Scripts for Wesnoth

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Cloud
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Re: Scripts for Wesnoth

Post by Cloud »

Perhaps a combination of ideas could be used?

I can imagine vowel sounds are fairly easy to replicate underwater (pending testing!) hence the use of them heavily in names. Why not use vowel characters as the notes? They can be lengthened and shortened easier than other characters, and are fairly obvious as to what sound they make.

On the musical side I can see them using crotchets (or 1/4 notes ) as their base nit as we do (only they think of it as the single note. All music notes are worked out from there so a minum (or 1/2 note) would be two beats long to them. A quaver (1/8) woulc be a half beat to them. Anything shorter wouldn't be possible underwater, and the longest would probably be 4 beats. 4 beats in a bar, 1 bar per line.

(To non-musical people, clap four times, go to the next line, repeat. For visual layout a grid 4 wide by around about 8 high [depending on what pitches they might have].)

I made a small mock-up, and am suddenly not convinced, but with a little polish it might workable.

Merman/maid underwater speech mock.
Merman/maid underwater speech mock.
merman-underwater-possibl.png (2.26 KiB) Viewed 2682 times
EDIT - might not even be needed now either, seeing the posts made during the time it took me to make this one.

In other news - glad to have helped with the measurement system of the Suarains Kitty :).
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kitty
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Re: Scripts for Wesnoth

Post by kitty »

Hmm, perhaps this is too cheap and un-scientifical but I could imagine to simply assign groups of "human" phonems to melinath's 48 merfolk syllables. Those connections would not be in regards of content between mer- and human language but rather in regards of phonetic similarity within each system on its own. I'd try to make 16 groups each of three similar phonems and assign respectively four of those groups to the base glyphs (which represent the sound quality in mer-speak).

Rough example (bear in mind that my knowledge of phonetics is rather limited and I only want to explain the idea):

whistle

rising
short (p)
middle (b)
long (t/d)

falling
short (k)
middle (g)
long (q)

level
short (m)
middle (n)
long (ŋ)

warbling
short (x)
middle (h)
long (ɦ)


growl

rising
short (æ)
middle (a:)
long (ɒ)

falling
short (ʌ)
middle (ʊ)
long (u:)

etc.
.
.
.

--------

Cloud - yours is an interesting system as well. But I honestly can't tell if you or melinath are right in regards of the possibility to produce vowels underwater... And if I understand your suggestion right it has the same problem of translatability as melinath's system - we would still need a whole language with grammatics and word lists and all that stuff...

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melinath
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Re: Scripts for Wesnoth

Post by melinath »

kitty wrote:I'm not sure why you use a half note as the longest length - why not a full one, a half one and a quarter?
That would be fine, too. It could also be a quarter, eighth and sixteenth. The proportion is the important thing.
kitty wrote:Have you checked your proposal against the random merfolk names (those seem rather vowel-heavy to me)? They should work with our new system or we should make a list of new ones.
Some of the merman names should probably go: Aphrodite, Poseidon, and the other grecoroman gods should be replaced.
I think there are a couple ways we could go with this: One is that the merfolk choose an 'approximation' of their names in human phonetics; another is that the merfolk could have object-based names, which are then translated into human language. Lord Triton, for example.
kitty wrote:My biggest problem with this proposal is that it is, in contrast to all the other new scripts I'm developing at the moment, not translatable into english at all. It is not only a script/alphabet system but a whole new language. If we wanted to produce anything useable out of it we needed grammatic, vocabulary lists etc as well. That is not necessarily bad, but a whole lot of work. And I'm not sure if we are capable of accomplishing that atm. Probably we would only produce glyphs and associated sounds but we would have no meaning behind them at all - and that wouldn't be worth the effort, at least for me. So I would like to see if we could come up with a underwater sound based system that had still a connection to our languages and would thus be still translatable and useable.
For easter egg purposes, then. But not as an actual equivalent...
Since it's a syllable-based language, the easter egg equivalent should probably also be syllable-based, if we want it to have some sort of relation. Something like this:
quality=vowel
whistle=i/e
growl=a/o
chirp=u
brr=null

pattern=consonant
rising=t/d/th/th
falling=p/b/f/v
stable=s/z/sh/zh
warbling=g/k/ch/ch

length=consonant
short=null/w/j
middle=m/n
long=l/r

(whistle short stable)(growl middle rising)

=Wesnoth
or =zijnad
your choice.

