From: Peter Metcalfe <metcalph_at_bigfoot.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 2000 12:17:04 +1300

Peter Larsen:

> I imagine that Dara Happa is a lot like the Fertile Crescent, with
>a little Egypt thrown in (there's that whacking big river with its floods
>and all...). All of these cultures at least started out with ideographic
>writing systems;

No, they didn't. After Sumerian (which had phonetic complements, determinatives and grammatical particles), most of the Mesopotamian scripts are logosyllabic, simply because they were Semitic languages rather than the monosyllabic, agglutinative Sumerian language.

>why not Dara Happa.

Because it's already been decided that Dara Happan is a lettered alphabet, simplified from the older Buserian runes.

>And that Plentonian alphabet looks
>pretty much like all the other runic sets Mr. Stafford has created.

That is as it should be for there's only very limited ways one can represent the sun as a picture (and there are similarities between archaic Sumerian and Shang dynasty tablets).

>About Heortling languages -- does anyone know anything about the
>origins of real world runes? The Germanic/Scandinavian ones.

Obviously derived from the Mediterranean (my source denounces North Etruscans as the likely culprits) as can be seen from the similarity of F, U and K...

>Egyption hieroglyphics show a simpling over time as well

The hieroglyphs remain as complicated as ever (and FWIW it's a consonantal script that uses determinatives instead of vowels). The only simplification that occurs is the reduction of formal pictures to squiggles for ease of handwriting.

> >Apart from logographic scripts of the Chinese, the Japanese and the
> >Mayas, most other scripts use what else is there? The Indian
> >Devanagari, being a mixture of syllabic and alphabetic principles,
> >is ancestral to other scripts in SE Asia (as well as Tibet), and
> >that was practiced long before the Europeans. Korean Hangul was
> >also invented before the Europeans came. There's also Rongorongo.

>But this is a pretty wide range of "types," right?

Of course it's a wide range of types. It's also a refutation of your premise that "[E]very other system (that I know of) did not simplify to the letter stage before contact with the European tradition.". Since the Indians at least were comfortable with letters, there's no compelling reason for anathematizing letters for west-central Genertelan cultures.

>In Glorantha, we have the Western language(s), Dara Happan, and the
>Orlanthi, apparantly all lettered alphabets.

Which makes excellent sense to me given their respective analogies (largely within the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Europe).

> >FWIW given the transcription of foreign names (Oralanatus,
> >Umatum etc.), Dara Happan might not be an true alphabet but a
> >partial-syllabary.

>It's just that they all look like the same runes and they all seem
>to work pretty much like English (as opposed to the Wendarian stuff
>that looks different, hurrah!).

The Wendarian Runes look AFAIK similar to their Dara Happan parallels. The only runes that work pretty much like English is the Orlanthi one with EWF.

>Any idea where this language came from?

Lhankor Mhy has some connection with writing since the Vinkotling age.

>Although, if New Pelorian is descended from Wendarian, shouldn't it
>use Wendarian glyphs as its base? (Is New Pelorian descended from

New Pelorian is descended from Old Pelorian, the mother language of the Wendarian. And it doesn't use Wendarian glyphs for the most part because the Plentonic script is so much easier. Lunars do use such glyphs when writing out their names but this is an affection more than anything else.

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