LLL is a writing system invented by Levi Layague Miranda in 2004 It is intended to be used to write Tagalog, but its rule sets can also be implemented to transcribe Sugbuhanon, Kapampangan, and other major languages of the Philippines.
The purpose of LLL is to unify the languages of the Philippines in writing, making it easier for Tagalog speakers to recognize, learn and appreciate terms from other dialects and vice versa. It has 777 basic characters (hence the term "LLL") and a thousand of derivative characters. All of the characters are based on the form and/or on the strokes of the Baybayin, an ancient Philippine script. The Baybayin characters and strokes are blocked, reversed and combined to form new characters to represent individual root words. LLL employs a number of methods/rules in blocking or stacking to promote easier character recognition and readability. These methods are based on Baybayin kudlit system and on the technique in producing semantic-phonetic Chinese characters.
The Baybayin serves as a building block for practically all LLL characters. However the Baybayin is only used to denote LLL character pronunciations are are not used in LLL scripts. This usage is similar to Bopomofo in Chinese. The Baybayin strokes are also modified, i.e. the curves are replaced by straight lines, for simplification purposes.
The purpose of this system is to write Western loan words (especially Spanish and English) and colloquial words, to differentiate them from Filipino words. This is similar to Katakana. The syllables resemble their Baybayin counterparts. It has special transformation and stacking rules.
A brief form is a special character which represents a single root word.
The primary brief forms represent the 119 most commonly used words and numerals of Tagalog. They are composed of two (2) baybayin characters or strokes stacked/combined on a convenient manner.
These are special characters for the prefixes, suffixes and infixes that play a vital role in the Tagalog language.
Tails are semantic (conceptual) components and are used in secondary brief forms and are combined with syllabary to form thousands of unique characters. Each tail is based on the 17 modified baybayin characters. There are 119 tails that are used in LLL.
Each of the 119 tails bears four (4) brief forms, and they represent the additional commonly used words in Tagalog (aside from the ones represented by the fundamental and primary brief forms). The roster of the secondary brief forms with 119 x 4 = 576 characters are yet to be finalized. A secondary brief form is composed of a head and a tail. The head denotes its sound; it is composed of one or two baybayin character(s) that refers to the sound of the word. A conceptual component, i.e. tail, is attached to its right of the head, to complete its context.
The number of brief forms are limited to 119 primary and 576 secondary to prevent confusion in reading. For words that are not included in the brief forms lists and are not of foreign origin, they are transcribed using the tail-syllabary combinations. The LLL syllabary is used as phonetic components of these characters. The stacking rules are also applied. The choice of tail to be used per word in question is still subject to rigorous standardization. For short words (i.e. words that can be represented by a maximum of two modified baybayin characters or repeated root such as puspos, bagbag,etc.), the rules for examples below are applied. Only one (1) prominent syllabary (the first syllable) is used together with a suitable marker (a vowel syllabary which represent the last vowel).
For long words (i.e. words that are represented by three or more modified baybayin characters) that are not included in the brief forms lists, the following examples illustrate the rules that apply:
The LLL panlapi characters can be stacked on top and at the bottom of any root word (brief form, syllabary complex or tail-syllabary combination), with a maximum of two (2) for the top and one (1) at the bottom. The panlapi characters are also modified or simplified when stacked. The following examples illustrate this stacking principle:
Ang lahat ng tao'y isinilang na malaya at pantay-pantay Sa karangalan at mga karapatan. Sila'y pinagkalooban ng katuwiran at budhi at dapat magpalagayan ang isa't isa sa diwa ng pagkakapatiran.
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)
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