there any historical
reason why the Hebrew letter [samekh] is written identically to the Greek
lower-case [sigma]?  And they even have an equivalent sound ...

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