A little bit of Lisnäit 8: Sikäitt script
It’s been quite a long time since I last wrote a post about Lisnäit (the las little bit of Lisnäit was written in November!). As I promised back then, I’ll talk about Lisnäit’s native script: Sikäitt (it’s pronounced /siˈkäi̯tɨt/). Let’s go on to the following image:
On the top there lie the Sikäitt characters for S, I, K, Ä, I, T and T. On the bottom, the word Sikäitt.Well… we’ve got something odd here, haven’t we? Even though both are (in theory) the same letters, they look completely different from each other (except for the vowels, which didn’t seem to have changed at all)! How can that be? That is one of the most important features of Sikäitt script: consonantal letters change their shapes according to their position, attaching to other letters next to them.
I got the idea from the Arabic Abjad where letters (which stand for consonants) also attach to each other sometimes completely losing their original shape. Lisnäit uses consonantal roots very much like Arabic, so I thought that a similar script would work well.
All Sikäitt consonantal letters have 4 different forms:
- Isolated (the one on the top of the image above) when letters aren’t in contact with another one. As I’ll explain later, they are also used as numbers.
- Initial if that particular consonant is the first letter of the word.
- Medial form.
- And a final form.
Should a given word begin with a vowel, a mute consonant (sort of a vowel-carrier) will be used, so the next consonant will adopt not initial form but medial. Pretty much the same happens if a vowel is the last letter of a word.
The following image shows all 4 forms (in the same order as the previous list) of some consonants (in black). Ø stands for the mute consonant:
Consonants in red are written by adding a dot or a line under the main consonant:
Yet again, ï works a bit different from all other vowels. It is not written unless it is the last vowel of an o-ï adjective (see the last part of this post). Then, it is represented by putting the vowel carrier (Ø) with no vocalic symbol over it:
Sikäitt can also be written vertically by turning it 90º clockwise. The resulting text is read top to bottom and the columns are read right from left.
Numbers are usually represented by letters (in their isolated form) as I explained here. In case they consist of more than one digit, they must be underlined (though underlining may be used for single-digit numbers as well). Roots suck as S-K-T (meaning ‘to write’) are also written with isolated letters:
And that’s the end of this little bit of Lisnäit, a ‘series’ which is close to its end as I hardly believe I’ll write more than two more ‘issues’. Stay tuned! 😉