The Itlani Alphabet

James E. Hopkins received a BA in French from Hofstra University in 1974 and an MS in Metaphysics from the American Institute of Holistic Theology in 1998. He is a published poet, Eden’s Day (2008), and has a novel which features five of his conlangs, Circle of the Lantern, with the publisher as of this writing. He has been involved in language construction since 1995 with the birth of his first conlang, Itlani (then known as Druni). Although Itlani is his first and foremost love, since that time he has been developing Semerian (Pomolito), Djiran (Ijira), Djanari (Nordsh) and Lastulani (Lastig Klendum), the other languages spoken on the planet Itlán. One further language project, Kreshem (Losi e Kreshem), is also under development. His primary interest in language construction is from an aesthetic and artistic perspective.

Abstract

The Itlani alphabet, known natively as ta Datáb, after its first three letters d, t, and b, was initiated by the Itlani poet, storyteller, scholar and spiritual reformer, Rozh-Shpiláv. Some believe, as the legend says, that the writing system was revealed to him by the Creator Uramún in a dream. Others say that he invented the script for his reform movement, ta Drunit Trel, “The Purple Movement”, before the time of the Crossing. It is a semi-featural script and has been in use on Itlán for over eight thousand years. It is presently used in two forms: the square form known as chendifér or “stone-writing”, and a cursive form called yenifér or “sand-writing”. The cursive form is used for most calligraphic art and for everyday writing by hand. The square form is used in most print media although it is not unheard of to have entire books printed in the cursive yenifér for special effect.

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