The trouble with semance

The first batch is ready, and all is still well in the kingdom. Most of the glyphs were simple pictorial representations, no problems there. There were a few that were abstract enough to be hard to figure out. I mostly ended up with “clever” allusions or other semantic games. “To be able to, can” is a combination of “to live” and “to die”—those who live can die. The negative verb root is a combination of “to fly” and “fish”. Fish, famously, cannot fly. The relative pronouns, this, that, it, etc. were pictures of a human with abstract dots and walls. ‘This’ is a dot near the human. ‘That’ is on the other side of the wall, but ‘this’ is still present on the other side. In ‘it’, the ‘this’ dot is gone, and ‘it’ is all alone. The only one I didn’t bother with this time was “että”, but, which is some kind of human figure… With a dot! How exiting. The etymology of this glyphs, alas, is lost to the mists of time, never to be known.

This was the Easy Part, Part I. The next part is the Hard Part, Part I. The last time I did this project, the development was similar (and I am consciously retreading my steps, if only to reuse the background material). But that time, I gave up on creating pictorial etymologies for the glyphs in the second step. In fact, it seemed completely and utterly impossible to do it for all of them. This was simply because of the level of abstraction that is found in grammatical and derivational morphemes such as these. How in the blazes are you supposed to represent, say, the plural in a pictorial form? Long story short, many, if not most, of the glyphs from that time were abstract and meaningless, lacking a distinct background. This time, I am going to attempt to rectify this, and give most, if not all, some kind of historical background. How to represent plurality? I’ve already done so in the first batch: the glyph MON- is the root that means ‘many’, and, as luck would have it, it is divided into three distinct parts, all arising naturally from the original glyph of three men hold hands: three dots on top, from three heads; a shape reminiscent of π in the middle, the torsos; and finally, a curvy triple-3 shape below, from the legs. Using one of these, like in the plural relative pronouns, you can indicate plurality in a glyph, or even borrow it, and use it as the sign for the plural in the noun and verb morphology. The π shape is the most ‘glyph-like’ of the three, so it’ll have to do.


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