tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Jan 29 23:43:38 2002

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Re: Alphabet

>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.  :-)

Well, there are 2625 possible syllables in tlhIngan Hol according to what we 
know: 21 consonants * 5 vowels * (21 consonants + 3 consonant clusters + 1 
null), so a true syllabary would be quite large.  But if you had a CV 
system, you could get by with 129 symbols: 21 consonants * (5 vowels + 1 
null) + 3 clusters, which wouldn't be too bad.  A better route might be like 
Hebrew, with consonants only, and vowels indicated by diacritics (the 
technical term for such a consonant-only alphabet is an abjad), which would 
require only 21 characters.


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