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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:57 am 
Avisaru
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It's been a while since we had one of these, so I figured I'd make one.

The challenge is simple: Figure out what the text says. This is going to be a very challenging challenge, because you have to interpret both the script and the words - it's a conlang in a conscript. I will post more texts later, and probably a few clues. I will tell you this much: It is a conlang, but it's not apriori.

I expect it's impossible to solve it with only this single piece of text, so don't despair. It's just to get started, and maybe you can figure out a couple of things about it. Like, what kind of script it is.

If you post ideas for solutions here, you can do the old white-text-in-codeblock trick:
Quote:
Like this.

(The background "white" is actually color=#FAFAFA, at least in my browser.)

Or if you're really competitive and don't want to give anyone else any help, you can PM me.

Good luck!

Attachment:
gscript1.png
gscript1.png [ 196.43 KiB | Viewed 6160 times ]

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:05 am 
Sanno
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Judging from the length of the "words" (2-10 characters) and the number of different glyphs (16 + one diacritic, or 19 if you count the characters with diacritic separately), the script is probably an alphabet.

Certain shapes seem to be used in a systematic way; for instance, there are several glyphs which appear both with and without a rightward curl at the bottom. This may hint at a featural script, but we can't know with so little data.

The letters which look like <J X b> appear with high frequency, and such that most words have at least one of them but not next to each other. I would conclude that these characters represent vowels. Only three words do not contain any of <J X b>, nor does the second half of the last word in the first line. Instead, <I Ɔ> occur here in such a way that if these are vowels too, a nice (C)(C)V(C) syllable structure emerges throughout the whole text.

The following is a transliteration into roughly similar-looking capital Roman and Greek letters, with the assumed vowels <J X b I Ɔ> arbitrarily mapped to e a u i o, and the macron-like diacritic represented as a trailing apostrophe:

Code:
eY ΓiT' aΛ uQaΛQ'iHoΛ
Y'uT SToT' aGuH eY
Γa Si : eY aYSeSTe ΛeK
Su eY Q'aY'WaGe ΛeK Y'uT
eY ZaT Γa aYSeSTe ΛeK

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:09 am 
Avisaru
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Most impressive.

Here's another one:

Attachment:
gscript2.jpg
gscript2.jpg [ 11.04 KiB | Viewed 6097 times ]


(Edited for typo.)

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Last edited by Chuma on Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:27 am 
Sanci
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The script is clearly written left to right. In the second example are the pictographs of the animals (and torsoless human) part of the script, or a pictographic representation of what the word means? Or are we not privy to this information?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:32 am 
Avisaru
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I think it's fair to tell you that the pictures are intended as illustrations, not writing.

Sorry about the image quality. The second picture, in case that's not apparent, shows a group of creatures with four legs and a tail.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:02 pm 
Sanci
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All the animal names end in that -X symbol, except the cat, which suggests it might be a suffix for domesticated animals that are not pets.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:14 pm 
Avisaru
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You might also want to consider what those things that look like crop circles are. (Hint: They're not crop circles.)

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:12 pm 
Lebom
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Chuma wrote:
I will tell you this much: It is a conlang, but it's not apriori.


That means it's a posteriori then. We need to figure out what language it's based on.

If it helps, here's all the different glyphs I've identified:
Attachment:
unknown script glyphs.png
unknown script glyphs.png [ 599 Bytes | Viewed 6035 times ]

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:42 am 
Sanci
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Chuma wrote:
You might also want to consider what those things that look like crop circles are. (Hint: They're not crop circles.)


I was wondering about those. I was thinking maybe they were determiners. I notice that the cat and whatever that first thing is share a "determiner".


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:22 am 
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Could you upload a better image? Especially the upper right corner is really hard to see.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:03 pm 
Avisaru
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Sorry, my scanner's broken...
The top right picture is a guy with a straw in his hat. Then there are a bunch of little creatures. I'm hoping the text is legible.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:02 pm 
Sanci
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Hee hee, the kitty's cute.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:43 am 
Avisaru
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Thank you! :)

Here's another one:

Attachment:
gscript3.jpg
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:26 am 
Avisaru
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Ok, so guesses using cedh's transcription system:

Ta - the
TaS - this
ZiH - is
aΛ - a
Q'iΛ - man/person
Q'e - bee
Q'SSS - buzz
iii - ouch(?)
SiY'aT - says
STiY - stings(?)

