It’s done! Finally.

I am basically now done with my new Ysi Earth map. Check it out.



Clean Phelthie

When I was adding small text to the Ysi Earth map, I had to remake the Phelthie script to be more legible at small resolution. Ended up changing many grapheme shapes, etc.

Second Generation Phelthie

Most of the names on the map are just random or generated words in the script, presumably a language… Ah, that would be a spoiler.

I should get around to writing those tutorials.

Working on the map, planning tutorials

For a while I thought the pen of my drawing tablet was fucked, but it turned out it was like that because I moved it too close to the monitor. I’ve been seriously thinking of buying a flat screen now, but I bought this CRT and damn it I will use it to its last drop. Maybe if someone throws out and old LCD or something. I could with the space on the desk.

Anyhow, for the past few days I’ve been working on making a good method of drawing mountains for the map, to get adaptable mountain chains, and I think I’ve gotten it.

Mountains preview

I also discovered a few Hugin methods to do distortionless poles for your global maps. Very neat, must write a tutorial for it.

I am never doing another climate in my life.

climate patterns

Here’s the climate patterns of Ysi Earth. I did the tropics, subtropics, arctic and subarctics in that order, gave up around then and just slapdashed everything else between the taiga and semirainforest into a “temperate” climate. It won’t matter anyhow, except what kind of trees will be drawn on the final map.

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.

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.

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.