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Sample Scripts (in alphabetic order)
Monoscript Definiton and goals for this page
This page deals with the subject of what we define as Monoscripts. Monoscripts are tactile or visual representations of language in which
and each symbol represents a single phoneme.
Critiques, additions, and so forth - for the following sections -
will be very much appreciated.
Philosophical Inspiration for this Page
The inspiration for the founder of the World Language Process came from the Baha'i Teachings on Universal Language. The term 'universal language' or 'auxiliary universal language' is most often linked in the Baha'i Writings with the word 'script'. Indeed the word 'script' appears over thirty times in the raw quotes. A typical sampling would be:
 "We foresee that eventually, the world cannot but adopt a single, universally agreed-upon auxiliary language and script to be taught in schools worldwide, as a supplement to the language or languages of each country."
(Bahá'í International Community,
Turning Point For All Nations)
 "A world language will either be invented or chosen from among the existing languages and will be taught in the schools of all the federated nations as an auxiliary to their mother tongue. A world script, a world literature,"
(Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era,
 "The selection of a single language and the adoption of a common script for all on earth to use: one of two signs of the maturity of the human race,"
 "The day is approaching when all the peoples of the world will have adopted one universal language and one common script. When this is achieved, to whatsoever city a man may journey, it shall be as if he were entering his own home. These things are obligatory and essential. It is incumbent upon every man of insight and understanding to strive to translate that which hath been written into reality and action.... That one indeed is a man who, today, dedicateth himself to the service of the entire human race. The Great Being saith: Blessed and happy is he that ariseth to promote the best interests of the peoples and kindreds of the earth."
(Lawh-i-Maqsud (Tablet of Maqsud)
in Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh,
 "O members of parliaments throughout the world! Select ye a single language for the use of all on earth, and adopt ye likewise a common script."
Philosophical Considerations of Script Design
('Abdu'l-Bahá in London,
Page 94) From my philosophical paradigm I therefore subscribe to the following points:
2. must contain words from different languages
3. It will be governed by the simplest rules
4. no exceptions
5. no gender
6. no extra letters
7. no silent letters
8. one name for everything
Secondly, the authoritative declarations mentioned in an earlier section, stated that the language could "either be invented or chosen from among the existing languages".
Thirdly, since in this case we are examining the 'invented' option, the operative statement was "no one person can construct a Universal Language".
Fourthly, we may therefore take the meaning of being "made by a Council" as that of being "selected, chosen, adopted" by a duly representative Council (a recognized and accepted world governing body - by whatever mechanism it may come into existence) that is "representing all countries". For it to be "representing all countries" does NOT mean either that ALL countries have a seat upon it, or that all will be in agreement with its decision. Fifthly, while the authority will rest with such a 'Council' to 'authorize' the language, the actual mechanics of the language and script selection may be made by an authorized committee itself selected in a method approved by the 'Council'.
(The Promulgation of Universal Peace, Page 182)A committee appointed by national bodies shall select a suitable language to be used as a means of international communication. Every one will need but two languages, his national tongue and the universal language. All will acquire the international language.
('Abdu'l-Bahá on Divine Philosophy, Page 27)
Sixthly, and I only mention this, because while otherwise should seem obvious, there are still those who have suggested that the phrase "invented or chosen" contains an "exclusive" rather than an "inclusive" 'or' and therefore prevents the modification of an existing language. This argument would then hold that a language like English, if selected, would have to be taken 'in toto' and that none of its faults could be remedied, and that only an 'invented' language, if that option were selected, could meet all the criteria, because no natural language does. One would think that it would seem patently obvious that the process of "inventing" can follow any path that a committee might choose and that there is nothing saying that they must begin to make the language out of 'whole cloth'. One might think that is patently obvious - but obviously it isn't.
Seventhly, in light of all the foregoing, the status at the moment is one of studying and examining solutions, criteria, options, merits and shortcomings of all proposals that meet the criteria. In this way we hope to become aware of creative ideas so that we may prepare meaningful proposals and critiques when the appropriate time and opportunity comes.
