tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Jan 29 11:38:42 2002

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Re: Alphabet

On Tue, 29 Jan 2002, Aryeh ben Naphtali wrote:
> <> wrote:
> >It sounds like that Klingon writing system may be more like that of Terran
> >languages such as Chinese or Japanese using pictograms rather than actual
> >letters. Or it could even be hirogliphs as in ancient Egyptian.

> I vote for syllabary (like Sumerian, Akkadian, early Ugaritic and
> Phoenician, modern Amkharic, Japanese Kana). It better suits the language...

The problem with a syllabary is that if you don't have restrictions
on the number of consonants and vowels, or the formations of, it gets
a bit complicated, and you have many, many characters (for lack of a
better term) to remember.  I see Klingon as just complicated enough
that your syllabary would be fairly large.  It doesn't following the
(C)V or C (only the "nh" sound) form of Japanese (not familiar with
the rest), which keeps the Japanese syllabary a reasonable size (46,

However, since most words are of the form CVC, with CV- prefixes and
-CVC suffixes, and just a few CVCC words (with great restriction), I
can see something like Arabic -- alphabetic, but with some simplication.
Picture more elaborate characters for C but less for V.  Most words
would be CC with a small indication of V, which could be left out if
you're in a hurry, or it's "obvious".

I might also suggest that the "rgh", "y'" and "w'" clusters might
have their own characters.  Of course, it's all mere speculation.  :-)
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