Alternate English Alphabet (inspired by Cyrillic)

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Nechayev
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Alternate English Alphabet (inspired by Cyrillic)

Postby Nechayev » 2005-11-26, 21:29

Inspired by the Cyrillic thread, I'm working to create an alphabet that not only is phonetic, but some of the letters actually have meaning. (I've been working on this alphabet for a longer time, but I suddenly felt like posting a sample.) I don't expect it to be used at all in the practical world, but I still find it interesting as a curiosity. The pronunciation is unaffected -- if I were to read it, it would sound just like American English (my alphabet would probably be a bit different if I was from the UK).

I'm using the sample passage:
James and Mary are in the garden. The weather is nice today, it is very warm. But yesterday it was very cold! They couldn't play outside then. James and mary love to play, they always play together in the garden in front of the big house.

In my alphabet:
Image

Right now, the alphabet is still growing; what you see here is not final.

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Postby Jamie*On » 2005-11-26, 21:32

I made exactly the same kind of thing and I use it all the time...

Take a look

http://home.unilang.org/main/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8522

Scroll down through it and there is a pic of it that I did messily in Paintbox.

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Postby Nechayev » 2005-11-26, 21:53

That looks a bit like Arabic, though the only thing I can truly make out is that the letter that looks like an English "r" makes the "i" sound in "mine". Though I could be completely wrong on that.

I noticed that you use dots, too. Do they have a special meaning? In my alphabet, the dots represent the consonants L,M,N, and R after a vowel. (1 dot = L, 2 dots = N, a circumflex = R, inverted circumflex = M). Though I may need to make more symbols for clusters like "farm, girl, burn". When the L,M,N, and R come after a normal consonant (like T, K, B, etc.), or are at the beginning of a word, they are transliterated using letters rather than dots.

Did you base your alphabet off of anything in particular? I borrowed symbols from mostly the Roman and Cyrillic alphabets, with many modifications and inventions of my own.

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Postby tomasz » 2005-11-26, 22:12

Post what it looks like in alphabetical order.
Mówię po: angielsku
polsku
francusku
niemieckiego

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Postby Jamie*On » 2005-11-26, 22:37

Oh I could never do that! It's a secret code, haha... OK I will, but it will take a while because it's very complicated. Basically, most letters have an alternative form (unrelated to the basic form) when you join them high, or low. It's just the way it evolved over many years. Everyone says it looks like Arabic because it's very cursive which was my intention - it's very quick to write.
It's mostly phonetic (how I speak English) but there are lots of shortcuts and symbols that are ideographs thrown in for quickness. I think to teach it to someone would take months...

Some letters (sounds) are borrowed from other languages then changed beyond recognition or are simplified and some are just out of my imagination (and they also simplified).

The dots are normally to make a consonant voiced.
(Ch + dot = j, etc)

The "r" is not meant to look that way, should be more like a a line with a slanted one at the top (not round). It's an "I" (English) plus a dash for an "A" to make the "ai" sound.

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Postby Jamie*On » 2005-11-26, 22:42

oh here's a tip - to learn your own creation the best thing is to build it up slowly over a period of time, if you just sit down and design it you may not learn it!

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Postby tomasz » 2005-11-26, 22:58

tomasz wrote:Post what it looks like in alphabetical order.


When I asked this, I was actually refering to Nechayev. But Jamie, I'm interested in yours too, so why not post it?
Mówię po: angielsku

polsku

francusku

niemieckiego

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Nechayev
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Postby Nechayev » 2005-11-26, 23:30

Image
I never officially decided on an order for the letters, but what I did when I started this was put all of the vowels at the beginning and then go onto the consonants.

I made this key recently, and just now I added numbers to each column to make it easier to follow. Below I have what each letter means in each column. Each letter has a capital and a lowercase (except for the stress sign and the letters representing words).

As I said before, this alphabet is still in development. For example, I haven't yet designed a letter for "we".

Anyway, here's the alphabet.

