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Cursives and cases (that is, capital and lowercase).

 
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eldin raigmore
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 6:49 pm    Post subject: Cursives and cases (that is, capital and lowercase). Reply with quote

Does anyone's conscript have more than two cases -- more than just capital and lowercase?

I can think of uses for five cases; one "bigger than capital" or "higher than uppercase", one "middle case" (like "small caps"), one "lower than lowercase", and of course upper and lower case.

For a higher-than-capital case one might use it for the first letter of any new chapter. Something like that is in fact done sometimes. It might also be used in logos and in monograms.

There are things that get capitalized, or not, depending on the language. I'll use German and English and French as examples here.

In German every noun is capitalized.

In English, every proper noun is capitalized, and so is every adjective derived from such a noun; but common nouns are not capitalized.

In French, only some proper nouns are capitalized. For instance all proper names of humans (and some other proper nouns) are capitalized, but proper names of days-of-the-week and months-of-the-year are not capitalized. Adjectives derived from proper nouns are not capitalized even if the noun was; America-americain, Abel-abelian, etc.

In German, first- and second-person singular pronouns in nominative case are capitalized, but not third-person pronouns, plural pronouns, or pronouns in other cases.

In English only first-person singular nominative pronouns are capitalized.

In French pronouns are never capitalized unless they are the first word of a sentence, no matter their person or case or number.

If an adjective or common noun becomes part of a proper noun that is a phrase instead of just a single word, it may or may not be capitalized.
united states of America
united States of America
United States of America

In German proper names of persons are frequently spelled in all-capitals; if the font being used includes "small capitals", then the name is spelled in "small caps" (except for the first letter).

In English and many other languages (New Testament Greek etc.) "sacred names" are spelled that way too; either in all-caps or in "small caps"
the Lord GOD
the LORD God
JESUS

In English pronouns referring to God are capitalized, whatever their case. (In English they can only be singular, and in 3rd-person only masculine. In a conculture I suppose other numbers and/or other genders might be possible. For instance if the idea of "the Trinity" is taken seriously in a language with a trial number, perhaps sometimes God's first-person pronoun would be trial.)

So, those are some distinctions that might need the super-upper-case, uppercase, sub-upper-case, and lower-case characters.

A sub-lowercase or microminuscule case might be useful for subscripts and superscripts, characters written just above or above-to-the-right or above-to-the-left or below or below-to-the-right or below-to-the-left, or, in vertical scripts, to the left or right or upperleft or upperright or lowerleft or lowerright, of "main" characters in some other case. There's really a lot of such use in, for example, the IPA; so in your conscript a writer might use it to show the accent of the person speaking. Also the "points" of "pointed" abjads are often such letters.

In cursive writing, a characterform ("letterform" if the script is an alphabet) has its shape influenced by the letters (or characters) before and after it, and likewise influences them. So often a letter varies not only according to uppercase vs lowercase, but also, according to whether it is stand-alone (the only character in its word), word-initial, word-final, or medial.
In most of the scripts we know, capitals occur only in stand-alone and initial forms; medial and final forms are all lowercase. That's because if a word is written in cursive only its first letter is ever capital; if a word is written in all-capitals it isn't in cursive.
I think it would be interesting to ask about script-systems where a symbol represents a syllable instead of a phoneme (a syllabary), or represents a morpheme insteand of a phoneme (a logography).
Also, the direction of writing may need to be taken into consideration.
In vertical writing, "the character before" is the character above and "the character after" is the character below.
In horizontal writing, however, if it's chiseled in stone or wood, it isn't cursive, and chances are "the character before" is the character to the right and "the character after" is the character to the left.
But in horizontal cursive, ordinarily the writing is left-to-right.

Does anyone know of a right-to-left cursive?
Does anyone klnow of a top-to-bottom cursive?

OK, so here are some more questions;
  1. Would you like your script to have a super-capital case to use for the first characters of chapters or paragraphs or titles?
  2. Would you use the super-capital case in logos, and/or in monograms, and/or in chops or seals?
  3. Would you like your script to have a middle case to use for non-first characters of certain words?
  4. Which words should begin with capital characters?
    1. Only first words of sentences.
    2. All proper nouns.
    3. All proper names of humans.
    4. All nouns.
    5. All definite nouns.
    6. All nouns that are subjects or objects.
    7. All nouns that are subjects.
    8. Pronouns referring to sacred entities.
    9. First-or-Second-person-singular (or first/second-inclusive dual) subject pronouns.
    10. First-person-singular subject pronouns (but not second-person pronouns)
    11. Something else

  5. If you have a "middle case", which words would you spell with it?
    1. The first sentence of any chapter.
    2. The first word of any chapter.
    3. Any sacred name.
    4. Any proper name of a human.

  6. Is "case" something one can have in a syllabary?
  7. Is "case" something one can have in an alphasyllabary?
  8. Is "case" something one can have in an abugida?
  9. Is "case" something one can have in an abjad?
  10. Is "case" something one can have in a logography?
  11. Is "case" something one can have in a featurography?
  12. Which cases can have a distinction between initial versions and non-initial versions of some characters?
  13. Which cases can have a distinction between final versions and non-final versions of some characters?
  14. In some scripts, for some characters, in some cases, there are four different versions:
    1. Stand-Alone
    2. Initial
    3. Final
    4. Media
    Which cases should have which?



Obviously not all those questions will be relevant to your particular script, depending on what your answers to the others are. So just answer the ones you feel like answering.

And, if you can think of any other questions that maybe I should have asked, or just any other questions you feel like answering, go right ahead.
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Tolkien_Freak



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting.

