Hello, people of the Internet! (And excuse the state of the blog, we’ve just opened)
Today we are gonna talk about the Irathient script. Irathient in both sound and letter was invented by David J. Peterson – a dude we all love and worship. David has been transcribing names into Irathient on his tumblr for quite some time now and through meticulous research I’ve been able to put together a guide to this alphabet (or an abugida, as David reminds us).
Note that some of this is guesswork and the list of symbols is incomplete, I do not play the game and David’s tumblr is pretty much the only thing I could use as a source. Another thing to note is that Irathient is phonetic (one symbol stands for one sound, unlike English)
Abugida and Ligatures
Abugida, or a syllabic alphabet if you will, is a writing system in which symbols represent a combination of a vowel and a consonant. Of course if one or the other is missing they stand alone. The “special” symbols are called ligatures and in the case of Irathient they are formed from a vowel (or a diphthong) and the following consonant. It can look like this:
There are “a” and “e”, our most basic vowels, although you are rarely going to see them stand on their own. Both of those have an evil twin except in this case the twins are sporting diamonds and not goatees. :)
These four vowels form ligatures but their shape in a ligature is different than when they stand alone. “a/i” attach themselves at the end of the consonant (i.e. the right part of the consonant symbol if you are reading from left to right which – in the case of Irathient – you should). They might be harder to spot at times.
“e/u” are somewhat easier to distinguish and they attach themselves at the beginning of the consonant:
There is one attested diphthong and that is “ei” (the sound of “ay” in the word day). The ligature is formed by attaching both “e” and “i” to the consonant. As such there is room for other combinations (i.e. “ea”, “ui” and “ua”) but those I have not seen.
The Irathient “o” is in fact the “aV” ligature. Diegetically (I love this word) it would seem the “o” sound must have been introduced to the language some time after the invention of the writing system. There are Irathient words nowadays that contain “o” so I guess it is a regular vowel by now.
The schwa (ə)
Schwa is attested only as a standalone symbol; if it forms ligatures I have not seen one. It may have an evil twin too but I haven’t seen that either.
Here follows the list of consonants and their i- and u- ligatures, some of those are guesses but most are attested. The placement of the diamond was at times guessed as well; in symbols that contain two diamonds the u/i diamond is colored grey.
|(C)||C symbol||iC ligature||uC ligature|
Notes and speculations:
- Ny is the sound of “ny” in the name Sonya, Gy is somewhere between “g” in gin and “s” in vision.
- Notice the horizontal bars in B, D and F, those are paired with bar-less M, N and P respectively (I only discovered what P looks like recently and I don’t have enough resources to produce it and its ligatures at the time).
- H looks like it could be related to schwa but who knows? (David does, of course)
- There is an obvious relation between S and Sh but I am unsure what the curl does. I have also seen the Sh symbol without the diamond but I don’t know what it stands for.
- The same curl can also be seen in the symbol for T
- Gy looks an awful lot like a ligature to begin with. It would be a ligature of V though from V there is a long way to the Gy sound. Have the sounds shifted in the past?
- K looks like a ligature as well, a ligature of S with the good twin of what forms the Gy ligature.
- finally there is this symbol; it is the “in” in Tishinka but looks nothing like “iN” ligature, neither “i” nor “n” look that way. Could the consonant be “Ng”? We already know the romanization isn’t perfect.
And well, that would be all. Hope you find this useful.