2. must contain words from different languages
I look upon the requirement as having two intents. First, because there is a wide spectrum of cultural requirements, there need to be words that satisfy the requirements of every culture. For example, in some Whorfian sense there needs to be terms that explain familial and other relationships that are present in one culture, but absent in another. A Middle Eastern Arabic culture may have need of more words for dealing with camels, than say an Inuit culture, and the latter may have more specific requirements in dealing with snow than does the former. Consequently, beyond some basic root vocabulary, a wide variety of terms from other languages need to be accommodated.
Secondly, what I see indicated here, is that this is a statement of attitude regarding the cross-cultural terms for various concepts. It is the opposite attitude of what has been a pattern in the adherents and proponents of a number of languages who opposed taking in foreign words. Most everyone has heard the examples of alternative expressions that have been proposed in languages as diverse as French, Latin (by the Catholic Church), Japanese and elsewhere to avoid American expressions such as beefsteak, motorcycles, and fax machines.
Whatever benefit there may be, in such subtleties in expressing abstract or mystical ideas, often garnered by having been immersed in a particular culture, what is being proposed here is a universal auxiliary language that in its simplicity can be mastered cross-culturally throughout the world.
On the other hand, the opposite is not at all the case, that a word will have a single meaning. Many words have a great variety of different meanings. Their meaning is determined by their context. A 'head' on a ship is quite different from the 'head' of a company, or a 'head' of water, or 'head' of sheep, or many other possible meanings of the word. In the English language, or at least in the Oxford English Dictionary lexicon, there are said to be about 750,000 words. This depends, however, upon how one defines what is a word, because by other definitions there could be millions. Is sheep as a singular and sheep as a plural the same word? What about dog and dogs, or man and men? Computers distinguish between capitalized and uncapitalized words. Are words to be identified by their spelling or their usage? Are Tom is the 'head' of the committee and Tom will 'head' the committee the same word? And most of all, as in the previous example about the different meanings of 'head', is head in that case one word - or many different words, and if we are to say that a word is its meaning, then there may be as many different meanings for any word as there are people, or even some multiple of that because it is quite possible that many people will assign different meanings to a word that others see as having only one meaning.
The point of this rule, therefore, was not the abstract and mystical ability to assign different meanings to words, but that everything expressed in the universal auxiliary language should have one and only one word that denotes that thing, object, idea or concept. On the other hand, any word may denote many things, objects, ideas or concepts. It may seem that this too could lead to confusion - but the latter distinctions are based upon context.
One final observation, as to this rule as stated, is that once again, if it were not possible to modify an existing language, no existing language would be a candidate because it would not now meet this requirement. The very suggestion about existing languages being candidates could then be seen as somewhat akin to the Baha'i view on polygamy, which is permitted if one can treat their wives equally, but since it is impossible for anything to be exactly equal it is in fact therefore not permitted.
This particular set of philosophical requirements, as stated, has its roots in the Baha'i philosophy, but if there are any parts of it that someone finds contentious then the present writer would be appreciative if they would explain their reasons. On the other hand, if there are any readers who feel that the criteria needs to be extended or supplemented in some manner - then the present writer would also like to hear of that.
Social Requirements of Script Design
The two primary social requirements for any script design are:
If a script is accepted, that is to say implemented, through some social mechanism, but has low utility, then that will result in great social and economic costs. This is particularly true if the duration of the implementation is very long term, or perhaps ended only by some further social revolution in the far distant future.
In the following sections we will discuss those social factors that may cause a script to not be accepted AND those technological factors that may increase of decrease its utility.
Social Problems of Script Design
First and foremost, that which may cause resistance to the acceptance of a particular script, are issues of cultural heritage.
Is it a foregone conclusion that a phonemic script (like ANJeL) rather than an ideographic script (like Chinese) is required? I think that it is, but influential social / cultural powers in some Global Council may disagree. Nevertheless, the trend in cultures that have ideographic systems has been towards developing phonetic systems of representation because of ease of typesetting, data storage and especially retrieval [which is very important to scientific / information based societies]. Still, ideographic systems also have their advantages in that they are cross-dialect communicative and that they are perhaps more suitable to the communication of some types of abstract concepts.
