The Written Languages of Co'ak
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While modern Co'ak has a simple alphabet, ancient Co'ak was far more complex
This public article was written by arkholt on 24 Jan 2016, 16:27.
[comments] coa Modern Co'ak is easily decipherable by speakers of English, as it has a fairly basic alphabet corresponding roughly to English, though without an equivalent of "J," "Q," or "W." The modern system of writing, which consists of 23 letters, developed over many years, and is a simplification of older Co'ak characters, of which there are 30. These 30, however, cannot stand alone, but are merely components that are combined together to represent a sound. This creates a very elegant and fascinating way of writing, though it does get a bit complex.
All sounds in Co'ak consist of what is called an "initial," which is a consonant or consonant pair, and a "final," which is a vowel and often another consonant or consonant pair. For example, the word for the number 2 is "dath." The "d" at the beginning is the initial, and "ath" the end is the final. In modern Co'ak, one would write it using the Co'ak equivalents of "d," "a," "t," and "h." Ancient Co'ak is not so simple.
In ancient Co'ak, there are what we would call consonants as well as vowels. There are five vowels, all of which are shaped so as to contain other components. For example, the vowel "a" has two parallel vertical lines with a horizontal line connecting them at the bottom, much like a square with the line at the top removed. To create the symbol for the final sound "ath," one would nest the consonant "th" inside of the vowel "a," so the vowel "a" contains the consonant "th." To write "dath" in ancient Co'ak, one would write the initial sound "d" with the symbol for the sound "ath" next to it. Initial consonant pairs that include an "r" sound, such as "br," are similar. The consonant "b" is nested within the consonant "r" to create the initial "br." This is the only nesting that occurs in initials, however.
The number system, at least for large numbers, works in a similar way. The numeral 10 looks much like a large letter "U" with a single horizontal line nested inside it. The numeral 100 is the same, but with two horizontal lines, 1000 with three, and 10,000 the three horizontal lines and a vertical line in the center of them. 100,000 does not follow this pattern, as in Co'ak it is written as a numeral 10 next to a numeral 10,000. For 1,000,000, however, the pattern continues, with a the three horizontal lines being crossed by two vertical lines.
While the idea of nesting components is fascinating, one can see why modern Co'ak speakers would eventually develop something a bit simpler to write in. That said, it does make reading and looking at ancient Co'ak texts much more interesting and exciting.