Gond — 2010 AD, India

Gond "kha"

It is not very common for someone to create a new script.  Cherokee, Ol Chiki, Pin Cin Hau logograms, Gurmukhi, Hangul are just a few of the scripts which we know were created or invented more-or-less from scratch.

However, in all the cases that I have written of up until now, the scripts were invented by men*.  This makes it all the more surprising that a female professor of English in India, Dr. Prasanna Sree, has developed not one, but eighteen writing systems for minority languages in India, including another script for the Gondi language.  I do not know why Dr. Sree felt that the 1928 Gondi script was inadequate.

I can’t tell how widely adopted Dr. Sree’s writing systems have been (if at all).  This raises a question that I have touched on briefly before: how well accepted does a writing system need to be before it is a legitimate writing system and not a piece of art?  Omniglot’s page on constructed scripts has 175 entries, many of which were designed more-or-less for fun.    (For example, see Thoorsha.)  Should these be considered artworks more than writing systems?

*Yes, Empress Wu Zetian did introduce some characters into Chinese.  However, it appears clear that someone else suggested the characters and she merely approved them.

Links: Omniglot, Unicode proposal

About ducky

I'm a computer programmer professionally, currently working on mapping applications. I have been interested non-professionally for a long time in the effect on society on advances in communications technology -- things like writing, vowels, spaces between words, paper, etc.
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