----------------------------------------

Column 1:
father
father
mat
bin
meet

Column 2:
bake
boat
under
boot
put
boy

Column 3:
hike
about
pat
bat
fat
ladder

Column 4:
vat
team
deal
thick
them
candle

Column 5:
goose
zone
saw
show
measure
root

Column 6:
like
man
now
sing
here
church

Column 7:
fat
job
weight
yacht
R, N, L, M (after vowels)
Stress Marker

Column 8:
"Z" only when used as a plural (books)
"The"
"A"
Adverbial ending "-ly", not used in words like "friendly"
Verbal ending "-ing", not used in words like "fling"
Verbal ending "-ed", when pronounced as in "heated"
Verbal ending "-ed", when pronounced as in "smoked"

Column 9:
"-er" ending, when used as a comparative, like "darker"
"-est" ending, used as a superlative, like "greatest"
"-er/-or" ending, used to indicate a doer of an action, like "director", composer". The vowel is always pronounced as a schwa.
"I"
"You"
"He"
"She"

Column 10:
"It"
"They"
"And"
"Is"
"Are"
"To"
"From"
"In"

Column 11:
"Out" (can be used in words like outside, outer
"Had", in a sense like "he had worked", not "he had many friends"
"S", when used as a possessive ending (the chef's hat)***
"Or"
"By"
"Of"
"-tion" ending, like addition

Column 12:
"-al" ending, like lingual, verbal
"to" when used in an infinitive, like "to play"
"was"

----------------------------------------

I'll also show you some earlier forms of the alphabet.

Image
In this one, I had used horizontal lines above letters to indicate stress. I still was working on the dot system, I don't think I had created dots for "M" and "N" yet. As you can see, this was also before I had created letters to symbolize words.

Image

This was the earliest version of my alphabet. I drew the letters in GIMP, getting a feel for the program. I was still experimenting with stress signs, dots, etc. Also, the letters for "under", "job", and "winter", are not present in this alphabet.

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Postby Jamie*On » 2005-11-26, 23:40

When I asked this, I was actually refering to Nechayev.


Haha, maybe I should change my username to Ego2.

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Postby Stan » 2005-11-28, 23:05

can you make the letters bigger ? sample text too?

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Postby Dardallion » 2005-11-30, 0:20

When typing,I tend to use a modified version of the roman alphabet, using diacritics and other symbols to show sounds that are not always phonetic, especially vowel sounds. It makes english look like a cross between French and German, but it makes it far more regular. Not at all easier to write, but I don't use it all the time anyway. It's like my own form of IPA, except that it's easier to use with a lack of IPA fonts and the like!

Thus:

Jéimz and Meeri á yn ðù gádùn. Ðù weðù yz nais túdéi, yt yz veri wòm. But yestùdéi yt woz veri kuold! Ðéi kudnt pléi aútsaid ðen. Jéimz and Meri luv tú pléi, ðéi òlwéiz pléi túgeðù yn ðe gádùn yn frunt ov ðù byg haus.
"If you believe you can or you cannot, you will be correct." -Henry Ford.
If somebody else can do it, so can you!

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Postby Nechayev » 2005-11-30, 0:32

Stan wrote:can you make the letters bigger ? sample text too?


You can put the images into Paint and enlarge it if you want to look at them more closely.

Dardallion, your alphabet is good, except I see a problem. You use the letter "y" to represent a short "i" sound as in "it", and the semivowel as in "yesterday". I'm guessing that "ù" stands for schwa, right? Also, I'm curious -- you use ð for the voiced "th" sound -- what kind of symbol do you used for the unvoiced version as in "thick"? Also, you spelled "Mary" two different ways in the same passage. :P

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Postby Dardallion » 2005-12-03, 10:10

Sorry, the correct version is 'Meeri' indicating a long but lax 'e' sound.

The unvoiced 'th' is written 'þ'.

The problem of the semivowel is one I often come across. Because generally I use this orthography for conlanging, it makes no difference; I don't use semivowels in my conlangs. However, I did consider switching to 'j' for the semivowel (as in IPA). But then how do I represent the 'dz' sound? The idea of the alphabet was to remove diagpraphs.
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Postby Dardallion » 2005-12-03, 10:15

And yeh, the 'ù' is a schwa. My transcription tells you quite a bit about the way I pronounce words! Well actually I'm not quite as regular as I should be. Most of the time I write them as most people I know would pronounce them. However, there are times when I simply cannot put the common pronunciation down: it feels slobbish to me! I have a somewhat odd accent, a hybrid of upperclass English and Suffolk/Norfolk! Hence my use of a schwa in 'garden' instead of a syllabic nasal for the final syllable.
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Postby Dardallion » 2005-12-06, 14:05

Ah, no worries, I'll simply write ŷ for the semivowel, thereby removing any problems.
"If you believe you can or you cannot, you will be correct." -Henry Ford.

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