Caber Logograms

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Linguifex
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Caber Logograms

Post by Linguifex » 10 Jul 2015 09:58

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So this is for a language family I'm developing and the script that is used to write it. I saw something somewhere asking why conlangers didn't use logograms more often. I'm trying to go with it. Help would be appreciated and I apologize for the quality of the drawings as I'm currently using a trackpad.

Basics

What you see at the start of the post is what the language speakers call(ed) themselves—in Common Caber, Caber "the people"—written in Caber logograms. You see the glyph for cabe "person" followed by a collective marker -r. I'm thinking that most of the descriptions of the glyphs, at least in the early stages, will be in Common Caber; I haven't worked out all the sound changes for the daughter languages yet.

The script is currently written top-to-bottom, left to right, though the idea of doing a modified Mayan-style thing with blocks of characters that are read before going to the next block is a possibility, but I'm not sure if I want to do that.

Pronouns

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See these symbols above? You're probably going to get a lot of mileage out of them. These are the singular personal pronouns—first, second, and third. To make them plural you simply repeat the glyph (this is how most plurals are marked, actually). These shapes were originally a representation of two people talking and pointing at whatever the referent of the pronoun was (speaker, listener, or somebody else).

An important note that the pronouns help demonstrate—the "default" orientation of something is on the right of the glyph, facing left.

Sound complements

Sometimes the same base symbol is reused for many different concepts. For example, the base glyph of a square is used for words such as śeư "six" and rubes "ball, sphere, circle" (yes, it uses a square; the design of the script is very angular).

Image

What happens in these cases is that you get a composition of two glyphs, the second of which is a sound complement that tells you what sound the word begins with if it's not the "primary" concept of the glyph. For example, śeư "six" is a composition of the square glyph and the glyph for śocơ (a type of four-legged animal):

Image

A special case: Marking the genitive phrase

The genitive particle fe has a special glyph that extends around the connected NPs. An example is in the phrase "my foot" ("the foot of me"):

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Keenir
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Re: Caber Logograms

Post by Keenir » 10 Jul 2015 10:22

Linguifex wrote:So this is for a language family I'm developing and the script that is used to write it. I saw something somewhere asking why conlangers didn't use logograms more often. I'm trying to go with it. Help would be appreciated and I apologize for the quality of the drawings as I'm currently using a trackpad.
This is a pretty good explanation and demonstration you've given in this post.

As for why conlangers don't use logograms so much...I'm not sure.
The script is currently written top-to-bottom, left to right, though the idea of doing a modified Mayan-style thing with blocks of characters that are read before going to the next block is a possibility, but I'm not sure if I want to do that.

A special case: Marking the genitive phrase

The genitive particle fe has a special glyph that extends around the connected NPs. An example is in the phrase "my foot" ("the foot of me"):

Image
I like this.

It's unique, while I can see hint of Mayan-ish style in layout, at least in your "my foot" example.
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Re: Caber Logograms

Post by Linguifex » 11 Jul 2015 03:18

Connectives

Image

The connectives, bưf "and", bưcuś "but, except", and śemuc "or" (there is no difference between inclusive and exclusive or). The symbol for bưf comes from two people together; bưcuś, from someone putting up a hand to stop something (note the direction the person in the symbol is facing, which is different from usual); the symbol for śemuc was originally someone looking at two objects, but these were points and reduced to a line.

The first glyph also means "with"; the same word is used for both. Some regions have another reading for the second glyph, ec "NEGATIVE", though ec typically has its own symbol.

Negatives

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The symbol ec "NEGATIVE" gets a lot of mileage and is often used as a shorthand for other words dealing with negatives (nothing, no one). I actually basically took the Egyptian hieroglyphic solution for the negative and adapted it for use here.

Numbers

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From left to right, top to bottom: mưgưi "zero", bưćơ "one", bơći "two", ǵeśac "three", račboć "four", ơ "five", śeư "six".

