CPG was created by Richard Brodie, a retired computer programmer now involved
in translating Middle English poetry. His goal has been to create a writing
system that combines the strong points of both Eastern logographic and
Western phonetic language representation paradigms.
- Vowels are represented as pure color, filling the space enclosed
by surrounding consonantal shapes.
- Consonant blends, sometimes referred to as consonant clusters,
are considered individual letters, resulting in an alphabet of 210
symbols and 13 vowel colors.
- Words whose symbol plus punctuation count is 8 or less all occupy
a single square, with the very small percentage of words longer than
this accommodated by a continuation feature.
- Syllables within a word are stacked vertically from top to bottom,
with their heights compressed as necessary depending on how many a
- Punctuation is indicated by black-and-white pattern-filled shapes
appended at the bottom (or top) of the word after which they would
be postpended (or before which they would be prepended) in normal writing.
- Digits are indicated by spelling out their first syllable, with
numbers assembled by stacking up to three digits per word square.
Used to write
CPG is currently intended only for American English and any other
language whose vowels, consonants, and consonant blends are a subset
of those used in the United States. there is no provision to represent
the many sounds used in other languages. For example the alien leading
consonant blend Sr is not accommodated, and therefore a geographical
name such as Sri Lanka, would have to be spelled according to the sound
of "Ceylon", the English name for that country (just as the Germans would
not try to accommodate the sound of "The United States", but instead say
"Die Vereinigten Staten").
CPG will ultimately become known as eCPG (English). Work is currently
underway on adaptations for Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, and Hebrew (jCPG,
mCPG, and hCPG).
The CPG alphabet
Consonant blends are a subset of consonant clusters. In the word "central"
"ntr" is a cluster (no intervening vowels). It consists of the pure consonant
"n" which ends the first syllable, and the blend "tr" which starts the second
one. In CPG blends are regarded as single letters, much as diphthongs such as
long I (short O plus long E) are considered single vowels. Blends are constructed
by a process of nesting as follows:
Consider the word "spring". It has the following three parts:
In CPG there are no arbitary choices. Every detail, from vowel colors
to consonant shapes, is dictated by mnemonic and/or functional necessity.
There is a limitation of eight non-vowel elements per square. With this
restriction, at a word cell size of 50 pixels, CPG occupies no more area
than 18 point type. At this cell size, more than 8 elements would result
in a degree of compression that would render detail difficult to make out
without a high definition monitor. Nearly all English words in non-technical
vocabulary can be represented in a single cell of eight elements or less.
Note also that compression is not done by a simple vertical scaling operation,
for otherwise the horizontal lines would become thinner. The CPG software
engine, written in Adobe's Postscript Level 2, involves extremely complex
resizing and pattern filling algorithms.
Sample text in CPG
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Longer sample text (Tower of Babel)
Additional details on Chromaphonoglyphics can be found at the CPG home page:
Other writing systems invented by visitors to this site