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The1exile
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Re: Scripts for Wesnoth

Post by The1exile »

melinath wrote:another is that the merfolk could have object-based names, which are then translated into human language. Lord Triton, for example.
Which object is Lord Triton based on? I was under the impression Triton was a god-name like the other Greek ones.
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melinath
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Re: Scripts for Wesnoth

Post by melinath »

Yep, you've got me. I read Triton and thought Trident.

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kitty
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Re: Scripts for Wesnoth

Post by kitty »

And a try to combine melinath's system with my letter forms.
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Re: Scripts for Wesnoth

Post by thespaceinvader »

I'd suggest turning them all through 90 degrees anticlockwise and arranging them vertically. Although looking again, the second horizontal variant has some appeal, since it reminds me a lot of waves.
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melinath
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Re: Scripts for Wesnoth

Post by melinath »

Hey, Kitty.
I'd like to first clearly state that I think it looks good. And I'm glad that you liked my phonetic system!

A few things bother me:
1. The length diacritic is directly incorporated into the base glyph, modifying it, whereas the pitch diacritic is added on. This makes the length diacritic seem more essential to the sound than the pitch diacritic.
2. The diacritics are very literal. (length=length, rising=rising) I might expect that from the historical version, but if they've had time to develop calligraphy, they might also have made the diacritics more abstract.
3. I'm not entirely sure how the glyphs would look in the present form if there are a bunch in a row - the shapes seem a bit repetitive. As a possible solution, perhaps the base glyphs could be extremely simple, even just one short straight diagonal line, say, that the diacritics then make complex.

I will not be insulted or angry if you see things differently, though. :)

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kitty
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Re: Scripts for Wesnoth

Post by kitty »

melinath wrote:I will not be insulted or angry if you see things differently, though. :)
Of course I see things differently :P I think I said most of these things already yesterday, but this discussion really helps me to make my vision of the merfolk's culture more and more distinct! There isn't wrong or right fo these kind of questions only different ways to envision the merfolk...
melinath wrote:1. The length diacritic is directly incorporated into the base glyph, modifying it, whereas the pitch diacritic is added on. This makes the length diacritic seem more essential to the sound than the pitch diacritic.
Yes, one of the diacritic marks is incorporated in the base glyph - but actually the other one (pitch) appears more important to me since it is positioned to the left of the glyph. And if we make the merfolk reading from left to right and top down, they'd first notice the pitch diacritic and only afterwards the base glyph/lenght combination.
melinath wrote:2. The diacritics are very literal. (length=length, rising=rising) I might expect that from the historical version, but if they've had time to develop calligraphy, they might also have made the diacritics more abstract.
Point taken. I made some new and not so literal length diacritics and attach an example.
melinath wrote:3. I'm not entirely sure how the glyphs would look in the present form if there are a bunch in a row - the shapes seem a bit repetitive. As a possible solution, perhaps the base glyphs could be extremely simple, even just one short straight diagonal line, say, that the diacritics then make complex.
First of all I do not see that as a problem. I started my very first sketches with a very restricted set of shapes to go for that kind of feeling. To me repetiveness has something to do with the ever rolling waves and a feeling of sea. Perhaps that's only my personal association but that's an important part of why I think it fits the merfolk.
If we'd do it the other way round with simple base glyphs and complex diacritics we would very soon run into the same kind of problem - there would only be 7 different diacritics resp. 12 different combinations of them. Those would become equally repetive if you filled a whole page with them. I don't think it it a question of which part of the system is the base and which part allows for variance - if you really think variance is that important for a merfolk script we should come up with 48 really different letters based upon four basic shapes. That would be possible but we'd lose the systematic impression.


