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Re: Kjaginic: 8 points of articulation

From:Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>
Date:Wednesday, October 1, 2008, 9:02
> Ämne: Re: [CONLANG] Kjaginic: 8 points of > articulation Från: Herman Miller > <hmiller@...> Datum: Mon, 29 Sep 2008 > 21:15:11 -0400 Till: > > 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 <> 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 punctuation. 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 <hmiller@...>
David J. Peterson <dedalvs@...>TECH: Fonts on the Web? (was Re: Kjaginic: 8 points of articulation)