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Forum » Learn Gallifreyan » Gallifreyan Customs and Culture » Writing and History (regarding the evolution of the writing system)
Writing and History
fullafeelsDate: Friday, 08 Feb 2013, 7:51 AM | Message # 1
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So I have a dumb question. You know how Chinese characters evolved from ancient pictographs (see attached)? I'm wondering if there is a similar history behind the circular system in Gallifreyan. Like, maybe the writing evolved from a way to map the stars or something. Or maybe it as applied later in the history like Korean? Does the GCP have anything on that?
Attachments: 4293239.png(86Kb)
 
StrangerComeKnockingDate: Friday, 08 Feb 2013, 9:48 AM | Message # 2
Rihays, Master of Many Names
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Quote (fullafeels)
I'm wondering if there is a similar history behind the circular system in Gallifreyan. Like, maybe the writing evolved from a way to map the stars or something.

O.O It never occurred to me that way.

Quote (fullafeels)
Does the GCP have anything on that?

No, not really, actually. :o Only the vɛnɪç -> doctor on the FAQ.

Did you have something in mind? o_O



"Everybody knows that everybody dies." -River Song
 
fullafeelsDate: Friday, 08 Feb 2013, 11:54 AM | Message # 3
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Yeah I was randomly musing on the evolution of the written alphabet (or what it could be, or what you guys will eventually decide it is). I guess I was comparing apples and oranges. The kanji/Chinese characters "evolved" because they were ideograms. Each "word" started as a picture and represented an idea. This is contrasted with alphabets, which represent only syllables or sounds. I forgot that circular Gallifreyan was devised as an alphabet, not a set of ideograms. SO nevermind! But it would still be cool to get a story behind the alphabet.
 
StrangerComeKnockingDate: Friday, 08 Feb 2013, 11:57 AM | Message # 4
Rihays, Master of Many Names
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Hey now, don't sell yourself short.

You know, Elvish was originally designed to represent sounds of other languages. Elvish was never supposed to have its own alphabet, but that's what happened by the Third Age.

And how you said about Chinese originally being conceptual and is now logographic (basically, advanced concepts).

Maybe Circular did start out as concepts, mapping stars and stuff, then evolved into conceptual pictographs, and, by the Ninth Doctor, became an actual alphabet, even if that wasn't the intention.



"Everybody knows that everybody dies." -River Song
 
LicoricePleaseDate: Saturday, 09 Feb 2013, 5:38 PM | Message # 5
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I think the conversation ont he notes has been deleted, but most of us decided that Low Gallifreyan has an alphabet, but that High Gallifreyan is logographic.

 
fullafeelsDate: Wednesday, 13 Feb 2013, 11:10 AM | Message # 6
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okay stupid question: what's logographic?

I should have gone into linguistics
 
StrangerComeKnockingDate: Wednesday, 13 Feb 2013, 4:24 PM | Message # 7
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Quote (fullafeels)
okay stupid question: what's logographic?

Like Chinese, where there are symbols and concepts instead of strict letters->sounds->words

Quote (LicoricePlease)
I think the conversation ont he notes has been deleted, but most of us decided that Low Gallifreyan has an alphabet, but that High Gallifreyan is logographic.

Actually it's more likely that OH has an alphabet and Modern was logographic based on the Tombs of Rassilon, a passage found (and verified/vacnonized) in a Who novel, and the letter in The Deadly Assassin. Cannot speak to OL.



"Everybody knows that everybody dies." -River Song
 
ActualimeerDate: Tuesday, 30 Jul 2013, 9:04 PM | Message # 8
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Two thoughts spring to mind.

First

I would assume that a writing system devised by telepaths would naturally be iconographic, but depending how long they had the ability to imbed psychic messages in to objects writing might be a very late development to convey information that could not be transfer psychically (e.g. barometric pressure readings).

Assuming the above to be true I would suggest the following; if writing that develop prior to the spoken word or was used to convey personal narratives would be iconographic, if it came after or along with the spoken word and was used to record spoken word or, what I will now dub 'spoken concepts' it would be phonetic.

