Ngala    Ngala

Ngala is system of quasi-featural glyphs, mostly monosyllabic used to represent the Qatama language. Ngala and the Qatama conlang were invented by Carl Buck for use in his conworld, Qatama. It was created as an alternative to the alphabet Moj.

Notable features

  • Ngala can be written vertically, in columns running from left to right, or horizontally.
  • The word 'Ngala' not only refers to the script but also means "a square, or a block" in Qatama - referring to the appearance of the glyphs.
  • Ngala contains 10 radicals arranged in blocks of four to form mono or disyllabic glyphs.
  • Many of the glyphs can be reverse-engineered to resemble the words or ideas they represent.
  • There is no punctuation used in Qatama, pauses, stops and questions are understood through the use of context and particles.

Structure of Ngala glyphs

Ngala radicals

Ngala radicals

Guidelines for connecting the radicals

  • Aim to make the glyph be as "pictographic" as possible. Obviously excluding many abstracts and rigidly grammatical lexical entries.
  • The radicals should be connected at open points rather than at closed corners.
  • Each radical should be connected to at least one other radical.

Examples

Ngala glyph for myong, large feline.

myong - n. a large feline, tiger lion…etc. The picture shows a lion looking back over his shoulder.

As you can see, each radical spot is used, top left: m, bottom left: ya, top right: o, bottom right: ng. In this glyph the o modifies the ya and makes it yo.

Example of a handwritten Ngala glyph

A possible handwritten version of myong, but keep in mind, these glyphs would rarely ever be handwritten.

Ngala glyph for guja, water

guja - n. water, stream, creek The picture shows a stream running throw a forest. In the above you see an example of a disyllabic glyph. Disyllabic glyphs only occur when the second syllable is one of the following nuclei: a, o, ja, ha, ya, la, ra. There are occasions when these are modifying the preceding nucleus and not acting as second syllables and the occurrences are based on phonotactic rules. E.g. ya-a is /ja:.a:/, but ya-o is /jo:/.

Ngala glyph for n'ha, cut

n'ha - n. a cut, gash, slash v. to cut, hack, slice. The picture shows an axe and a hatchet cutting a block of wood.

In this sample you see that only two radical positions are used, this is perfectly acceptable. They are variable to give way to more "pictographic" possibilities.

Ngala glyph for toj, warrior

toj - n. warrior, fighter, combatant. The picture shows a warrior, his shield and battle axe.

This sample shows how the secondary nucleus position can be used without the first, the glyph remains readable.

Another example of a handwritten glyph, toj

Another example of a handwritten glyph, toj.

A longer sample:

Long sample text in Ngala

Transliteration

kya mongha kun ul gayam aj t'han
ma kaya kun ama nura ma utla

SAMPA IPA transcription

[kja moNha kun ul gajam aZ t@han ma kaja kun ama nura ma utKa]

Gloss

IMP-part to.understand this as gift of spirt(ual) and to.celebrate this time to.live and to.breathe

Translation

Recognize this as a holy gift and celebrate this chance to be alive and breathing.

Useful phrases in Qatama

Link

Information about Qatama
http://wiki.frath.net/Category:Qatama

If you have any questions about Ngala, you can contact Carl at: cfbuckjr[at]gmail[dot]com

Writing systems by Carl Buck

Ajan, Ecta, Eshta, Kala, Kitse, Moj, Naua, Pesato, Uyata, Zhongyinzi

Other constructed scripts for constructed languages