Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Lin & BrSc: orthography & phonology

From:Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Monday, April 1, 2002, 18:58
In my reply to And, I wrote:
"I didn't appreciate Lin adequately either; my own interests were in its
compactness, since that is one of the aims of BrSc."

One way Srikanth enhanced Lin's ability to be compact was to give it a
large number of single characters; he did this by doubling, so to speak,
the modern Roman alphabet by using upper and lower cases as distinct
letters, and by adding the symbols for digits and some non-alphanumeric

I had in the past thought of various ways of extending the range of symbols
for BrSc.  I have not been keen on using upper and lower case letters
separately, as the use of the shift-key, it seems to me, will actually slow
down typing.  Indeed, my own inclination has ben to use _only_ lower case
letters.  But I have been tempted to include the digit symbols.

I was persuaded by one conlanger that this was not "a good thing" - numbers
are numbers & words are words.  However, in these days of texting, the use
of {4} to mean "for", and 2 to mean "to" or "too" (as well, of course,
"four" and "two" respectively) shows that the general public have no
aversion to using digit symbols as non-numeric symbols.

Dutton (the inventor of Speedwords, which was the starting point for BrSc)
extended the 26 letters of the modern Roman alphabet by using {&} also, tho
only in two words:
& /{nd/ = 'and'
&e /"{nde:/ = 'also'

Srikanth oddly, perhaps, did not use {&} but he did make use of a whole set
of non-alphanumeric symbols.  I have often considered using some
non-alphanumeric symbols to denote sounds in BrSc, e.g. &, #, @ - but not
quite as many as in Lin!

So, I ask three questions:
1. Am I right to avoid the constant use of the shift-key (unlike Lin and
2. Is there any real objection to using not only the {2} and {4} of
texters, but also the other digit symbols to denote sound?
3. Is there any real reason not to use at least some of the
non-alphanumeric symbols?

As to the phonology, I cannot indulge in Srikanth's use of a wide range of
phonemes which include sounds that many will find difficult to keep
distinct since, like Speedwords, BrSc is intended to be a potential IAL
(even tho in all likelihood it'll never actually be one).  But if I had
Srikanth's freedom to use virtually anything, I'm sure I'd had at least one
series of clicks there somewhere  ;)

If the range of symbols can be extended, then probably the obvious thing is
to revive the syllabary idea.  Lin, if you recall, gives syllabic values to
the various sets of brackets and to {'} and {`}, but otherwise the values
of the other constant symbols are phonemic.





Dirk Elzinga <dirk_elzinga@...>
jesse stephen bangs <jaspax@...>
Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>