Samples

Image

Left to right, top to bottom: seśo "hand", bosa "water", ćơ "fire", čư "tree", ru "give", ruơa "pole", ča "wind", eseć "hear", bưbư "see", and ota "take".
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Re: Caber Logograms

Post by Sights » 11 Jul 2015 06:27

I really like this.

The pronouns seem intuitive and economical.

If I may ask, wouldn't it make sense for "zero" to use the negative logogram also? Couldn't the current glyph for "zero" be thought of as "two", given the system?

(So the egyptian hyeroglyphic for negation also resembles a human silhouette, then? My avatar is also supposed to be a negative logogram, but I don't remember from which natlang. How weird... [O.O] )

The glyph for fire is fantastic.

I hope we get to see more Caber logograms soon [:)]

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Re: Caber Logograms

Post by Linguifex » 11 Jul 2015 14:51

Keenir wrote:This is a pretty good explanation and demonstration you've given in this post.

[. . .]

I like this.

It's unique, while I can see hint of Mayan-ish style in layout, at least in your "my foot" example.
Thank you!
Keenir wrote:As for why conlangers don't use logograms so much...I'm not sure.
Probably because A) it's a lot of stuff to keep track of and B) you have to create a lot of them.
Sights wrote:I really like this.
Thank you!

The pronouns seem intuitive and economical.
Sights wrote:If I may ask, wouldn't it make sense for "zero" to use the negative logogram also? Couldn't the current glyph for "zero" be thought of as "two", given the system?
To your first question, perhaps. To your second question, not really because of their layout. I wanted to avoid using a circle for zero. I figured it'd be something different.
Sights wrote:(So the egyptian hyeroglyphic for negation also resembles a human silhouette, then? My avatar is also supposed to be a negative logogram, but I don't remember from which natlang. How weird... [O.O] )
Actually, it's just a pair of arms shrugging or something.
Sights wrote:The glyph for fire is fantastic.
[:D]
Sights wrote:I hope we get to see more Caber logograms soon [:)]
Me too!
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Re: Caber Logograms

Post by Salmoneus » 11 Jul 2015 15:27

conlangers rarely make use of logograms because you need to spend your entire life making thing. Who has time to painstakingly compose 15,000 symbols?
There are or have been conlangers with logographies, but most of them aren't seen around very often, because they're off making logograms...

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Re: Caber Logograms

Post by Lambuzhao » 11 Jul 2015 23:15

Who has time to painstakingly compose 15,000 symbols?
clawgrip, for one, has made Fkeuswa script for Himmaswa, and Naduta.
And he does quite well. (ZBB & CBB)

And there's David Peterson's Kamakawi:
http://dedalvs.com/kamakawi/main.html


Lyhoko Leaci has made the Cor logographic script (viz. ZBB)


Kiwikami also made a logographic script for Wa Qan, which debuted here on the CBB.
It was very interesting. I have no idea what's precisely up with either kiwikami or Wa Qan nowadays (I understand Wa Qan has become a prestige language in E-Space, as she continues her travels therein...).

Chagen's :con: Pazmat is purported to use hanzi-style pictographs.

I have a syllabary and some logographic glyphs for my :con: Yauchuan. Even though it may look Chinese, it is actually Cuneiform-inspired.

There are no doubt some others in the far reaches of Cyberspace. Granted, Logoc.onscripters are not common, but they do exist.
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Re: Caber Logograms

Post by Linguifex » 12 Jul 2015 00:00

More Examples

Image

Top row: "kick", čengac "smell", ơgoc "leg", nici "spine", nuơc "road"
Second row: rưsaco "break, split", ćưiu "fall", ćưa "QUESTION", hưr "speak, say", besrơ "mountain"
Third row: ba "DEFINITE", cać "think", "boat", caơ "bean", śuśo "drop"
Fourth row: ǧatfum "walk", ǧubśư "place, area", cưgrưni "knot", [several words] "RELATIVE", huśơ "vine"
Bottom row: mačư "throw, toss", ćưcơ "ramp, inclined plane", ưbacư "screw", reśu "twist; weave", mesơ "bed, mattress"
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Re: Caber Logograms

