Hi, everyone. I used to submit deviations to this group under the name Siochanna. I'm not sure how many of you are still around, but I wanted to get this group going again. I'm not sure exactly what that means, but Naeddyr has given me control over pretty much everything (the one thing I've found that I can't do for whatever reason is remove or rename the "featured" folder ), so I've started out making us look like a more "proper" group.
I've already uploaded an avatar and instituted a system of folders for different sorts of script. I've moved everything out of the "featured" folder and into the new classification system, and I've closed the "featured" folder for good. There's a few things I had to guess about, and I removed a couple of things that I just couldn't view as writing systems at all no matter how hard I tried. Plus I got rid of all my postings under my old account (well, "old" as far as this group is concerned). If I've made a mistake, do feel free to let me know. I'm quite new at this.
Notes on the new folders:
Abjads are primarily consonantal scripts. You can have vowels in an abjad, but they mostly take the form of diacritical marks, also known as points; full letters are reserved for consonants. Hebrew square script and the Arabic script are examples.
Abugidas are also called "syllabic alphabets;" every letter has an inherent vowel, which can be modified or, rarely, silenced by diacritics. There will also be full letters for vowel sounds that cannot be attached to a consonant. Example: Nagari script for Hindi and Sanscrit.
Alphabets are the scripts we're most familiar with. Consonants and vowels are both represented with full letters and are separate from each other. May include digraphs and diacritical marks, but the principal still holds. Latin, English, Russian, and so on are examples of different alphabets.
Featural writing systems decompose individual phonemes to their constituent parts: phonation type, point of articulation, manner of articulation, vowel height and so on. An alphabet may have featural aspects--for example, voiced examples of a consonant may be flipped versions of the voiceless counterpart--but is not a true featural system. I don't know of any natural examples.
Logographic systems, also called Semantic-phonetic systems, rely on a single sign for whole words. Modern Chinese characters and Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics are examples. Characters can include a phonetic component, as the synonym implies (furthermore, there can even be words written with more than one character as with Mandarin), but overall the main focus is on different word=different character.
Syllabaries or syllabic systems rely on single signs for whole syllables. Linear B and Hiragana are examples.