Start at the beginning
- developed by illiterate(s)
- Evolved slowly from parent
- first in its area
- inventor known
- language unknown
- mercantile script
- National pride
- now ceremonial
- previous script didn't quite work
- private or secret
- probably developed by illiterate(s)
- probably first in its area
- Rating: 1 "Dull, only here for completeness"
- Rating: 2 "Not all that interesting"
- Rating: 3 "I did not know that"
- Rating: 4 "Huh, interesting!"
- Rating: 5 "Whoa!!"
- revealed in a dream
- significant female influence
- spiritual or supernatural
- technology influenced
Category Archives: Syllabaries
Gyaru-moji is sort of like a Japanese Leet: a variant orthography for Japanese. Unlike Leet, which was developed in the predominantly male hacker culture, Gyaru-moju (which means “girl characters”) appears to have been developed by schoolgirls. In both cases, by … Continue reading
There is a small ethnic group on the border of India and Burma with many names. They are called the Zo, Zou, Jo, Chin, and several other names. They speak a language that is in the same language family as … Continue reading
Like its sibling (parent?) script, Naxi Dongba, Naxi Geba is highly idiosyncratic and used mostly for religious writings. Unlike Naxi Dongba, Naxi Geba is a syllabary, but different people used different symbols for the same syllable. This makes it less … Continue reading
In 1974, the Chinese government decided to make a syllabary for the Yi language, based on the symbols in Classic Yi. As with the Zhuang in the 1950s, it isn’t clear to me why if it was such a good … Continue reading
As a result of losing the first Sino-Japanese war, China had to cede Taiwan to Japan in 1895. The Japanese went through phases of let-the-Taiwanese-be-Taiwanese alternating with phases where they tried to assimilate the Taiwanese into Japanese culture. During one … Continue reading
While Hiragana and Hangul were considered “women’s scripts”, nobody actively prevented the men from using the script as well, and eventually the men came around. However, in China, women were actively prevented from learning Chinese script, so they went underground … Continue reading
Chinese script didn’t work terribly well for Korean, even with Gugyeol, Hyangchul, or Idu additions. Around 1440 AD, King Sejong the Great asked his board of scholarly advisers to advise him on a better writing system. On October 9, 1446 … Continue reading
Gugyeol, also transliterated as Kwukyel, and also sometimes called Tho, was developed to help convert Chinese literature into understandable Korean. The Chinese characters and word order were preserved, but characters for word endings, particles, and some verb forms were tacked … Continue reading
Hyangchal — literally “vernacular letters” — borrowed the shapes of Chinese characters, but used them exclusively to represent the sounds of the Korean spoken language. There are not very many documents in Hyangchal, but there are some poems written in … Continue reading