Chumauni    Chumauni

Chumauni was initially inspired by the structure of Hangul and style of Tibetan, with the idea of using a similarly regular structure and composition to create a writing system in transition from syllabary to alphabet. D. Jensen started the design for Chumauni in 2004 for a project he has since abandoned, but completed the writing system in 2007 anyway.

Notable features

  • Written in rows left to right, top to bottom.
  • Each character is composed of two parts: a consonant and vowel symbol.
  • There are 13 consonant symbols, 11 vowel symbols, and two placeholders.
  • Most consonant symbols have design features in common when they share pronunciation traits.
  • Vowel symbols are centred within the consonants and have design features in common.
  • A diacritic can be appended to reverse the pronunciation of a character.
  • Some words are separated by a space, others by a punctuation mark, depending on the relationship between the words.

Chumauni consonants

Chumauni consonants

Where consonants appear in pairs the left symbol represents its value in a regular character at word-start, the right symbol represents its value in other cases. The exception to this rule is [ɱ] which only appears immediately prior to [f].

  1. Characters with this symbol are automatically reversed (vowel is pronounced first) at word-start and when following a reversed character.
  2. Characters with this symbol cannot be reversed.
  3. Consonant placeholder; incompatible with reversal and repeat marks. May not appear at word-start before a reversed character or next to another consonant placeholder.

Chumauni vowels

Chumauni vowels

Vowels fall into the following groups:

  • High (H): i, aɪ, e/eɪ, æ/a
  • Short (S): ɪ, ɛ, ə, ʊ
  • Whole (W): u, o, c

When two vowels abut due to placeholders or a reversal, a [w] or [j] sound is inserted between them according to the following vowel order (H = High; S = Short; W = Whole): H[w]H, H[w]S, S[w]S, S[w]H, W[w]H; H[j]W, S[j]W, W[j]W, W[j]S.

  1. Vowel placeholder; incompatible with reversal and repeat marks. Characters with this placeholder may not appear at word-start, only at the end of words, following a regular character, or when preceeding a reversed character.

Chumauni characters

Chumauni characters

  • Unless otherwise indicated (see Consonant footnotes and Diacritics), character are pronounced consonant first, then vowel.
  • Characters with placeholders not shown.

Chumauni diacritics and punctuation

Chumauni diacritics and punctuation

  • Reversal: reverses the pronunciation order for the affected character. <'fo> would be pronounced /of/.
  • Repeat: repeats the affected character. would be pronounced /fofo/. Can be combined with reversal mark.
  • Capital: designates the character as the start of a proper noun, title (only the first word), honorific, paragraph or stanza. May be combined with the repeat and reversal marks (placed above capital mark).
  • Joiner: links adjectives to nouns, adverbs to verbs, honourifics to names, numbers to units, and words within titles, ship names, etc. Also separates numbers, see Numerals.
  • Pause: followed by a space, it serves as a pause or break indicator within a paragraph. This mark serves the same purposes as the comma, colon, (etc) and period in most cases found in English. Also separates decimal values, see Numerals.
  • Full Stop: marks the end of a paragraph or stanza.
  • Container: used in place of the pause markers to emphasize the connection between the clauses it contains. Also indicates quotations.

Chumauni numerals

Chumauni numerals

The counting system was originally base-4, having characteristics in common with both Mayan and Roman numerals. The numerals for 5-7 and 9 were adapted from 1-3 for the decimal system. The numerals for 0, 4 and 8 are relics of an older system.

  • The joiner mark separates values as follows: 100,000 is written as 10-00-00.
  • Decimal values follow the pause marker.

If you have any questions about Chumauni, please contact D. Jensen at: derekjensen@gmail.com

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