Tuesday, 8 February 2011

The Magish Alphabet

Magish alphabet
[From 'An Anthology of the World']
"Appendix 3


Magish (old common) Magish

Magish is the ancestor of modern common, and follows the same rules. It's still used on Partway Island and some Tuyun Countries and, of course, by the Mage's.  It is divided into five Families, usually arranged in a circle with G at it's center.

X H E C N / M W S Z N V / U L O K A / Y T I J F / R B Q P D

The numbers used with this alphabet is based on the number of corners they contain : -

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

[Most people who can read modern common with ease can also interpret Magish, given a few moments contemplation.

The red decorations are as follows -

Top-left - Old Gaer symbol of the sun; 

Top-right - Old Gaer symbol of the moon. The Calobelvan written around it reads - "- Shal (Sun) - Car (Tree/Truth) - Aer (Ground) - Ash (Water) - Ath (Sky) - Mhoor (Spirit) -" (presented together they mean balance)

Left border - Sand-Dwarvish pattern, also found on some Galmearan materials.

Right border - Modern Gaer (Elvish) design, used frequently.
(These two pattern presented as complimentary patterns indicate the breadth of alphabets covered in Appendix 3, coming from almost opposite types of societies and races]


  1. Wow, fantastic blog! You've put a lot of love into this.

  2. Cheers Risus! A lot of evenings not in front of the telly... Its amazing what your imagination does if you don't have access to technology. I am now uploading it all, plus indulging in the fantasy and satire of it all! Its letting me digest things in my own direction again.

    I saw that you where a D&D type gamer - not sure if any of this can be of use but I hope it can.

  3. I love the number system, genius!

    I'd be interested to see how the grammar works, I've got a module on functional grammar this semester.

    I remember you drawing that pattern from the moon symbol years ago :)

  4. Unfortunately it is not my genius idea - it is a thought for why we actually do have the shape numbers we do - it might actually be true! (with a couple of my own modifications - 8, 9 and 0 I think i modified.

  5. A for Grammar - much as I would love to invent grammar rules, I am perplexed by our own rules, and only know a few rudimentary ideas for Welsh and French - I don't think I know enough about how Grammar works - any ideas?

    Welsh has the thing before the description, And I think Elvish does as well - E.G. Ball red instead of red ball.

  6. I am coming to realise that english grammar is an absolute devil and any rule your learn will almost certainly prove not to work in every case. I think the interesting thing from this week is the idea that verb and subject patterns change depending on the purpose of the exchange, so a question will have the important part of the verb first like 'CAN you help' while the statement with the same words will be the other way around. So grammar doesn't have to be fixed by the individual words so much as the meaning of a whole clause or sentence. I think this creates interesting difference in grammar for races that have different rules about politeness, and means grammar will work differently between different sections of society. So a society which is very concerned with hierarchy and/or politeness and hospitality might require different structures depending on who you are talking to.

    ummm, yes that's me trying to squeeze two weeks of lectures and seminars into a blog post.. hope it makes any sense

  7. Although "Help you CAN!" will make you sound like Yoda...

    It is quite hard to follow, seeing as I first had to figure out what a verb was - I think i must have been in hospital when our school tackled Grammar!

    I do like your idea of different rules of Grammar for different levels of society though. I wish I did understand it better because Dwarvish grammar could be a vital part of social differentiation.

    Elvish grammar, however, I guess would be twisted and wrought at will and at the expense of clarity, in order to imbue a sentence with multiple meanings and acoustic qualities. The Plains-Elves (Dim Lwis) for example often chop bits off words and mutate sounds (and maybe adjust the order of words) just in order to make them sound nicer. Meaning I think would be mostly gleaned from body language and context. Trying to hold a coherent conversation their must be hellish.

  8. ahh yes I meant 'you CAN help'...

    In terms of the elves language, you'd be amazed at how much people do this anyway, if you've ever read a transcript you will know how very little we actually say what we mean, and my dissertation was all about using body language to change and/or say what we mean. If you grow up with that language and in that group of people it's totally obvious and intuitive, but it is a bit of nightmare for foreign speakers and even people from slightly different backgrounds. I imagine the plains elves and forest elves would have some difficulty with the subtleties because they have a different frames of reference and yes a human or dwarf could be totally lost.

    you might be able to develop a grammatical structure for the dwarves without going back to basic grammar (especially since verb adjective and noun are actually fluid and there are languages that split meaning groups up differently). In terms of the hierarchy divide it just needs to be clear that a dwarf of a lower social rank never makes a demand on a dwarf of a higher rank, everyone knows without thinking about it what a demand looks like, so all you have to do then is change it into a non-demand, which we also just know. That all relies on them using approximately the same grammar as us though.

    I'm probably thinking about this too much unless you are actually going to create several complete languages, but i find it all very interesting so if you are then let me know, it would be very exciting to attempt.

  9. Lets do it!!

    I am liking the fluidity of the elvish languages (I am imagining the way poetry messes about with grammar) but I think we can do some good stuff with the Dwarvish. It would be as shame to base it entirely on English, even if we incorporate a hierarchical element - Perhaps in your studies you can find a few ways to twist it off from ours a bit. The trouble is that our language has such fluid gramatical rules anyway... Perhaps we could adapt Dwarvish to really stick to some of the major gramatical trends in English - do away with all this wishy washy Elvish style relaxed attitude to speeking. We could make it thourally rule based!

    I dont know - have to go now, but yes - lets make a working language!

    T x

  10. sweet! Ahh such nerdishness. I think I've got a couple of ideas that can properly mess with the mind while still being really strict on rules. Mostly involves changing the categories, so say verbs and adverbs can take the same role creating things like 'she benevolently' being grammatically complete and meaning 'that she is always selflessly kind' or 'he spoke ran' meaning 'he spoke fast'. if they are quite a practical race you could do away with purely descriptive words altogether and only ever modify a meaning with a verb or noun, that would create things like 'the sky is blue' becoming 'the sky is tanzanite' and would make 'she benevolently' something like 'she mothers' maybe (as in something which behaves benevolently). 'perfect' might be 'circle' and so on...

    but i think you might already have some adjectives in your dictionary. anyway, see what you make of those ideas.

    this is waaayyyy more interesting than the grammatical analysis of a text book for foreign students that's i'm meant to be doing.

  11. in fact it's not 'she mothers' it's 'she motherly'

  12. ooh and in terms of politeness you might get things like a request from a lower status dwarf being phrased something along the lines of 'it is possible that you wish to assist by ...' although 'possible' is an adjective so ...yeah it's gonna get confusing, but i'll keep thinking, have a play and see what you think.