>> Letters are pretty rare in the RW compared to
>> writing based on ideograms and syllabic characters;
>Rare in what sense? Number of different systems, or numbers of users?
As far as I know, the Middle East and surrounding areas to the West are the only place in the RW that developed letters. Every other system (that I know of) did not simplify to the letter stage before contact with the European tradition. Now, I admit that I have made no very systematic study of this; I could be wrong. But I do think it's unlikely that nearly every Gloranthan culture uses letters.
>Also, it's misleading to categorise logographic and syllabic systems
>together, as they have entirely different 'issues' with them.
>Arguably, alphabetic and syllabic systems are more similar.Digesters
>seem to have a mania for suggesting logographic systems for this and
>that language, with skant regard to the practicalities. Not every
>language is Chinese (though a fair few of them are, it must be said),
>and not very language would work remotely as well as Chinese does
>with a logographic script (however well that is, which is debateable).
I can buy almost all of this, but I still think it's unlikely that all the languages of Glorantha would have alphabets. I think we tend to think of alphabets, like we tend to imagine characters as literate, because that's what we are used to. Why shouldn't there be as great a variety of written laguages (and writing technologies) in Glorantha as in the RW?
>T'other way around: Dara Happan is alphabetic, and "Old Pelorian"
Clearly, I need to do more research.
David Dunham agrees with that sentiment (presumably):
>The sacred alphabet appears in Fortunate Succession; presumably it's
I know. I really don't like that alphabet; it has a Godlearnerish "everything descended from the runes" look to it. I still think the Dara Happa should have a complex sacred language that only the priests and scribes learn (plus something simpler for daily use -- the Egyptians had a system like this (well, over a few thousand years)).
Alex Ferguson replies to Jeff Richard:
>Ah, that old chestnut. [Ideographic runes, etc.] Application of the idea
>to the Orlanthi is
>a new wrinkle, though... It fits at least in making it a designedly
>bad fit, though, since as general-purpose writing system, runes would
>be lousy in the extreme.
We agree here; I suspect the role of the runes is symbolic ("Who's that weird statue over there?" "It's got Orlanth's marks; it must be Orlanth....") I still think the most obvious source of a written Orlanthi language is the EWF; the first homegrown Orlanthi system that needed a writing system (Beyond the essentially symbolic runes). Is there any good argument against this?
>> The ideographic system gave way to a syllabic system of writing
>> (probably based on the sounds of the early runes).
>Rebus-writing systems assume you have a rich (and appropriate) enough
>set of words-sounds to start with. (Not much use in Heortling Charades:
>'sounds like "Orlanth"'.)
The Heortlings have a particularly limited range of sounds in their language?
>> Finally, I think New Pelorian, as we now know it, might be developed out of
>> a Syllilan script with heavy Dara Happan and Carmanian influences. Maybe it
>> is even a deliberate attempt to recreate the magic of the Dorastan script.
>More likely it's self-consciously based on Pelandan, though I bet that
>use of glyphs is more an affectation, or a sacred rite, than a day to
>day practice, for which I think the Dara Happan alphabet seems likely.
Well, shouldn't the differences between New Pelorian and Dara Happan reflect the exclusivity of the latter and the inclusivity of the former?
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