Compact Phonetic Glyphs (CPG)
Compact Phonetic Glyphs is an alternative way to write English created by John Schurman. It is a phonetic alphabet designed specifically for North American English, and could be easily modified for other varieties of English. CPG (kɔmpæːkt fənɛːtɪk glɪfs) can be written extremely small (10 pixels per row) and is useful for inscribing messages in grids
- Type of writing system: alphabet
- Direction of Writing: left to right in horizontal lines
- Used to write: North American English
- Glyphs are written left-to-right along a center line which is broken up by words, bisected by vowels, and diverted by consonants.
- Some glyph parts change sounds if they're above or below the center line: Up-stops and down-fricatives are voiceless instead of voiced. Down-vowels are 'soft' instead of 'hard.' All other glyph parts flip up/down without changing sounds. Only liquids (l, r) care if they're oriented left or right.
- Emphasis is indicated with a dot or long tail on the vowel. The exception is the 'featureless' vowel (ʌ/ə): one dot is emphasized 'ə,' two dots is emphasized 'ʌ.'
- Many glyph parts can flow between each other (omitting the center line between them): Semivowels (w, j) can flow with consonants and vowels. Liquids flow with consonants or vowels, provided the order is clear. Stops flow with fricatives, and vice versa. Stops and fricatives stack against their own type (see 'Compact', 'Glyphs').
- Common words may be abbreviated ('and'→'n', 'the'→'ð'), just be consistent.
- There is no glyph part for an 'alveolar flap' ("butter", "ladder"). Use 'd' or 't' instead.
- CPG currently lacks a definitive punctuation system.
Compact Phonetic Glyphs
Notes on numerals
- CPG numerals are a combination of binary and The Ciphers of the Monks, a Cistercian numeral system used from the 13th to the 15th century [More details].
- Number glyphs have a central vertical 'trunk' from which numerals 'branch' into each quadrant.
- A number glyph is read top-left - top-right - bottom-left - bottom-right, each step decreasing in magnitude (1000, 100, 10, 1). Consequently, each glyph is only an integer between 0-9999. No fraction or decimal system is yet devised.
- Dates and times fit easily into this format.
- Every 'stroke' in a branch has a binary value (1, 2, 4, 8), summing to the quadrant's total value.
- CGP numerals were originally intended to be base-eight (12 bits per glyph), but including the "eight-dot" made too much conventional sense.
Download an alphabet chart for Compact Phonetic Glyphs (Excel)
aːl hyumən biːɪŋz ar born friː ænd iːkwəl ɪn dɪːgnəti ænd rayts. ðe ar ɛndawd wɪθ riːzən ænd kɔːnʃəns, ænd ʃʊd æːkt təwardz wən ənʌðər ɪn ə spɪːrɪt əv brʌðərhʊd.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Also by John Schurman: Block Script
Constructed scripts for: Ainu |
Chinese languages |
Malay & Indonesian |
Other natural languages |
Colour-based scripts |
Tactile scripts |
Phonetic/universal scripts |
Constructed scripts for constructed languages |
Adaptations of existing alphabets |
Fictional alphabets |
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A-Z index |
How to submit a constructed script
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