Post by Keenir » 12 Jul 2015 00:12

Linguifex wrote:More Examples

Top row: "kick", čengac "smell", ơgoc "leg", nici "spine", nuơc "road"
Second row: rưsaco "break, split", ćưiu "fall", ćưa "QUESTION", hưr "speak, say", besrơ "mountain"
Third row: ba "DEFINITE", cać "think", "boat", caơ "bean", śuśo "drop"
Fourth row: ǧatfum "walk", ǧubśư "place, area", cưgrưni "knot", [several words] "RELATIVE", huśơ "vine"
Bottom row: mačư "throw, toss", ćưcơ "ramp, inclined plane", ưbacư "screw", reśu "twist; weave", mesơ "bed, mattress"
An excellent continuation.

Now I have a question: is there a way to determine which way the logograms are to be read, or are they only written in one direction? (at least as far as the parent script-language is concerned; not concerned with adaptations in the daughter scripts or langs who borrow the script)
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Re: Caber Logograms

Post by Linguifex » 12 Jul 2015 02:18

Keenir wrote:An excellent continuation.
[:D] Thank you!
Keenir wrote:Now I have a question: is there a way to determine which way the logograms are to be read, or are they only written in one direction? (at least as far as the parent script-language is concerned; not concerned with adaptations in the daughter scripts or langs who borrow the script)
They're written left-to-right, top-to-bottom.
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Re: Caber Logograms

Post by MrKrov » 12 Jul 2015 04:16

This is kinda a neat base.

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Re: Caber Logograms

Post by clawgrip » 12 Jul 2015 05:03

I applaud your decision to make a logographic script. It's not an easy undertaking by any means (despite what some people's comments imply), so I wish you luck. I think it's probably pretty easy to get exhausted and discouraged after the first 30 or 50 or so. I recommend finding a way to classify and arrange them so that you can easily cross-reference glyphs and vocabulary and so on to aid you in making new ones. I look forward to seeing more.

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Re: Caber Logograms

Post by xybre » 12 Jul 2015 06:52

I've been rolling a multidimensional script around in my head for a while, which has many of the same issues as logographic scripts.

I keep thinking about how to minimize the number of unique symbols and how to make them intuitive in the same way that sounds are. It seems a real challenge.

Keep it up, I'd like to see some complete thoughts written in the logograms :)
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Re: Caber Logograms

Post by HoskhMatriarch » 12 Jul 2015 22:07

This is cool. It reminds me of old cave drawing logograms rather than the more famous Chinese ones, which is cool.
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Re: Caber Logograms

Post by Keenir » 13 Jul 2015 02:11

A question occurs to me:
Linguifex wrote:Left to right, top to bottom: seśo "hand", bosa "water", ćơ "fire", čư "tree", ru "give", ruơa "pole", ča "wind", eseć "hear", bưbư "see", and ota "take".
does the thickness of the line matter to the meaning? (such as the thick lines of the X in "fire", vs the thin lines rising from the X)
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Re: Caber Logograms

Post by Linguifex » 13 Jul 2015 07:08

MrKrov wrote:This is kinda a neat base.
HoskhMatriarch wrote:This is cool. It reminds me of old cave drawing logograms rather than the more famous Chinese ones, which is cool.
xybre wrote:Keep it up, I'd like to see some complete thoughts written in the logograms :)
Thanks, guys! [:D]
clawgrip wrote:I applaud your decision to make a logographic script. It's not an easy undertaking by any means (despite what some people's comments imply), so I wish you luck. I think it's probably pretty easy to get exhausted and discouraged after the first 30 or 50 or so. I recommend finding a way to classify and arrange them so that you can easily cross-reference glyphs and vocabulary and so on to aid you in making new ones. I look forward to seeing more.
Thank you! Part of the frustration comes in when I want the logograms to fit a certain aesthetic and I can't seem to find one that works. What sort of classification system do you use for your logograms, if I may ask?
Keenir wrote:does the thickness of the line matter to the meaning? (such as the thick lines of the X in "fire", vs the thin lines rising from the X)
No, that's sort of due to my fingers sliding when I'm actually drawing.