Assuming, that that the phonemic script path is selected, there remains still a variety of other language / social concerns arising out of the nature of the language to be represented. Once more we must ask whether it is a foregone conclusion that the chosen or designed language will not be a 'click' language as used by some African tribes, or a 'tonal' language as used by the Chinese? The requirements for character / script representations in those, or other 'exotic' languages would surely be different than the requirements of an Indo-Germanic rooted language.
This now brings us to a second category of social concerns regarding script / character selection. There are many other social issues, such as compatibility with deaf and native signing, Braille or other representation [such as pressure scanners] for the blind; signaling; efficiency of use and display; representation by the less physically adept [children, handicapped, and aged]; recognition by those with limited visual capability [physiologically in young children and the failing sight of the elderly] and probably still many other such social issues that special interest groups will identify.
Last, but certainly not least, will be the social concern with the economic cost of implementation. Questions as to upon whom these costs will fall, and questions of equity as to who should bear them along with questions as to how they may create additional social barriers among those groups that are already disenfranchised. While the latter themselves may be un-influential in protesting, those elements that may claim to speak upon their behalf - could be quite disruptive to any process of seeking unanimity and effecting implementation.
Technological Goals of Script Design
Freed of concerns about social restraints, engineers and technicians may well try to establish criteria for some 'utopian' script. These might well include:
b. Recognizability of the character (say at a distance)
c. Relationship of letters to one another for cursive writing
d. Fewness of strokes per letter
e. Economy of horizontal space in representation of the letter
f. Economy of vertical space
h. Ergonomics of recognition (eye scanning and so forth)
i. Ergonomics of writing (less removal of pen from paper)
j. Aesthetics as to appearance
Technological Restraints of Script Design
Scientists, engineers, inventors and designers do not usually start with a clear slate. They are bound in many ways by the technologies and conventions of the past. The degree to which society and circumstances will allow them to throw over that which has gone before will determine to a large degree how creative, and utilitarian, the new system can be in light of the state of technological art.
Function creates form. Not just function in terms of the desired goal and purpose but also function in terms of the technology available. While social revolution may to a degree sweep away attachment to the past, the old social concepts still remain the standard for judgment of the new. Moreover, the old technology remains as that which must be built upon.
New scripts and new fonts may appear, but they will still appear on the old devices of Cathode Ray Tubes, Photographic Film, and Cellulose Material. Their generation will also be largely by electron guns, photo-light sources, and rollers spreading ink. While script designers may be aware of cutting edge technologies in plasma, laser, and ink jets, accompanied by fiber optics for transmission and thin films for display, they will be largely unable to dictate which technologies will be used and will have to ascertain that the scripts that they select are compatible with those technologies currently in use.
Any major script change will render obsolete large bodies of typesetting and font display equipment. Hardware such as typewriters will often be so inflexible that they cannot be modified to function with any script that involves radical changes from the system for which the hardware was originally designed. Even more flexible film based equipment can be challenged by new requirements of spacing and alignment. Still, supposing that these challenges are not overly arduous, the mere manufacture and distribution of new script and font masters for photo-imaging machines, and new character generators for electronic and matrix based machines, will create very substantial costs and cause a barrier to their rapid use and acceptance.
Awareness of the technological constraints, imposed by the machinery of reproduction, is but the one set of technological criteria facing the designer. The other set of technological criteria is that imposed by the goals envisioned for the script. As in all engineering design issues there are usually opposing goals for which there needs to be found a balance. These are sometimes difficult to identify and it is the engineering skill and insight that can recognize the conflicts and the wisdom to find the balance that distinguishes the creative and admirable designer and design from the pedestrian. Here I can offer only a few token examples of that of which I speak.
in a billboard size
2. Ornate strokes that may be seen as aesthetic
by the less skilled.
3. The use of color to distinguish components
4. Variety of distinguishable form such as we presently see
5. Variation in stroke density, while perhaps again both
pixels on a CRT captioning line
segments (think of your digital clock)
large photo-imaging such as on billboards
minute engraving on the inside of a ring
marching bands in stadium formations
This is a monoscript because the intention is that letters associated with a period would actually have a dot above the letter.
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