Like all projects (and languages), ‘Umu is being pulled in different directions at different times. I’m introducing a few changes to ‘Umu morphology and orthography.
No More Word Class
Probably the best feature of the whole damned language, word classes by means of initial radicals are being phased out for two reasons:
1) Limiting all words to only 10 initials produces rather boring looking glyphs and fails to take advantage of all of pseudoglyph’s design features.
2) I’m caught in a problem of compounds. Initially, redicals only came alive when the word was being modified but, at the moment, I’m having trouble drawing the line between whether a word is being modified or whether a word is a compound… and what would happen if a (nomial) compound were being modified (which may be a compound itself).
I’m going to step back a second and figure out what this structure looks like before trying to throw in some type of mutation.
No More Vowel Shift
This change is also because of the above reason. There’s nothing to stop these features from coming back (in fact, I want them to) but I would rather solidify the basics before embellishing.
Simplified Glyph Building
Tratidionally, all ‘Umu words written with pseudoglyphs were built on a 3×6 grid, with your basic syllable being 3×3 and your basic word having two syllables. However, this arrangement produced several configurations that were difficult to codify into a standardized glyph set.
To fix this, words will now be build on a 3×5 grid, with each syllable overlapping one segment. This not only solves the problem but also produces interesting design variations that were previously impossible.
I could wax about some fictitious orthography reform a la Traditionaly/Simplified Chinese, but I’ll leave this to our collective imaginations. The end result is that we’re going to start seeing some very interesting looking glyphs start to appear.
To give you a better understanding of this change, I’ve written the word for tedu river using the old system, then the new, then the new system again only without the initial radical. I’d be interested to hear your feedback, now and as glyphs continue to unfold.