thespaceinvader wrote:I'd suggest turning them all through 90 degrees anticlockwise and arranging them vertically. Although looking again, the second horizontal variant has some appeal, since it reminds me a lot of waves.
I'm still indecisive concerning the letter alignment - but thanks for your input! I used the version you preferred in this example. Just rotating the letters isn't that easy - if you rotate them you'll also change their shape when writing them with a brush...
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Simons Mith
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Re: Scripts for Wesnoth

Post by Simons Mith »

Letter alignment:

Having terrible handwriting, my main gripe with the proposed mer-script is that just stretching the same symbol into short medium and long is too error-prone for handwriting. How do you tell the difference between a long short and a short medium? You'd have to have a very exaggerated script to make sure ambiguities don't creep in.

But then I thought your vertical alignment option (#3 and #4) could provide a way round that. The idea is to left-align short syllables (#3), right-align mediums (#4), full-align longs.

Simple example using underscores

Code: Select all

_
  __
____
_
_
  __
____
And so on, with columns of text working left to right.
 

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kitty
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Re: Scripts for Wesnoth

Post by kitty »

melinath - I actually think you proposed an easy solution for the problem of too many diacritics crowding the appearance of the script yourself: 12 combined length and pitch diacritics. I really don't know why I didn't test that before. I think this version still has the characteristsics that are important to me while I don't change the base glyphs anymore (which was important to you)!
But yes, the length distinctions are very literal again, but it is the solution that feels the most natural to me if I try to find a way to quickly note the length of a syllable and if I think of modern musical notations notes and pauses feel rather literal too while working perfectly.


Simon Smith - I only read your comment after I had these changes done. But I think they should also take care of your problem with the too minimal distinctions.
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kitty
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Re: Scripts for Wesnoth

Post by kitty »

Pretty much final version of the elvish script after some chatting with esr:
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melinath
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Re: Scripts for Wesnoth

Post by melinath »

kitty: Hmm... I like the repetitive-tides thing. And I like the new glyph system (though I must admit, I don't think I suggested the idea.) Having the length modify the pitch diacritic solves the whole unequal weight of the diacritics that was bothering me and the two diacritics problem that was bothering you. Great!

((Simons Mith: Think medieval scriptorium. Everyone who wrote had good handwriting. If you didn't have good handwriting, you didn't write things.))

Here's a new version of the easter-egg transcription, correcting a few mistakes the last one had (lack of an h, inability to correctly transcribe the word water, etc.)


whistle=u/e
growl=a
chirp=i
brr=null/o

pattern=consonant
rising=t/d/th/th
falling=p/b/f/v/null
stable=s/z/sh/zh
warbling=g/k/ch/h

length=consonant
short=null/w/j
middle=m/n
long=l/r

(whistle short stable)(brr middle rising)

=Wesnoth

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furioso
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Re: Scripts for Wesnoth

Post by furioso »

All of this is amazing! I can't wait to see it put into use.

In my island base I have been remaking the font and it is done... or should be. :annoyed:
The kerning refuses to work even though I have coded all of the pairs, and I'm not sure what else is wrong. It shows up in kerning-specific views on Fontforge but not in previews or in the font itself.
If anyone knows what to do I would love to hear from them. In the meantime, I leave you with the files (inccluding a nicer, but currently unkerned, .ttf) and will get back to them as soon as my schedule allows.
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kitty
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Re: Scripts for Wesnoth

Post by kitty »

Melinath: I'm glad we finally found something we both like :) - now I just hope that esr will agree with this solution, too!

Furioso: Wow - the new glyhs look nice and smooth! Perfect. Hmm, since I'm not familiar with the program you use I can't give you advice on the spacing problems. Have you tried to ask in one of the typografic forums? I think typophile.com is especially prolific.
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