A script challenge

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Nortaneous
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A script challenge

Post by Nortaneous » Tue 13 Feb 2018, 14:25

Here are two samples of English text, pulled from sources that you probably know and certainly have heard of, and written in a conscript. Can you read them? I've deleted a few spaces to make it at least nontrivial.

(I'm trying to gauge whether the derivation is too transparent, so I'll give y'all this: its associated language is spoken in OTL Hungary and has a Latin loan stratum about the size of Albanian's. They probably haven't been in Hungary for very long, but the language is at least Indo-European.)

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(After someone gets it, I'll post the general history of the script and the country.)
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CMunk
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Re: A script challenge

Post by CMunk » Wed 14 Feb 2018, 15:17

Firstly: This is a very nice script to look at. Some familiar shapes from Latin, Cyrillic and Armenian, but jumbled together, so it looks different from all of them. It is also neither too uniform or too heterogeneous for comfort.

I've gone ahead and made a facsimile of the first text, so it is easier to analyse. I have assigned each glyph a letter, that is similar in appearance, but some of them have had to be mirrored or turned or simplified. I may have mistyped some of the letters, especially all those p's, ƿ's and v's (which I would have assigned the letter 'vend', but it is not very well supported in fonts).

Code: Select all

пшpıpwлφɥʔm лпhɤɴлpıпшpƕ
ı7ƿıφлɴƨpшmлvı зտпopтıтлч
7oηıƨdчп wлтɥчıʔıφлчƿƣpηwıγ
hƣпφdpшφ7ıηwшɴ пıwплp
лpлwտ ƣpη7oлmɤɴ лɴлcwл 
тƣoտw лпwıտu wлuштvл7
ƣpηıφплч m7шɯлp7oıƕ wлчdƨ
лпpшγտ ƣpηлп pшγտƨnαη
шp7лıʔлч wшɴ шηımлp7vшmтшφ7 
7owлɥтıpлpƨ лпɴƣpφαıpη vıφпαıvƨ 
wƣ7wшɯoη ηıφчшv wлφdƨлƨ
ıƕıɴтшчwшɴ 7owлuштտvшɯлp
At first I was afraid there were ligatures involved. For example the letter I've called w (line 1, glyph 6) looks like a ligature of т and v. But after transcribing this, it seems the possible ligatures are so frequent they must be letters in their own right.

Speaking of frequency, let's see the letters by frequency:
Spoiler:

Code: Select all

symbol  | #  | freq.   | freq. without spaces
л       | 33 | 10.93 % | 12.13 %
[space] | 30 |  9.93 % |  ---
ı       | 24 |  7.95 % |  8.82 %
p       | 23 |  7.62 % |  8.46 %
ш       | 20 |  6.62 % |  7.35 %
w       | 18 |  5.96 % |  6.62 %
п       | 14 |  4.64 % |  5.15 %
7       | 13 |  4.30 % |  4.78 %
φ       | 11 |  3.64 % |  4.04 %
η       | 11 |  3.64 % |  4.04 %
ч       |  9 |  2.98 % |  3.31 %
т       |  9 |  2.98 % |  3.31 %
ɴ       |  9 |  2.98 % |  3.31 %
o       |  8 |  2.65 % |  2.94 %
ƨ       |  8 |  2.65 % |  2.94 %
ƣ       |  8 |  2.65 % |  2.94 %
տ       |  7 |  2.32 % |  2.57 %
v       |  7 |  2.32 % |  2.57 %
m       |  6 |  1.99 % |  2.21 %
d       |  4 |  1.32 % |  1.47 %
ɥ       |  3 |  0.99 % |  1.10 %
ʔ       |  3 |  0.99 % |  1.10 %
u       |  3 |  0.99 % |  1.10 %
ƕ       |  3 |  0.99 % |  1.10 %
ɯ       |  3 |  0.99 % |  1.10 %
α       |  3 |  0.99 % |  1.10 %
γ       |  3 |  0.99 % |  1.10 %
ƿ       |  2 |  0.66 % |  0.74 %
h       |  2 |  0.66 % |  0.74 %
ɤ       |  2 |  0.66 % |  0.74 %
з       |  1 |  0.33 % |  0.37 %
n       |  1 |  0.33 % |  0.37 %
c       |  1 |  0.33 % |  0.37 %
That's how far I've come so far. I'm off to lunch.
Last edited by CMunk on Wed 14 Feb 2018, 18:02, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A script challenge

