Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Non-linear / full-2d writing systems?

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Monday, May 9, 2005, 5:50
On Sunday, May 8, 2005, at 04:59 , Remi Villatel wrote:

> Our linear writing system already gives us directions to set the semagrams > the ones relative to the others: from top to bottom, with a secondary axis > from left to right for the supplementary semagrams.
In other words, the semagrams have *linear* arrangement, the ones relative to one another along the linear vertical axis, and the secondary axes are linear along a horizontal axis.
> When you write with such a system, you describe the main elements as > semagrams in the first left column. It's the timeline of your story or
[etc snipped ] A column is a linear construct.
> When you read, you can start anywhere. If you go to the left, you get > closer > from the main elements of the text. If you go to the right, you get > details > about the semagram you just read. If you go down, you follow the timeline > of > the story or the reasoning of the writer. If you go upward, you do the > same > but backward. (Maybe lines should be added to separate the different > branches of semagrams.)
Maybe the *lines* - it's linear! This was precisely the point I was making an email or two back. At some point, linearity kicks in. What are dealing with is the amount of information conveyed by a symbol in the linear arrangement (irrespective of whether the lines are columns, rows or columns-and-rows). In alphabetic writing, each symbol conveys, in theory, a segment off sound; in a syllabary, it conveys, in theory, a whole syllable; with logograms we have, in theory, whole morphemes etc. I say "in theory" because it is rarely 100% perfect. And there are interesting systems like Korean. With semagrams each symbol conveys a (complex) meaning. [snip]
> I wrote a little 2D fairytale to illustrate my purpose. (I hope that the > list allows an attachment. It's only HTML.)
I like it - but then, I like crossword puzzles :-) Please, don't get me wrong. I think your idea is an interesting one - and unlike most systems, your lines do go in different directions and do make more use of 2d space than most writing systems. Egyptian hieroglyphics (and, I believe, the Mayan glyphs) certainly made use of both rows and columns - but not in the ingenious way that you do :) However something tells me it's not what Sai has in mind. I would call this a 'full-2d linear writing system'. Ray =============================================== =============================================== Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight, which is not so much a twilight of the gods as of the reason." [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]