Second

It is conceivable that there would be a strong political component (i.e. Rassilon). For this reason it is possible the writing did not arise through a 'natural' process. This opens the door for any number of possible origin stories.
 
StrangerComeKnockingDate: Wednesday, 31 Jul 2013, 7:37 AM | Message # 9
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Found this:

-5,023~ (before Time's Crucible / 5000 years before the Quaba mission)

By this time, Gallifrey is the center of the mighty Gallifreyan Empire.The culture is similar to Earth's Hellenic Greece period.The Gallifreyan Empire focuses most of its energies on exploring undeveloped planets...Gallifreyans are educated at the Academia which is located in the City's Olmesian Quarter. The Academia is controlled by the Court of Principals. It teaches philosophy and strategy sports, swordplay, and military maneuvers.Very little emphesis is made on recording and documenting thier own history...Treazants are the form of currency used. The Gallifreyans speak and write Old High Gallifreyan (10,000,000 letters in alphabet), and Middle Gallifreyan.

Nothing on the actual development of the language, but given that this is Ancient Gallifrey (aka The Dark Times) it is conceivable that Gallifreyan language is not naturally-evolving.

The full bit can be found here:

http://www.curufea.com/rassilon/1_2_AncientGallifrey.xml

On the other hand, if everyone could write down and thoroughly describe their theories, that would be fantastic as I could compile them. :)



"Everybody knows that everybody dies." -River Song
 
ActualimeerDate: Wednesday, 31 Jul 2013, 4:19 PM | Message # 10
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Here in an interesting thought; if they began exploring the universe prior to having a written language maybe they were inspired by another culture (like George Gist and the Cherokee alphabet) or even simply used any useful symbol they came across. That would explain the ten-million letters.
 
StrangerComeKnockingDate: Friday, 02 Aug 2013, 7:31 AM | Message # 11
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Quote (Actualimeer)
if they began exploring the universe prior to having a written language maybe they were inspired by another culture (like George Gist and the Cherokee alphabet) or even simply used any useful symbol they came across. That would explain the ten-million letters.


That could very well be how it was, since under the Pythias, the only acceptable form of communication was telepathic, so writing would be crude until Rassilon stepped in.



"Everybody knows that everybody dies." -River Song
 
LicoricePleaseDate: Thursday, 15 Aug 2013, 4:48 AM | Message # 12
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Quote (StrangerComeKnocking)
The Gallifreyans speak and write Old High Gallifreyan (10,000,000 letters in alphabet), and Middle Gallifreyan.

Yeah, 10m "letters" just means logographic to me. My reasoning is this:
1. The writers are likely not versed in linguistic terms, so every writing system could be termed an alphabet.
2. Gallifreyans are humanoid (excepting some Time Lords), so we're working with the human vocal limitations.
3. Humans cannot make 10m sounds with their mouths/vocal cords.


 
DropthestarsDate: Wednesday, 07 May 2014, 3:30 PM | Message # 13
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So, Here's my theory on the evolution of the writing system, concerning linear Gallifreyan, which I suggest as a supplement to the existing
alphabet, rather than a replacement of the Circular system. 

Old High Gallifreyan was a logographic language, which is
why there could, in fact, be thousands of characters.  As time went on, the language evolved into a
sort of Middle Gallifreyan, and it was at this point that a difference between
High and Low Gallifreyan developed.  High
Gallifreyan was used almost exclusively by those of a higher social class
(hence High) such as senators, çɪzurəmo, etc., while Low was the vernacular of
the day.  During this time, however, the
old logographic system of writing was being pushed out in favor of a simpler
system which allowed new words to be written phonetically.  This is where we get our modern Gallifreyan
alphabet.  Technically speaking, Circular
Gallifreyan could be thought of as Modern High Gallifreyan and Linear as Modern
Low, with Circular being used almost exclusively by those of Time Lord status
and while Linear is used by Academy dropouts as well as being taught to younger
children at the beginning of their education.

OR I just got tired of trying to draw good circles.  Whichever works.
 
Forum » Learn Gallifreyan » Gallifreyan Customs and Culture » Writing and History (regarding the evolution of the writing system)
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