Post by CMunk » Wed 14 Feb 2018, 18:01

Text number two would look like this:

Code: Select all

ƣpηwлчɥvηuƣη ƿıhɥчη wлтıтлч
ıƨпop ƣpηwшdvƣп пopчƣcnпıηƨ
ƣpηwımwшƿınıp7oηo ƣpηpƣo
pлuıcпıчƿı vım7vшpη зvлɴwшɴ
пıγwшhƣп ıɴƣηƨıpη7oηo nɥ7o
чшʔлm nɥηƣop ƣpηwшʔ
φлpзƣopη wшʔ чƣcnпıηƨ wƣ7wш
ɴшpα7 лpηտm7ƣpη пopлpлwտƨu
hтıγ mɥwлчɥvη mφƣʔտηwшɴ
лƿvdηзvлɴwшpƕ лтαpwлзшmлп
dчwıտu ƣpηwшчшз7dз
7oƿıчηwлmıʔı
This text has some different frequencies:
Spoiler:

Code: Select all

symbol  | #  | freq. without spaces
η       | 24 |  9.16 %
p       | 23 |  8.78 %
ı       | 20 |  7.63 %
w       | 19 |  7.25 %
ƣ       | 18 |  6.87 %
л       | 17 |  6.49 %
ш       | 15 |  5.73 %
o       | 12 |  4.58 %
ч       | 11 |  4.20 %
п       | 10 |  3.82 %
7       |  9 |  3.44 %
m       |  8 |  3.05 %
v       |  8 |  3.05 %
ɥ       |  6 |  2.29 %
з       |  6 |  2.29 %
ɴ       |  6 |  2.29 %
ʔ       |  5 |  1.91 %
n       |  5 |  1.91 %
ƨ       |  5 |  1.91 %
ƿ       |  5 |  1.91 %
տ       |  4 |  1.53 %
т       |  4 |  1.53 %
u       |  4 |  1.53 %
d       |  4 |  1.53 %
c       |  3 |  1.15 %
h       |  3 |  1.15 %
α       |  2 |  0.76 %
γ       |  2 |  0.76 %
φ       |  2 |  0.76 %
ƕ       |  1 |  0.38 %
The combined frequencies of both texts are:
Spoiler:

Code: Select all

symbol  | #  | freq. without spaces
л       | 50 |  9.38 %
p       | 46 |  8.63 %
ı       | 44 |  8.26 %
w       | 37 |  6.94 %
ш       | 35 |  6.57 %
η       | 35 |  6.57 %
ƣ       | 26 |  4.88 %
п       | 24 |  4.50 %
7       | 22 |  4.13 %
o       | 20 |  3.75 %
ч       | 20 |  3.75 %
ɴ       | 15 |  2.81 %
v       | 15 |  2.81 %
m       | 14 |  2.63 %
φ       | 13 |  2.44 %
ƨ       | 13 |  2.44 %
т       | 13 |  2.44 %
տ       | 11 |  2.06 %
ɥ       |  9 |  1.69 %
ʔ       |  8 |  1.50 %
d       |  8 |  1.50 %
u       |  7 |  1.31 %
ƿ       |  7 |  1.31 %
з       |  7 |  1.31 %
n       |  6 |  1.13 %
α       |  5 |  0.94 %
γ       |  5 |  0.94 %
h       |  5 |  0.94 %
c       |  4 |  0.75 %
ƕ       |  4 |  0.75 %
ɯ       |  3 |  0.56 %
ɤ       |  2 |  0.38 %
Of course it now hits me that there are 32 different symbols, so there must be some ligatures involved.
Native: :dan: | Fluent: :uk: | Less than fluent: :deu:, :jpn:, :epo: | Beginner: Image, :fao:, :non:
Creating: :con:Jwar Nong, :con:Mhmmz
Nortaneous
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Re: A script challenge

Post by Nortaneous » Thu 15 Feb 2018, 12:21

Must there be? It's the same in principle as writing English in Cyrillic. Cyrillic has more than 26 letters, but they aren't all ligatures...

