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Kuraw script complexities

From:Barry Garcia <barry_garcia@...>
Date:Thursday, April 11, 2002, 9:13
In case you are wondering, i never really left, just too little time, and
not much to say :). I'm not one to make a grand production of my exits

Anyway, i've developed a few complexities in the kuraw script for
Saalangal. They're not really complex once you learn them though (and are
pretty easy).


Since kuraw is indic style (but not derived from any Indic script, it just
works that way), there are conjuncts used to form  consonant clusters with
a following vowel: CCV. Kuraw allows quite a few consonant clusters (some
arent possible like n + k, in which n always assimilates to /N/ - /n/ +
/k/ > /Nk/. Saalangals go for a phonetic approach instead of an
etymological one when writing). The number of possible consonant clusters
is very large, and there have been conjuncts created for practically any
combination. Often these are simply two glyphs connected together by a
short line, or more complex, a full ligature where part (usually the
second) of one is drawn and the other drawn in full. Usually these
characters can be completed in one continuous line.

Conjuncts are only used in literature, and formal writings and documents.
It is permissible to create consonant clusters using the vowel killer
diacritic over the first glyph, and follow that with the second syllable
glyph (for informal communications, see below). In the mentioned uses of
the conjuncts, they are also absolutely required. Conjuncts are taught in
school, and by about the age of 15 or 16 a Saalangal is expected to know
all of the conjuncts.  Schools require them in school work, which keeps
school children from forgetting them, which they'd most likely do if not
required to make use of them in school work.

In informal communications (notes, letters, things of that sort),
conjuncts aren't often used (although, using conjuncts in a letter to
someone implies the topic is important and not just some letter written to
see how someone is doing). In order to read newspapers, or books other
than those for children, one must know the conjuncts. Public signs (street
signs, etc) don't usually make use of the conjuncts either (for ease of
younger children and foreigners who may not have learned them yet).

Special glyphs:

There are five purely consonantal glyps used at the ends of words. These
are for the stops: /k/, /t/, /p/, the nasals /n/ and /N/. It's not clear
why only those three stops and the two nasals have special consonantal
glyphs (some speculate this is due to an old short hand way of writing the
finals, but this can only be somewhat assuredly attested for the glyph for
/n/, or it may be that they are the most common stops and nasals word
finally in the language). These are absolutely required in writing but
aren't considered a part of the main alphasyllabary.

So, anyway, that's the two main points that causes complexity in the
script. Of note with the conjuncts, some are not easily recognizeable as
to which two glyphs create the conjunct. People are fairly careful when
writing them so as not to confuse one with another conjunct (some have
shapes similar to others but differ in minute details easily obscured by
messy writing).

Well you'd like to think that you were invincible.
Yeah, well weren't we all once before we felt loss for the first time?