Emitare only has one case, so I can't really answer any of your questions, except 6-11. I think any script can have any number of cases, except perhaps a logography. You could if you really wanted to as long as the transformation process was pretty much regular and obvious (i.e. you still don't have to learn more than one form of a character, since if you have one you can easily derive the other). Doing something like Roman letters have where often the different case forms are not obviously related would be WAY too many letters.

For the rest, it probably works OK, though for scripts with more letters having not obviously related forms becomes more of a problem.
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Aeetlrcreejl



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Selvanian has a middle case, used for the first word of a sentence and proper non-sacred names, which is the one that has been posted on Vreleksá. Neither upper (used for beginnings of paragraphs and sacred names) or lower (used all other times) have been posted yet.

Selvanian has also several distinct handwriting forms. For example, the letter representing /y/ looks like 于, and the one representing /v/ looks like 土.
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Baldash



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Cursives and cases (that is, capital and lowercase). Reply with quote

eldin raigmore wrote:
Does anyone's conscript have more than two cases -- more than just capital and lowercase?

No. I haven't seen any reason to have any cases. Those that deal with calligraphy may invent as many different forms they want for their work, but the official version has only one shape. (Well, maybe different shapes depending on the method of writing, on computer screen or clay tablets or paper, but no cases.)

eldin raigmore wrote:
but proper names of days-of-the-week and months-of-the-year are not capitalized.

What makes them "proper names"?

I am inclined to think that they are not capitalized in English because they are proper names, but the other way round: they are considered proper names by a native Anglophone because they are capitalized in English. They may historically derive from compounds containing proper names and then have retained the capitalization.

eldin raigmore wrote:
In English and many other languages (New Testament Greek etc.) "sacred names" are spelled that way too; either in all-caps or in "small caps"
the Lord GOD
the LORD God
JESUS

Well, LORD and GOD written in all-caps or small-caps usually represents a replacement of the name Jehovah/Jahweh in the original, due to superstition. So "Lord" and "LORD" represents completely different words in the original. "JESUS" I guess may be someone's attempt to pass off the idea that the son and the father is the same person or that he is his equal, or maybe that "LORD" is a name and not a replacement.

eldin raigmore wrote:
[*]Would you like your script to have a super-capital case to use for the first characters of chapters or paragraphs or titles?
[*]Would you like your script to have a middle case to use for non-first characters of certain words?

No.

eldin raigmore wrote:
[*]Would you use the super-capital case in logos, and/or in monograms, and/or in chops or seals?

For my scripts, this would be a matter of calligraphy, not cases.

eldin raigmore wrote:
[*]Is "case" something one can have in a syllabary?
[*]Is "case" something one can have in an alphasyllabary?
[*]Is "case" something one can have in an abugida?
[*]Is "case" something one can have in an abjad?
[*]Is "case" something one can have in a logography?
[*]Is "case" something one can have in a featurography?

I quess "case" is more likely for a small letter inventory, so it might have a case in alphasyllabaries, abugidas and abjads, but less likely in the others. I don't know exactly what you mean with "featurography". Do you mean a glyph for POA, another for MOA and a third for voicing, crammed into the space of a single character, like Hangul crams the phonemes of a syllable together?

What do you mean with "alphasyllabary" and "abugida"? I thought they where synonyms, what is the difference? If I would guess the difference then I would guess that an "abugida" has glyphs for the consonants and that vowels are marked with points and the like (what some people sloppily might call "abjad", a real abjad having no vowels, except optionally in special circumstances (this parenthesis is not a guess)), while an "alphasyllabary" has independent glyphs for each consonant + vowel pair.

My conlang has an unambiguous syntax, marks names with morphology, and has a morphological honorific, and the scripts have a full-stop, so the need for cases isn't there.
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eldin raigmore
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Cursives and cases (that is, capital and lowercase). Reply with quote

Baldash wrote:
eldin raigmore wrote:
but proper names of days-of-the-week and months-of-the-year are not capitalized.

What makes them "proper names"?

I am inclined to think that they are not capitalized in English because they are proper names, but the other way round: they are considered proper names by a native Anglophone because they are capitalized in English. They may historically derive from compounds containing proper names and then have retained the capitalization.
Since there's no way to settle the question with evidence and logic, we'll just have to fight over it.
I prefer waterballoons or thumb-wrestling to pistols or fists.
Let's meet the second Tuesday of next week.


Wink
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:20 am    Post subject: Re: Cursives and cases (that is, capital and lowercase). Reply with quote

eldin raigmore wrote:

Let's meet the second Tuesday of next week.

How many Tuesdays in a week again? I always get confused... Wink
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found this topic quite thought-provoking. I have repeatedly revised the letter shapes of my Western-Canadian-English-oriented modification of the Latin script according to how writeable they are longhand, but it never even occurred to me to vary from the traditional two cases. I think with about 50 letters per case having more than two would rapidly become unwieldy, so I’ll stick with just two, but if I ever go with the abjad modification of it I’ve been contemplating, I may revisit that.
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Baldash



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Cursives and cases (that is, capital and lowercase). Reply with quote

eldin raigmore wrote:
Since there's no way to settle the question with evidence and logic, we'll just have to fight over it.
I prefer waterballoons or thumb-wrestling to pistols or fists.
Let's meet the second Tuesday of next week.

Well, I don't have any tuesday until next month..
But feel free to aim and throw waterballoons at your computer whenever you think I'm online Razz
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Serali
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One comes to mind and that's the script used to write Kastrian.

There are others but I have to look through my conscript journals to find them. Wish I had a scanner.


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