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--- Nokta Kanto <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> On Mon, 29 Mar 2004 21:33:24 -0800, Gary Shannon
> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
...
>  The letters that make
> up a word are neither phonetic nor ideographic.
> They are abstract
> squiggles that fit together to form longer abstract
> squiggles.  These
> abstract squiggles are assigned arbitrarily to
> words, ...
>
> I would imagine such a language would have more use
> for spaces; there might
> be condensed spacing in which letters overlap, and
> many words with single
> spaces in the middle of them.

That's true.  I hadn't thought that far ahead about it
yet, but you make a good point.

>
> Some words arguably benefit from similar appearance.
> How would you handle
> conjugated words? Would "write" look anything like
> "written"? How about
> words with similar etymologies? Would "illuminate"
> look anything like
> "luminous"?

I thought perhaps inflections would be handled by
various swishes, swashes and do-dads attached to or
appended to the word.  "written" might be "write" with
a certain curly flourish following the word, while
"writing" could be the same symbol again, but with a
different inflecting decoration attached to it.

There might be some simple decoration to indicate
plural so 'children' might be written 'child~*' (not
the actual Roman alphabet words, of course, but the
symbolic version with some decoration attached to the
right end of it)

I figured on having between 25 and 30 actual symbols
in the font plus an additional 10 or 15 (or more)
inflectional decorations and add-ons for a total of 35
to 45 characters in the font.  Using upper and lower
case alpha key assignments I can easily accomodate 52
font symbols total, so that number of symbols is not a
problem for a standard font.


I can see how related words might have related
symbols, especially if those symbols were at all
pictographic.  if <@> is "eye" then maybe <@)< would
be "look" or "see".  But the original intent was for
the symbols NOT to be pictographic at all, so I'll
have to see how that works out as I get deeper into
the design of the font.

If I'm not mistaken (I haven't really dug into true
type fonts yet) font characters can be designed to
overlap with each other, or to occupy quadrants of a
grid.  Maybe the the symbols could be constructed  on
a grid like Korean Hangul characters, which I have
always admired for their logic and beauty.

--gary

> --Noktakanto