Both familiar and strange

As most conlangers, I’ve made many constructed scripts (known as conscripts). While some of them draw obvious influences from many real-world scripts, no one is as similar to actual alphabets as Kali.

Kali alphabet could be described as either a relative or a mixture of Latin, Greek and Cyrillic alphabets. If you are used to those alphabets, you’ll probably have no problems to understand a Kali text. Some letterforms, however, are quite innovative.

Kali wasn’t made for a specific conlang as some of my other conscripts were, but as a sort of cypher; an alphabet that was easy for me to write and read but unintelligible for others. As I could read and write in Greek and Cyrillic alphabets (even though I don’t speak Greek nor any language with uses Cyrillic alphabet),it was natural to pick letters from those alphabets. I further picked some exotic letters. For example, I borrowed Icelandic letters Þ and ð and decided to use old Greek Digamma which looks like Latin F (Latin alphabet F is actually based on it!) for /w/.

Kali is significantly larger than its base-alphabets: it has 44 letters! However, some letters will not be used depending on the language which is being written. For example, Nye would be used for Spanish ‘Ñ’, but would not appear in English texts. Similarly, Kali letter Djod would be used in English (replacing soft G (as in Gerard) and J) and in Esperanto (for Ĝ) but not in Spanish.

UHRD first article in Kali alphabet (Spanish and English Version)

Below there is a table with all 44 Kali letters. The columns show (from left to right): the letter in UPPER-CASE, the letter in lower-case, its name in Kali alphabet, its name in Latin alphabet and a typical pronunciation. Those pronunciations may vary depending on the language. For instance, I used the letter Alfa for /a/ in the Spanish version of the text above, but as /ə/ for English.

Both Kali letter names and the alphabetical order were greatly influenced by Greek. This accounts for the letter Zeta (which is identical both in shape and value to to Latin alphabet Z) being placed after E instead of at the very end.

Needless to say that this alphabet is available to be used for anyone who wants to ;)!

See you next time!


Posted on 2011/08/25, in English, Scripts. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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