More Glyphs

Image

First row: mačư "hammer, (tool)", ćucơh "chain", to "comb", čo "teach", goč "learn"
Second row: atobmơ "willow tree", cưfe "shield", usić "bow", cơhahe "arrow", tơhư "dig"
Third row: du "crop(s)", "bone", ưmư "paint, write", itan "hatchet, axe", utin "paintbrush"
Fourth row: itu "measure", nagi "welcome", do "call to, address", hoc "knife, dagger", [verb endings] "PAST"

Mačư "hammer, (tool)" is a result of semantic drift; originally it meant "tool" in general but eventually came to specifically to refer to a hammer. The "tool" sense is behind its inclusion in such symbols as the one for "paintbrush". Conceptual complements generally appear to the right of a glyph, as demonstrated with "paintbrush", and often have no bearing on actual pronunciation, instead acting as sort of a hint as to the semantic aspect of a concept.

The past-tense marker is a stylized sunset. I think the idea behind it was that it implied "yesterday" and so indicated the past.
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Re: Caber Logograms

Post by Keenir » 13 Jul 2015 09:01

Linguifex wrote:
Keenir wrote:does the thickness of the line matter to the meaning? (such as the thick lines of the X in "fire", vs the thin lines rising from the X)
No, that's sort of due to my fingers sliding when I'm actually drawing.
cool; so its not "thick X means this, thin X means that"...you just made it cooler.



Mačư "hammer, (tool)" is a result of semantic drift; originally it meant "tool" in general but eventually came to specifically to refer to a hammer. The "tool" sense is behind its inclusion in such symbols as the one for "paintbrush". Conceptual complements generally appear to the right of a glyph, as demonstrated with "paintbrush", and often have no bearing on actual pronunciation, instead acting as sort of a hint as to the semantic aspect of a concept.[/quote]

neat! (sounds like something I thought Sumerian hinted at, but never found out one way or another; either way, its a good development)


The past-tense marker is a stylized sunset. I think the idea behind it was that it implied "yesterday" and so indicated the past.


makes sense.

*eagerly awaits more*

may I attempt a sign or sentence in Caber?
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Re: Caber Logograms

Post by Khemehekis » 13 Jul 2015 09:40

I agree with Clawgrip and the others, a logography is awesome!
Keenir wrote: may I attempt a sign or sentence in Caber?
How can you make a sentence if Linguifex hasn't revealed whether it's SVO, SOV, VSO, etc. yet?
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Re: Caber Logograms

Post by Linguifex » 13 Jul 2015 10:52

Keenir wrote:*eagerly awaits more*

may I attempt a sign or sentence in Caber?
Certainly! [:D]
Khemehekis wrote:I agree with Clawgrip and the others, a logography is awesome!
Thank you!
Khemehekis wrote:How can you make a sentence if Linguifex hasn't revealed whether it's SVO, SOV, VSO, etc. yet?
I'm thinking that it is SVO, though I might change it to SOV. I'd go with SVO for now though.
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Re: Caber Logograms

Post by elemtilas » 13 Jul 2015 11:44

Lambuzhao wrote:
Who has time to painstakingly compose 15,000 symbols?
clawgrip, for one, has made Fkeuswa script for Himmaswa, and Naduta.
Talarian, too, has its logograms (as you can see in my seal below!). Just not 15k of them! It's easier to make fifty or a hundred of the things and sprinkle them liberally within a more normal syllabo-alphabetic system!
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