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Re: Colored Scripts

From:Danny Wier <dawier@...>
Date:Sunday, January 20, 2002, 5:45
From: "Patrick Jarrett" <seraph@...>
To: <CONLANG@...>
Sent: Saturday, January 19, 2002 9:28 PM
Subject: Colored Scripts

> Has anyone ever heard of a script which incorporated colors? It was an
> I had a while ago and have been letting ferment, was just wondering if any > other conlangs, auxlangs or natlangs involved something of the kind.
According to Mamoun Sakkal, an important Arabic calligrapher ( "The reform of Arabic script -- With the increasing number of non-Arab Muslims, there was a greater need for facilitating reading and learning of Arabic. Since several letters of the Arabic alphabet share the same shapes, and since vowels are not clearly indicated, some reform was needed to avoid confusion, and a system of Naqt or I'jam (letter-pointing), and Tashkeel (vowel indication) was developed. Abul Aswad al Du'ali (d. 688) was the legendary founder of Arabic grammar, and is credited with inventing the system of placing large colored dots to indicate the Tashkeel. It was used with the Kufic scripts, but proved to be somewhat cumbersome to use with smaller scripts, or in ordinary writing. The Ummayad governor al Hajjaj ibn Yusuf al Thaqafi enforced a uniform system to distinguish letters by using dots, which he asked two of al Du'ali's students to codify. Al Khalil ibn Ahmad al Farahidi (d. 786) devised a tashkeel system to replace Abu al Aswad's. His system was universally used since the early eleventh century, and included six diacritical marks: Fathah (a), Dammah (u), Kasrah (i), Sukun (vowelless), Shaddah (double consonant), and Maddah (vowel prolongation) which is applied to the Alef." I have yet to see al-Du'ali's colored vowel marks, but that's the one case I have heard of colored script in a natural language. I have considered a four-color script for Tech, long before I gave up on inventing one and ended up using Arabic. ~Danny~ _________________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Get your free address at