Zezhi script: a syllabary

In addition to working on the Vinuvu abugida, I’ve also been creating a new conscript, called Zezhi. It is a syllabary, and is used in Keta, specifically in and around Ngyenau Bwezh, a small country in Ei (north of Quarios). I have the beginnings of a majority language of Ngyenau Bwezh, called Bwezhi, but it’s far from usable yet. It’s at that awkward stage where I know what the phonemes are and some basics about verbs, nouns, and word order, but not much else. It is essentially a fetus.

Zezhi itself has independent symbols for combinations of consonants and vowels, in the CV syllable structure. It also has symbols for lone vowels: V structure. It doesn’t have codas embedded in each symbol, but rather marks a “default” syllable as “vowelless” for this purpose, as Bwezhi does have some codas.

Here are some examples:

This is a given name: Miza Lie

Another name: Minisa Burun.
This is the name of the country Ngyenau Bwezh /ˈŋʲɛnau bʷɛʒ/. You can see the diacritics that indicate patalization and labialization in co
nsonants. The line under the final character means that there is a null vowel after this consonant, i.e. a syllable coda. You can also see that in the previous name “Burun”. The character used for codas is always the Ce (consonant plus /ɛ/) character. So without the line underneath, the name would appear as “Burune”.

Below is a transliteration of my full name: Margaret Neal Ransdell-Green.
The transliteration works out to: /margaret nil ranzdɛl grin/

Conscripts

I’ve been refining and practicing the Vinuvu script, which I first created in summer 2019. It’s getting more to where I want it in terms of specifics, but remains largely how I originally designed it. I’m practicing writing in it in calligraphic software on iPad/with Apple pencil, as well as using actual pen/ink.

Vinuvu is the second script I’ve created that I’m still using. The first is the Rílin script, which I made into a font. You can see more about this font/script on the Rílin phonology page. You can also download the font itself here.

Here are some recent examples of the Vinuvu script as used to write Karkin.

I’d like to develop a font for Vinuvu too, though because it is an abugida, and vowels are usually marked using diacritics, it might present an additional challenge, since different characters will essentially need to be overlaid on each other to form syllables.

Rílin script

So you’ve all probably seen at least some of my numerous poems written in Rílin, along with their accompanying script. I wanted to explain how the alphabet for Rílin works.

It is pretty simple conceptually. Rílin traditionally uses a phonetic alphabet, where each letter corresponds to a phoneme (distinguished sound) in the language. Rílin has a large phonemic inventory (29 consonants and 13 vowels), so there are as many letters in the alphabet.

In the below image, you can see the IPA symbol for each Rílin phoneme, followed by (in brackets) the Romanized representation (sometimes there are variants available for those times when it is not convenient or possible to use diacritic marks)

rilinletters
Consonants

vowels
Vowels