Grammar: the image (sentence)
Basic principle of grammar: The aim of forming ideograms (words)
of the phonetic picture writing is
it to portray things as well as possible by a series of letters. Correspondingly,
it is the aim of the grammar to represent facts as well as possible by
arranging ideograms into whole scenes.
The sentence (scene, image)
We already know: Writing direction is vertical, upwards. Thus a scene like
"The sun is over a fir-tree" can be pictured easily:
ai lakikiti efipe
ai lakikiti efipe i omoke
Last end, one scene (=sentence) follows the other. As a column is placed to
the right of the previous column, so a scene is placed to the right of the
previous scene, with a distance of at least 3 empty columns.
As already known, at the beginning of each scene the word ' ai ' is read,
at the beginning of each further column the word ' i '. Thus a hearer,
who doesn't see the picture-writing, can reconstruct the arrangement of
words, columns and sentences exactly.
Instead of the word ' ai ' (denoting the beginning of a sentence) one could use the word ' i ' (denoting the beginning of a column), and use an additional ' i ' after the end of a sentence. This ' i ' would create a column containing nothing. As this empty column (like the other columns) would be separated from the previous and following column by an empty column, between 2 sentences there were 3 empty columns. So, instead ' ai [scene 1] ai [scene 2] ' one would speak ' i [scene 1] i i [scene 2] i '. This was more systematical on the one hand, on the other hand the double ' i i ' between 2 scenes might be nasty after some time.
vertical distance between 2 letters of a word: 1 line width
vertical distance between 2 words in a column: 1 max. width of sign
(maximal width (not height) of a sign)
horizontal distance between 2 columns: 1 max. width of sign
horizontal distance between 2 scenes: at least 3 max. widths of sign
(better 4 or 5)
It is not necessary, when speaking, to visualize the ideograms in your
mind - only the arrangement of the real objects (deciding the arrangement
of the ideograms) is important. Thus it is possible to exercise the grammar
of the phonetic picture-writing using words of your native language: For
example, the english sentence "There's a man with a wine-glass at his face"
then sounds so: "There wine-glass human-face". This sentence uses
english words, but the grammar of the phonetic picture-writing. It may be
translated word by word into the language of our picture-writing:
"ai olifo ela". This sentence can be understood without knowing the
ideograms, if you only know the meaning of the words.
More Examples of Scenes
ai ani amimipi ela i liliseni i liliseni
ai fo i omimikine i olifo
ai opo limili
ai kileloma i kifo i fikihipinine
ai o efipe i o i o i folomoli i o i lilasi i lilasi i o
One could define more grammatical mechanisms for the optical
arranging of words, columns and sentences, e.g.:
- An optionally bigger space between words in the same column: Like the beginning particles for sentences and columns, this space was a word, which is spoken, but not written directly. It would be used to avoid the word "e" "space" (short horizontal line) which often optically disturbs an image (sometimes it fits well).
- A beginning particle for columns, which lets a column begin a little higher than the previous column begins.
- A beginning particle for columns, which lets a column begin at the height where the previous column ends.
- A beginning particle for sentences, which causes, that this sentence is written above the previous one. ( One could achieve this also by using a word "over" or "behind" as single sentence, interpreting this as order to write the new sentence above the previous.) Then you have a picture, consisting of pictures one above the other (e.g. scene on ground, clouds), each of these pictures having its own baseline. By superimposing words in columns, maybe with the word for distance, you won't achieve that so precisely).
Above mechanisms, on the one hand, make a text optically more precise, easier to survey and acoustically shorter (less words "space" necessary). On the other hand, they make a text more difficult to read (no linear sequence) and the simple grammar more complex. That's why we don't use these mechanisms in the moment. Even without them, the grammar of phonetic picture-writing is efficient enough.
The use of the mechanisms described here is free last update: 28.7.2006