Kiryen (kiryen) wrote in linguaphiles,

Writing Systems

Two questions for people who've made their own writing systems: what determines the shape of your glyphs and the overall form of the writing; and what consideration do you give to usability in an everyday setting?

I wonder if studying linguistics leaves a mark on the writing systems you create. I've made two scripts so far, and they're both based on place of articulation and voicing/manner of articulation.

A sample of the script
The first line reads: "staring into the starscape"

Palatals have an ascender-height right-hand bar, velars have a x-height right-hand bar. Coronals have no right-hand bar.
Voiceless stops have a left-hand curve, voiced stops have a left-hand bar. Voiceless fricatives have two diagonal lines, voiced fricatives have one.
Vowels have isolated and attached forms.

As for everyday use, I've stuck with the English spelling (C is represented as a voiceless palatal stop, even though it's supposed to be /k/ or /s/). Additionally, I've dropped affricate marking and just made them stops (as with C), and I've dropped marking the coronal position (which would be a bar from ascender-height to x-height), because of how common coronals are. I've made A and I have different heights because of the way the two resemble each other in fast writing. And I've put attached vowels to the right of the glyph they follow (they used to be directly above), to ease writing and reading. The diagonals in F and S are different directions (the F is actually upside-down from how it's supposed to be), because otherwise an F could be mistaken for a SA sequence in fast writing.

BTW, if anyone uses LaTeX or OpenType fonts, check out XeTeX, it's what I used to prototype a typeface for the script:
The source code

To recap: what are your experiences with making your own writing systems? What influences your design process and does it evolve as you use it?

EDIT: And... have you used your writing system while drunk/in an otherwise altered state of mind?
Tags: conlangs, writing systems

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