Progress report

Nothing to report about the script, I haven’t done anything on that for a while now. Have to get something done, otherwise it’ll die.

On the mapmaking front, nothing much here, either. Trying to do the damn climates (up to precipitation and temperature, after which is slapdashing the actual climate areas down, but I really should redo the windpatterns hetceterathetceterate). Today I decided to go with the classical Azimuthal Equidistant projection instead of Lambert Azimuthal Equal-Area, because it is much more in-character for an ancient map. The differences are slight, though on the Equidistant projection, the areas near the centre are slightly smaller, making the landmasses look even sparser compared to the surrounding oceans… But as a plus, making graticule lines (or whatever they’re called) is simple, because the central lines going through the centre are all regular, instead of ‘tapering’, as with the Equal Area projection.

Climates are hard

Yet again I’ve failed at defeating my old nemesis, climate patterns. Well, tomorrow is a new day, and the day after I have a deadline, so it’ll take some time before I wrestle THIS problem again.

No progress on the script, but here’s a concept for a world-map:

New world-map concept

Two hemispheres in an azimuthal equal-area projection arranged south-pole-to-south-pole. I thought it was an interesting idea, and I don’t think anyone has used it before.


Haven’t done a jot on the script project, because I have fallen into a DEATH SPIRAL.

I hate doing climate, I really do, because I can’t do it. Nothing to show for it yet (except attempts at pressure belts and winds and currents, which I’d like someone to check), but at least I’ve got a new version of the land-areas of the map, and approximate mountain areas:

Ysi Earth map

You capture the book!

Today my library grew yet again, as I bought Lauri Hakulinen’s Suomen kielen rakenne ja kehitys, ‘The structure and historical development of Finnish’, the book to have if you’re wondering about the development of Finnish morphology (in contrast with lexical etymology), and other things besides. It was very, very cheap, as I bought it straight from the Finnish department, with an unexpected student sales price to boot (17 euros). A really good buy.

That was awesome

This is the first time I’ve been on a winning team in Left4Dead versus. In the finale, I got three of them, with a smoker! Heeeee heheheheheeeeee. It was Blood Harvest, so I got one at the ledge where they fall down into the field, no one could help poor Zoey. The second was, in tandem with a hunter, at the end of the field (while one of them did something else, I don’t know where), and the last one I got from the window. Though that was a kill-steal by the hunter, but it was mine cause we won there and then.

Stuff I’ve worked on: I’ve been modifying the map of Ysi Earth.
New version of Ysi Earth

So nothing much done on the script.

Morphographic script progress report

Since the last report, I’ve created a few glyphs, amongst them the first one to be created through a rebus-like method.
The stem TAHT- “to want” is represented as a picture of a human with a giant head, within which is the glyph SAA- “to get, receive”.
The derivative agent suffix -JA, as in tekijä, TEKE+JA, ‘doer, maker’, is represented by a man with four arms.
And the series VAI “or?”, VAIN “only” and VAAN “(a kind of) but” are all derived (as according to one of the possibilities given by Häkkinen (1985)) from VAJA- “not full or empty”. VAIN and VAAN are just that glyph together with the instructive suffix (and plural in VAIN). But VAI is interesting because. In Finnish, “vai” is an exclusive interrogative “or”: “Syötkö tämän vai tuon” means “are you going to each THIS, or are you going to eat THAT”, in contrast with “Syötkö tämän tai tuon”, which means “are you going to eat this or that (at all)”. Obviously their phonological forms are surprisingly close, even though they have completely separate etymologies, so I decided to go a rebus-like route this time: VAI is written as a combination of VAJA and TAI. This is only a half-rebus because the use of TAI here could be seen as morphologically as we as semantically motivated: the phonological similarity is just an extra.

Had an idea for a conscript

Some time ago, played around with some concepts and it seems to work.
Let’s see. Most scripts in the modern world that aren’t logographical are derived from logographical scripts somehow, either directly or indirectly. In our world, the direction has always been logographic to phonetic.
Now. How could we take this, and reverse it, and have a logographic script descend from a phonetic one?
Well, there’s at least one possible way to do it, relying on something that we can see happening with all orthographies as time goes by: stratification of spelling and the divorce of contemporary reality with historical reality. If we look at familiar examples, like English and French, and image this process taken even further, it becomes apparent that, as the relationship between phonetical and orthographical form becomes more and more strained, the orthographical form of words approaches existence as a logographical glyph.
To make this work to actually create a logographical script, we need a few more things:

  • an orthography where words and their component graphemes are not clearly separate
  • a wider gap between phonetics and orthography than is really possible with such a short notice
  • an original script where a single word is equivalent in area to another word, as in hanzi

First, the original script from which the later script is derived must have words that do not form simple linear sequences like in our own alphabets. A sequence like ABBA is unlikely to become a glyph ABBA, especially if you have other words like ABBABBAB or BA. It is likely that the concept of sequential representation of sounds will survive. But a sequential ordering is not the only way to arrange your graphical components: you can do like hangul, and group them together into single shapes of uniform size, and heteroform complexity, especially if the graphemes themselves are simple. If you have a script where most phonemes can be represented as one or two strokes in a single glyph, there is greater possibility of further logographical abstraction: the “cursive” form of such a word-sound-glyph will be one whole thing, and not just a bunch of separate transformations as with sequential cursive scripts.
The phonotactics of the the language should be monosyllabic, with a lot of onset and coda possibilities and consonant combinations possible, to make complex glyphs possible.
As the age of the script rises, the more does the historical-phonetic divide widen. But still, there will probably be still a lot of phonetic information intact in even the most abstract word-sound-glyph. One way to completely sever the connection, and create a completely detached logographical system, is to loan the script from one language to another, unrelated language. This probably has to happen by speakers of languabe B applying their knowledge of language A and its script to their own: if speakers of language A attempt to write B, it is much more likely that they would attempt to create a phonetic orthography.
So basically: Language A is written with a hangul-like script, where each grapheme is represented by a few strokes that are then arranged into a square with other graphemes. Later, these glyphs became more abstract due to cursivication, and they become more detached from the original phonological form. Speakers of language B, who do not have the instinctive or historical knowledge of language A that the speakers of A have, do not realise that the script for language A is sequential and phonetic, and thus use the glyphs therein for their own language, creating a logographical writing system out of a phonetic one.