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Re: Divergent Scripts

From:Arthaey Angosii <arthaey@...>
Date:Saturday, August 31, 2002, 1:06
Emaelivpahr Tim May:
>Interesting. I don't know of any case, historically, of an alphabetic >(or other phonetic) writing system becoming logographic, although it's >several times gone the other way. Any specific thoughts on how this >would have come about?
T'emaelivpahr Barry Garcia:
>I dont think it's that likely an alphabetic script would go towards a >logograpic one.
Maybe it's only semi-logographic. Imagine taking the English word "horse" and overlaying all the letters into one symbol that you can still sorta tell has the letters of "horse" in it. Then imagine getting used to seeing "horse" in this overlapped fashion so that you eventually recognize the overall shape of the symbol and not have to pick out the individual letters than make up the symbol. That's what this logographic script would be like. So why do they do this? Um... :P They care more about aesthetics than the parent language's speakers, so many thought that the first alphabetic script looked ugly. Between that and the fact that their derivative language developed many more sounds (especially vowel) than the parent language, they decided that they wanted their own script. I think there were several competing scripts at once, although over time only two survived. (Until they meet Terrans and adopt a script that is a mix of the Latin alphabet and their native scripts -- supposedly to help the poor Terrans learn their language more easily. <grin> This Terranized version of their script is the only one I have currently fininshed.) Around about the same time as they were developing new scripts for themselves, they also migrated away from the speakers of the parent language. Perhaps if there were several different groups that migrated, one might decide to adopt the logographic script as the standard one for their community, based on aesthetic considerations? And the other group(s) went with the alphabetic script? It wouldn't be until much later in their history that the separate groups would meet up again, so they would have time to diverge...
>As for totally different scripts descending from a common ancestor, as >a general principle that's entirely reasonable - look at the chart on
Very cool. Thanks for the links. At least I know that half my plan is reasonable. :)
>There are various font encodings for Chinese - I don't see why you >couldn't encode your script into one, but you'd probably have to write >your own software to enter text in a way that makes sense for your >language. (Okay, you could probably find a way of entering character >codes directly, or picking them off a chart, but that'll be slow.)
I've made two TrueType fonts, but never a Unicode one. How is the creation different? How do I access characters not mapped to the ASCII characters? -- Arthaey