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Introduction to Gomain's native script
This public article was written by Jadyndar, and last updated on 4 Sep 2018, 08:09.
3. The Pekrïf
Figure 1: Pekrïf letterforms used in Gomain
Above are all the letters used to write Gomain, with their names and IPA equivalents. This alphabet is meant to be written much like the Arabic script, with few breaks between letters; therefore, the letters are shown here in both their isolated and contextual forms. If a word-final letter follows a non-connecting letter, its isolated form is used. Otherwise, aside from name initials and a few single-letter words, isolated forms are only used to signify acronyms, in which case they are written with no spaces between them.
The Pekrïf, as it is called, is a descendant of a much older script originally used in the ancient kingdom of Hām-Ham. This progenitor script, while still an alphabet in nature, was highly ornamental, and it was frequently used as a kind of hieroglyphics. The letters' current, simplified forms arose over the centuries after Hām-Ham fell; their arrangement dates back to the middle of the First Republic, around 650-700 ŴA. The letterforms were codified, and the letters named and arranged, about this time; not coincidentally, the Great Temple of Jave was built during these years. The names were intended to not only contain the sound that letter represented, but also to be euphonious. Since then, several letters omitted from the above table have become obsolete, as the sounds they represented were lost via sound change. In addition, the ligatures ëxolt and ëx̌a, representing the combinations of kon with sod and šo, respectively, have been appended to the end of the alphabetic sequence. The only other significant change between then and now has been the creation of new letters through the addition of diacritics; several new sounds have been added to the Gomain phoneme inventory over the centuries, often through cluster simplification. The diacritics themselves reflect these origins in clusters, as they are descended from superscript forms of the lost consonants. (Not all of the diacritics have their origins in other letters, however; the horizontal line and upward-pointing chevron descend from clusters of dots.)
Zan and žag form ligatures with a following äǯ, az, ø̈ŋ, øz, ög or ok as shown in Figure 2. Similarly, the lines over raz and to are commonly merged when those letters are adjacent.
Figure 2: Pekrïf ligatures
These 14 ligatures have become standard in all printed and written text. Their names are simply the syllables formed by the combinations of letters involved and are given in the above figure.
… … … … …
Figure 3: Pekrïf punctuation marks
The makjušak or comma is used to separate circumstantial participles, subordinate clauses, nouns in the vocative case, items in lists, and parts of large numbers.
The makjuǯ or semicolon indicates a greater syntactic break than the comma, similar to the proper usage of the semicolon in English. It also separates numbers in literary citations and time abbreviations, and serves as the radix point in numerals.
Similarly, the makjudrüš or colon indicates an even greater syntactic break than the semicolon, on a par with the use of the colon in European languages. It also prefaces a quote.
The juǯëlë or period marks the end of sentences.
The ķø̈staukrïf or question mark replaces the period at the end of a question.
The rodíjakrïf or exclamation mark is used as in European languages, at the end of an exclamation or interjection; it also replaces the period.
The naugetkakrïf or interrobang is used similarly to the ķø̈staukrïf and rodíjakrïf and is used to indicate passionate incredulity, much like a combination of the question and exclamation marks in English. These three marks also appear at the beginning of clauses, as in Spanish orthography.
The rekrïf or uncertainty mark ends a sentence where one wishes to represent a tone of uncertainty or doubt in the preceding sentence.
The gasnörḑïma or quotation marks are used, as in English, to separate quotations from the rest of the text. Unlike English usage, however, they are only placed at the beginning and end of quotations, not at the beginning of new paragraphs within them.
The vëţërïna or parentheses set off asides and other statements that we would normally place within them.
The vëţukrau or hyphen is sometimes used in place of the comma when separating subordinate clauses. It also comes before citations, both of people and literature, and separates literary titles.
The juǯox or ellipsis is used to indicate the end of a long quotation, or that the source of a quote continued speaking before, during, or after the quote.
The tatpïrki or identifying mark serves to distinguish abbreviations from similar, fully-spelled words, as well as to alert readers to a textual note. Scientists and mathematicians use it to indicate special operations, quantities, and units of measure. In electronic media, it is often used for emphasis, similar to our own asterisk.
The pratčakrïf or accent mark is written above a vowel which receives irregular stress. It combines with the auanj that distinguishes tense vowels to form the pratčakrïf auan. While it is not normally used following a case prefix, it is written in situations where case-marking creates a homophone pair distinguished only by position of stress: consider uma (plural indefinite article) vs. umá (to/for many).
The nabzë or tilde is written above a nasalized vowel. If the vowel is also irregularly stressed, it is written above the pratčakrïf as well; thus the Pekrïf orthography for ebĩ́ is Ebî.
The bačakrïf or proper name line is written under all proper names. It is simply a specialized underline.
Romanized transcriptions follow the Gomain usage, except where that would confuse readers. This practice includes the underlining of proper names in romanizations, which the examples in this grammar follow. The only significant difference is the use of italics or quotation marks to indicate literary titles.