(There are no font-level ligatures. There may be a few characters that are ligatural in origin.)
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Pabappa
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Re: A script challenge

Post by Pabappa » Mon 05 Mar 2018, 02:04

This is much harder than I expected, and probably harder than you expected too ... I havent even really gotten anywhere. What I can get of this, which may be all wrong, is this:

1) Some letters seem to function both as vowels and consonants, so the script probably does not consistently write a schwa vowel. (That, or all of the seemingly impossible word clusters are in fact word boundaries.)
2) The digraph ТЧ + Ш is very common. This probably represent a consonant + vowel sequence such as /šə/ that is very common in English.
3) The script does not seem to be based on any script found today in Europe, or even on an older one such as the ancient Hungarian runic alphabet. Some letterforms are like those of Armenian but that wouldnt make sense if it were spoken in Hungary so I assume the development is parallel.

Would you give further hints if nobody comes up with the correct answer soon?
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Aszev
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Re: A script challenge

Post by Aszev » Mon 05 Mar 2018, 14:11

Solution:

Spoiler:
When in the Course of human events
it becomes necessary for one people
to dissolve the political bands which
have connected them with one
another, and to assume among the
powers of the earth, the separate
and equal station to which the Laws
of Nature and of Nature's God
entitle them, a decent respect
to the opinions of mankind requires
that they should declare the causes
which impel them to the separation.

And the LORD said, Behold, the people
is one, and they have all one language;
and this they begin to do: and now
nothing will be restrained from them,
which they have imagined to do. Go to,
let us go down, and there
confound their language, that they
may not understand one another's
speech. So the LORD scattered them
abroad from thence upon the face of
all the earth: and they left off
to build the city.

I went about this the wrong way, so I'd assume your script is safe enough...
I started by looking at letter frequencies and identifying repeating patterns and common words, and worked myself from there. There are a bunch of typos/spelling conventions in the text that didn't help with that [>_<]

This is my solution (originally based on CMunks version, in case of discrepancies with the original). The transcription is pretty ad hoc.
Spoiler:
ven in ðə kóɾs əv hümən ivenc
it bikəmz nesəri fɹ vun pipəl
tu dizɑlv ðə póliɾikəl bænd ðič
hæv kɑnektid ðem við vən
ənəðɹ ænd tuəsüm əməŋ ðə
pæuɹð əv ði ɹθ ðə θeprət
ænd ikvəl stešən tu ic ðə lɑz
əv nečɹ ænd əv nečɹz nαd
entəiɾəl ðem edisəntrespekt
tu ðə ópinənz əv mænkαind rikvαirz
ðæt ðe šud dikler ðə kɑzəz
ic impel ðem tu ðə θepɹrešən

ænd ðə lórd θæd bihóld ðə pipəl
iz vun ænd ðe ɑr æv vun læŋnvidz
ænd ðis ðe binin tu du ænd næu
nəθiŋ vil bi ristrend frəm ðem
vič ðe hæv imædzind tu ɑu nó tu
leɾəs nódæun ænd ðeɾ
kənfæund ðeɾ læŋnvidz ðæt ðe
me nαt əndɹstænd vun ənəðɹzθ
hpič só ðə lórd skæɾɹd ðem
əbrdd frəm ðenc əpαn ðə fes əv
ɑl ði ɹθ ænd ðeleftɑf
tu bild ðə siɾi

There goes my morning... So much for being productive with what I should have been doing! [:x]
Sound change works in mysterious ways.

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eldin raigmore
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Re: A script challenge

Post by eldin raigmore » Mon 16 Apr 2018, 01:16

Ordinarily to decipher a substitution cipher one wants a “contact chart” ( showing the frequency of digraphs) as well as the frequency of each single character.

Apparently either Aszev didn’t need one or made one himself.
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