Ineon    Ineon

The Ineon alphabet was devised in May and June 2012 by Martin Harvey. The original idea was for a writing system that would look imposing inscribed on a monument and could also be used to insert cryptic messages/in-jokes into his artwork. However, while playing around with Adobe Illustrator he realised that for other purposes, a more decorative, rounded script would look better. The former became Ineon Monumental, the latter Ineon Rounded.

As mentioned above, the script is phonetic, but only up to a point - otherwise it would be useless for writing any other accent of English than that of its inventor. It is not intended to make writing faster, and can therefore be thought of as something of an artistic endeavour.

The name Ineon is derived from a more phonetic respelling of inneon, the word for "nine" in the English Romani language. Each character can be thought of as being divided up into a grid of nine smaller squares, with consonant lines drawn along the grid lines and vowel/number dots occupying one or more squares. This is particularly evident in the case of Ineon Monumental.

Notable features

  • Type of writing system: featural alphabet
  • Direction of writing: left to right in horizontal lines. Spaces between words are occupied by a blank character, except when replaced by a punctuation mark.
  • Used to write: English, particularly British Received Pronunciation. Could be adapted to some other languages (for example, German), but only with recourse to di- and trigraphs.
  • Consonants represented by lines. The position, orientation and length indicate the phonetic quality, although unlike in the case of the vowels, these positions were arbitrarily assigned.
  • Voiced/unvoiced consonant pairs resemble each other. Voicing is indicated by a short line at right angles (Ineon Monumental) to, or curving round (Ineon Rounded) from one of the other lines.
  • Short vowels are represented by dots, long vowels by blocks twice the length of a dot. The dots'/blocks' positions approximately represent the part of the mouth in which the sound is pronounced (within the restrictions of the system). Diphthongs contain two dots, or a dot and block together, representing their constituent vowels.
  • The system is phonetic, but not exhaustively so. Hence, allophones are not indicated. So, /p/ and /ph/, for example, are both represented by the same character.
  • The positions of the dots in the numerals is derived from binary, although the counting system is base 10.

Ineon alphabet

Ineon grid

Positions of lines as related to consonantal qualities

Positions of lines as related to consonantal qualities

*lateral and palatal share a position as the inventor was running out of places to put lines.

Consonants

Ineon consonants

*the phoneme /x/ does not, of course, belong to Received Pronunciation, but, as the inventor is something of a scotophile, he cannot abide to hear the word “loch” being pronounced as “lock”

**this is a mistake. The letter representing the phoneme /t/ should actually look like that representing the phoneme /ŋ/, albeit rotated 90° anti-clockwise. It is, however, a mistake that is never going to be rectified, as the inventor has had a T-shirt made with Ineon characters on it. Oh well, nobody's perfect.

Vowels and Diphthongs

Ineon vowels and diphthongs

Punctuation

Ineon punctuation

Numerals

Ineon numerals

As mentioned above, the design of the numerals is based on the positions of the 1s and 0s in binary, although the counting system is base 10.

How Ineon numerals works

Sample texts

Sample text in Ineon Monumental script

Sample text in Ineon Rounded script

Transliteration

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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