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Toki Pona Forums • Guidelines for an ideographic code
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Guidelines for an ideographic code

Posted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:18 pm
by mije Wi
Once I started to write symbols next to some toki pona words and translations, in a booklet of mine. I found I followed the following guidelines:

1) similar symbols for words of the same field (e.g. mu is kalama upside down). One word can belong to different fields.
2) similar symbols for words with a similar sound
3) syllabary inspired from the ideograms.

Example: the symbol for pan is a vertical line with two short diagonal lines attached. The symbol fot the syllable pan is the same. The symble for the syllable pa is the same, except is has only one diagonal line.

4) frequent expressions can be compressed.

Example: jan is a cross. Sewi is two horizontal lines, one over the other, in the upper part of the writing line. jan sewi is a cross with two horizontal lines over it.

One has to be cautious with this point thought.

ken la ona li pona.

Re: Guidelines for an ideographic code

Posted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:44 pm
by janKipo
I suppose that 'li' la' and 'e' are the first to be compressed (not that there is much left to do), 'toki' and 'pona' follow soon after, and so on. I don't quite see the source of your symbols, however. You could, however now do some real rebus -- as, indeed, you suggest: writing 'pana' with the bread symbol followed by 'a,' for example (or perhaps the symbol for exclamations). None of this is as clear as the alphabetic approach, with spaces and all, but it might be quite pretty.

Re: Guidelines for an ideographic code

Posted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:55 pm
by mije Wi
You can also draw pictures with symbols. Some jans inside a tomo. Some pan over a ma.
a ona li pona mute kin tawa mi a.

Re: Guidelines for an ideographic code

Posted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 5:45 pm
by janKipo
This is starting to move toward 2-D writing, where the relative placement of "words" is part of the message. And maybe that is a part of where 2-D should go.

Re: Guidelines for an ideographic code

Posted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 6:01 pm
by mije Wi
I don't know how to name it. Has it ever been done in other cultures? Anyway it would be very subjective. It wouldn't express "sentences" as we know them.

Re: Guidelines for an ideographic code

Posted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 9:09 pm
by janKipo
The theory is ultimately to get to what underlies sentences. Every literate culture does bits of it, often as jokes or puzzles; chinese uses it for some ideogram construction (not a lot).