18 votes
Accepted

Is the alien writing in "Arrival" really a language? Can we form custom sentences?

The short answer: no, the language from Arrival is not a full conlang. The logographs were designed by artists and designers, and, while some components of the logograms were assigned meaning, they ...
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  • 3,271
18 votes

Simplified Version of IPA?

If you're notating a language that uses [β] or [ɓ] but does not distinguish it from [b], that is, if there are no words such that changing one of these consonants to the other changes the meaning of ...
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16 votes

Is there a middle-written language?

The best possible approach to a writing system "from the middle" is probably a text spiralling outwards. One famous artefact, the Phaistos Disk, shows a spiral layout of the text, but is is unknown ...
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15 votes
Accepted

Klingon: does anyone actually use pIqaD, or is the Latin transliteration sufficient?

The official Klingon orthography according to the Klingon Language Institute is the Latin transcription. It is what Marc Okrand, the language's creator, developed and uses. The Klingon script used in ...
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  • 3,271
15 votes

How can boustrophedon writing systems be published?

Are there any ways of encoding text in Unicode to mark it as boustrophedon? From the unicode.org FAQ about bi-directional text[1] The Unicode Standard does not provide formatting codes to signal ...
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  • 2,257
14 votes
Accepted

Are there any "unspeakable" languages?

The answer is a definite Yes, there are. The example that comes immediately to my mind is Bliss symbolics (also known as Semantography) by Charles Bliss from 1942–1949. As an additional bonus, it is ...
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12 votes

How could a syllabary be adapted for a language with a complex syllable structure?

Linear B is an interesting example for this: This system was apparently designed for a non-Greek language, as it did not fit the sounds of Greek very well. In fact, it is likely that Linear A was ...
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  • 251
12 votes

Is there any importance of "dots" while constructing alphabets for a language?

In English, the dot does not carry meaning. It's just part of the lower case letters i and j. There is no dotless base form. Note that the letters i and j aren't dotted in every font or variant of the ...
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  • 301
11 votes

Is any of the Wakandan writing in Black Panther used for something other than English?

It's important to note that there were two Wakandan scripts used in the set design of Black Panther -- one is the transliteration alphabet seen here, while the other is a se of symbols based on ...
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  • 3,271
11 votes

Was Tolkien aware of the Voynich manuscript?

Or, to the opposite, was Tengwar already designed before the Voynich manuscript was rediscovered and publically known? The manuscript was rediscovered in 1912. Tolkien, according to Wikipedia, ...
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  • 2,010
9 votes

How would having a logographic writing system work in a conlang?

The problem with pure logographies is that languages tend to have a significant amount of morphemes, be these bound or free, that mark relatively abstract concepts, such as posession, the roles of NPs,...
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  • 2,257
9 votes

Are there any "unspeakable" languages?

Most of what are generally considered languages, whether natural or constructed, are in fact two languages, one written and one spoken. We usually learn the two together, and thus learn the mapping ...
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9 votes
Accepted

Simplified Version of IPA?

The reason that all the different characters for “the same sound” exist is because they’re not the same sound, and trained linguists/linguistic researchers can hear the difference. ...
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9 votes

Can entire words be silent?

Dropping words happen (the ne of negation notoriously drops pretty systematically in spoken French) and commonly a that, as Gregory points out. However, I believer a true "silent word" is a ...
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  • 1,512
8 votes
Accepted

With the death of CSUR, has there been any new Unicode proposal for con-scripts?

There exists the UCSUR (Under-ConScript Unicode Registry) which was created as a sort of temporary holding place for proposals to avoid conflicts until the CSUR is once again active.
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  • 269
8 votes

Is the Klingon alphabet inspired by Tibetan alphabet?

Considering this question is a rehash of another question on SX, I'm inclined to say it's chance resemblance — and not a very high one at that. It is very highly plausible that it was designed by a ...
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  • 1,344
8 votes
Accepted

What do double consonants specify in Esperanto?

There are two questions (with answers) on the Esperanto stackexchange dealing with this problem (and yes, it is perceived as a problem even among Esperanto speakers): Double letters in Esperanto ...
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8 votes

How to describe a purely symbolic writing system?

I think you're overthinking this a little. While what you're considering is unusual, I can't see any reason why it wouldn't just be a written language in a logographic script. is purely for reading ...
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  • 3,521
8 votes
Accepted

How can I avoid "relexing" punctuation?

In fact, each language has its own punctuation rules that have to be learned. German is very different in its punctuation rules from English (relative sentences always require a comma, dependent ...
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7 votes
Accepted

How to model the change of script over time

The surface that things are written on. Runes were carved in trees and, as such, do not have curves. The Greek alphabet was written on tablets, and curved lines were possible. The Arabic alphabet was ...
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  • 1,705
7 votes

Is there a middle-written language?

There is something about language, which seems so obvious to us humans that it is rarely stated: Language is encoded in a linear, one-dimensional fashion. The words you utter (and the sillables in ...
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  • 443
7 votes

How could a syllabary be adapted for a language with a complex syllable structure?

The best solution to this is to not make your writing system syllabic if your language does not support the syllabic structure by having a low number of syllables. I guess that one of the most ...
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  • 844
7 votes

Is there any importance of "dots" while constructing alphabets for a language?

You are the one who constructs the writing system, so it is your choice whether you assign some "meaning" to dots. There are constructed scripts with dots carrying some meaning: In Tengwar one, two ...
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7 votes

I'm constructing a language with some rather hard-to-produce symbols. Computer or paper?

Well, LaTeX is a great platform for writing anything, and you already seem to use it to some success. So I suggest using LaTeX and creating pdf out of it for distribution. What helps in the long run ...
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7 votes

I'm constructing a language with some rather hard-to-produce symbols. Computer or paper?

My inclination would be to simply create a font for my language's writing system, and then use that font in whatever application I'm using to build my dictionary or text corpus. You can then use e.g., ...
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7 votes

Examples of the combination of 2 independent symbolic scripts

The obvious comparison to make here is to Japanese, as it's a real-life hybrid script and is currently the only non-Chinese language to use them. However, it's important to consider that Japanese did ...
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  • 3,271
7 votes

Are there any Conlangs using Chinese characters?

Toki pona is a minimalist language with a ~125 word vocabulary that can be written using a proposed system of either Chinese or Japanese characters, although it is officially written in the Latin ...
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7 votes

Are there any Conlangs using Chinese characters?

This may be a stretch and probably not what you’re looking for, but: Essentially, that’s what Japanese did. Japanese and Chinese have nothing in common, yet when the Chinese writing system made it to ...
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  • 844
7 votes

Has anyone made image based languages?

This is only an answer to the first part of the question I was curious if anyone has ever made a image language? Yes, there are such languages. They are called pasigraphy or logographic writing ...
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7 votes

Creation of Alphabets

Neography As with language invention, there are different names for fashioning writing systems. While "conscirpt" and other "con-" forms are current, their problems are numerous. ...
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