I just got finished finally typing up ‘New «h» glyph (and the runners-up)’ when I realized that a lot of what went into the design would be lost if I didn’t talk about [su_tooltip style=”dark” position=”north” content=”This is a link to ‘Place of articulation’ on Wikipedia“]place of articulation[/su_tooltip] and [su_tooltip style=”dark” position=”north” content=”This is a link to ‘Manner of articulation’ on Wikipedia“]manner of articulation[/su_tooltip] as well as introduce some other minor changes with the alphabet.
As you can see, «h», «w», «y», and the vowels changed. (That’s also a sneak peak at the new «h» about which I’ll discuss more in my next post. Don’t worry—it’s already written.) I did this to definitively establish what each line is supposed to mean in this [su_tooltip style=”dark” position=”north” content=”This is a link to ‘Featural writing system’ on Wikipedia“]featural writing system[/su_tooltip].
m has one vertical line in the front position—that’s the labial line. It represents the lips at the front of the mouth. It also has two vertical lines. The vertical line in the middle represents the top of the mouth and the detached vertical line on top represents the nasal cavity. Together, those define m as nasal.
n is very similar to m, but it has a vertical line in the middle position—that’s the coronal line. It represents the place where the tip of the tongue touches when producing that sound.
p has the labial line like m. Its two horizontal lines are the bottom line and the top line, and they are both attached to the vertical line—this represents a plosive by symbolizing a lack of airflow when producing that sound.
t is similar to p, but it has the coronal line like n.
k is similar to p and t, but its vertical line is in the back position, which represents the place toward which the back of the tongue is raised when producing that sound.
f and s are similar to p and t, but its horizontal lines are in the middle and bottom position, which looks similar to the plosive lines but represents that there is airflow through the mouth when producing those sounds, making those sounds fricative.
h will be talked about in my next post. Old «h» completed the p, t, k, f, s pattern, but this was inaccurate because «h» is laryngeal and not dorsal like «k».
l is similar to t and s. Its two horizontal lines are in the top and middle position, which represents its liquidity. This representation is less iconic but makes it visually similar to the fricative sounds.
w is labial and dorsal, so it has both of those lines. The single horizontal line on the bottom represents that this is an approximant. This representation is less iconic, but I was running out of choices. The old «w» has the old approximant line, which was represented by a single horizontal line in the top position.
y is the dorsal approximant, so it has those lines. The old «y» has the old approximant line as well as the coronal and dorsal lines to represent that it had a palatal placement, which is between alveolar and velar. Alveolar broadened to become coronal and velar broadened to become dorsal, and dorsal includes the palatal placement, so y just has a dorsal line.
The vowels have different lines that represent their placement on the [su_tooltip style=”dark” position=”north” content=”This is a link to ‘Vowel diagram’ on Wikipedia“]vowel diagram[/su_tooltip] as opposed to their place and manner of articulation (though, I was considering the latter idea). a is a low central vowel, e is a mid front vowel, i is a high front vowel, o is a mid back vowel, and u is a high back vowel. Their lines directly reflect those places. The old vowels went for a similar set up, but they all had a horizontal line in the top position whether they needed it or not for visual balance, but then I tossed that idea because—oh, I forgot to make a post about that too—syllable blocks also changed.