Emergent con-scripts

A while ago I had an idea for trying to construct a script with symbols based on representations of natural phenomena – animals, birds, plants, features of the landscape, etc – which would be linked to the sounds via acrophony. Then to simplify the images a number of times until I have a set of letters, a bit like the Alphabet Synthesis Machine.

Most writing systems currently in use are derived ultimately from Egyptian Hieroglyphs, which developed from pictures of objects, people, animals, etc, and I thought would be interesting to try to simulate that process and see what emerged. I haven’t come up with anything very interesting yet, but am still working on it.

Have any of you tried something like this?

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3 Responses to Emergent con-scripts

  1. Rauli says:

    I have thought about something like that, but haven’t got to actually doing it. Actually, I’ve tried to develop quite many different scripts, but I never seem to finish them.

    Some years ago I started developing a script which is based on ideographic radicals that are combined to form new words. It doesn’t have any relation to sound, only meaning. Every now and then I think about it, but it still rests in my notebook unfinished. I actually looked the notebook up now and started look at my symbols. Who knows, maybe I’ll finish it some day.

    I also have a language in the making, when will I ever continue developing it.

  2. Well, the nearest that I’ve done is something I mentioned in the comments on an earlier post on your blog.

    [Recap: Instead of starting with pictures, I started with a pre-existing script and created a fictional descendent by simplifying its characters. So, for example, I took the Phoenician script and simplified its characters to create a fictional cousin to its real-world Hebrew, Greek and Roman descendents.]

    Even further back in time than that, I once had to do a similiar exercise at school, turning a picture into a character in history class (while studying the beginnings of writing). But that was just once character, not an entire alphabet. And my effort was uninspired.

    (BTW, I can’t get the Alphabet Synthesis Machine to play sensibly with me.)

  3. TJ says:

    been thinking for a while about such topic. However, in the beginning I believe we have to pick up an “environment” … in which a hypothetical individual from some hypothetical civilization would interact with its element and pick up its object to form letters; e.g. desert, forest, and so on.
    Then, most probably we would depend on the sounds produced by these elements to initiate the sounds but this is not always easy as some aspects don’t really produce sounds (e.g. the sun), then there must be some other way for the hypothetical person in this hypothetical environment to get some inspiration about the name produced by some elements in this environment. At this point, my thoughts were cut.