My conlang Atili is written in a vertical script. I'm having a hard time trying to imagine how to write out words in the Atili script within my dictionary. This is important because Atili spelling is not predictable, and the normal Romanization that I use for Atili is phonetic and thus does not convey how a word is meant to be spelled in the Atili script. Right now, I'm using a secondary Romanization as a proxy for the native script that does convey the spelling of words in the conscript, which leads to dictionary entries like the following:

azih   ÄZYIH n. (A) hand; (B) the first letter of the Atili alphabet, which represents the consonant /∅/

I would rather just write the Atili word in the native script, but I'm not sure how to sensibly mix the horizontal Latin alphabet with the vertical Atili script. I'm not looking for technical details about implementing such a thing, just how to lay out the entries on the page.

  • You've implemented your own keyboard layout or you're using Private Use Area of Unicode? – Victor VosMottor thanks Monica Jul 2 at 14:40
  • @VictorVosMottorthanksMonica At this point, I'm just working about layout. I plan to use Private Use Area once I get the letters digitized along with \XeTeXupwardsmode. – Andrew Ray Jul 2 at 14:43
  • Interesting... I'm a developer but I never used private use area. – Victor VosMottor thanks Monica Jul 2 at 14:49
  • Presumably, you're using a word processor or page layout program for this; which one? – Jeff Zeitlin Jul 3 at 13:15
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    @JeffZeitlin Can you make that an answer? – Andrew Ray Jul 5 at 19:54

If you have a situation where the entry in the conscript is taller than the textual material discussing it, you’ll have to accept ‘wasted’ white space filling out the rectangle. Really, the only sensible way to do this if your textual material is in English is to have your conscript entry run down on the left edge of the rectangle, and fill in the English on the right.

If you have an alternative horizontal orthography (even if it uses the same characters, like happens in Chinese and Japanese), I would recommend using that for the dictionary/lexicon.

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  • (It stands to reason that if your descriptive material is in a right-to-left language, like Arabic or Hebrew, you'd put the conscript entry down the right side of the rectangle and fill in the left with your Arabic or Hebrew...) – Jeff Zeitlin Jul 5 at 19:59

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