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:58 pm 
Sumerul
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the macron looks like it represents voicedness, if bzzz is anything to go by.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:31 pm 
Avisaru
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I'm not convinced the macron is actually a full featurial diacritic, actually - so far it's only occurred on Q, T, and Y, so it might just be for particular variations on those specific letters.

Morphologically, both verbs (or what I guessed were verbs) start with S, so that might be a tense marking? Or coincidence.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:34 pm 
Sumerul
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Why not? They could be p/t/k versus b/d/g, and be the only sounds in the system which contrast by voice.

Tell me it doesn't make sense. :P


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:46 pm 
Avisaru
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True. :P

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:02 pm 
Sumerul
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This is what I think. Open to interpretation ofc, but it seems clear to me at least that those three are fricatives and those three are voiceless stops - which one's which, I'm unsure of. Mind you, I've also just thought that what I've labeled voice could well be nasals.
Attachment:
unknown script glyphs copy.png


Using this transcription, we get:
tes shal en ban
tes shal en bi
te bi saget "bsss"
te bi stak te ban
te ban saget "aaa"

I think this because of "saget" and "aaa".


Last edited by finlay on Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:15 pm 
Sumerul
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Here's the one with the animals (which is making me doubt my choice of sonorants when I was transcribing the other one - I now think <Y> is /r/ rather than /l/, because that would give /tire/ for animals, but I'll go with it for the moment. I think the crop circles are numbers.):
tes shal en bindal
re rad fiw tile
(crop circle) reste (horse)
(crop circle) kue (cow)
(crop circle) sshine (pig - ok so "sh" is clearly meant to be /w/ or /v/)
en kat (cat)
totaw (crop circle) (crop circle) tile


And here's the first one:
ik rad en openbalun
got stud efol ik
re sa (:) ik eksisti nix
so ik begwefi nix got
ik shet re eksisti nix

I exist not?

if "sh" is actually /v/ and "r" is actually /h/ (so we get "ik had", for instance) we'd get "ik vet he eksisti nix" - I think he doesn't exist.


Last edited by finlay on Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:25 pm 
Sumerul
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Here's another possible transcription:

ik had en openbarun (I had a revelation)
got stud efor ik (God stood before me)
he sa (:) ik eksisti nix (he said?? : I exist not)
so ik beglefi nix got (so i believe not God)
ik vet he eksisti nix (I think he exists not)
I can't really work out half of this.
ninja edit: oh right, it was because I thought "goat" instead of "God". :mrgreen:

tes var en bindar (this was a farmer)
he had fil tire (he had many animals)
XX heste (XX horses - I think -e is a plural marker incidentally)
XX kue (XX cows)
XX svine (XX pigs)
en kat (a cat)
total XX tire (total XX animals)

tes var en ban
tes var en bi
te bi saget "bsss"
te bi stak te ban
te ban saget "aaa"


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:58 pm 
Avisaru
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Well, that looks promising. :)

Anyway, if the crop circles are numbers, and the three down the side add up to the one on the bottom, as finlay's interpretation seems to indicate:
Each symbol can have a dot in the middle, or not (two possibilities)
Each symbol can have a hacek-thing on one of the four cardinal directions, or not at all (five possibilities)
Thus, there are ten possible digits, so we are probably in base 10.
It seems logical to conclude that symbol without any marks at all would be 0, but I don't know about the rest.
We have three different one-digit numbers (plus 1, from "a cat") that add up to a two-digit number.
The largest that two-digit number could possibly be is 25 (9+8+7+1).
Thus, assuming the numbers go left to right like the text, the symbol with the hacek to the right is either 1 or 2.
Possibly, the five numerals without the central dot are 0-4, and the five with the central dot are 5-9, but this is an unfounded assumption right now.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:10 pm 
Sumerul
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The other constraint is that the digits are all different, and none of the first three is 1 (I assume).

So we've got
A+B+C+1=DE

If the central dot represents 5: B, C, E ≥ 5.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:19 pm 
Sumerul
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This was simpler than trying to work out how to type it...


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:25 pm 
Avisaru
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If that guess is right, than B probably is 5 (since it's the equivalent of the presumed 0, but with the dot). If E > 5 then D has to be 1 (per previous post). If D is 1 and the dot adds 5 more, that means that E has to be 6, so the total is 16. That leaves us with {2|3|4} + 5 + {7|8|9} + 1 = 16, or {2|3|4} + {7|8|9} = 10, so A and C are either 2 and 8 respectively, or 3 and 7 respectively.

Ninja Edit: finlay worked it out on paper while I was typing. :P

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