Semiotics is the study of signs, symbols, codes, and how we map or derive meaning from
them. I've seen it incorrectly described as a 'shapeology' by which visual forms can
present themselves; a better description would be that semiotics is the study of how
semantic itself can be assigned to and of the world and the structural or direct
relations to which objects of being or pure semantic entities are arranged, making
semiotics a study of syntax and form manipulation as well.
Semiotics typically describes language not as a limiter or director of thought, but
rather that a shift in representation of objects by some convention is what becomes
the common administrator of thoughts. Semiotics is then also narrowly a focus in
epistemology related to hermeneutics.
Traditional semiotic studies looked at things like why we associate owls with wisdom,
how body language communicates emotions, or why circles represent unity/infinity. A
lot of contemporary semiotics looks at linguistic and symbolic 'fitness' to try to
make language more efficient, but I believe natural languages are already
near-perfectly efficient. For example, take the most complex thing you can think of,
assign the full description of that thing as a definition to a term, and now you have
a single word that describes the most complex thing in the world. This is a
compression algorithm with no upper or lower bounds, making natural language highly
efficient in a way that obviates information 'bottlenecks'.
So instead of making communication more efficient, it seems obvious to me that better
work is spent on making communication more intuitive
. My KIoCSL project below is an
example of one attempt at this whereby I tried combining a featural numeric system
with an extensible formatting to allow for more intuitive maths. Made on 2021/4/14.
As further studies into symbolics and writing systems I have also made several fonts.
I have abandoned the KIoCSL project in the introduction section, as well as the
projects in pursuit of a 'perfect' writing system. Each of the
projects just listed have unique properties and I have learned interesting things from
them, but they also each lack important features that make writing useful, so I have
attempted to amalgamate their better properties into a new project that doesn't
contain any of their drawbacks. The criteria for a truly useful, streamlined, and
potentially universal writing system is as follows:
- Both human and machine readable with no transposition required.
- Captures every possible human-pronounceable phone/phoneme.
- Featural so as to make understanding the meaning of the symbols intuitive.
- Not difficult to write by hand.
- Formatless, or at least the read-direction can be fully dynamically oriented.
- Distinctly indicates logical operators.
- Diacritically capable of indicating tonal phonetics.
- Diacritic capacity to indicate musical notation for sung phonetics.
- Diacritic capacity for temporal indicators (like how fast you talk).
- No use of colors so the symbols can be flatly inscribed with no information loss.
- Easily masked for ciphering via a XOR or some other process.
The system I have made is an 8x8 pixel area, or 64 bits total, a standard chunk size
in computing, that allows for both human and machine readable symbols that mimic the
parts of the mouth make
when pronouncing them. This makes it featural and
covers 1, 2, and 3 in the above list. There is a pixel of spacing between the mouth
features in the symbols so the symbols can be clearly written by hand, covering 4 in
the list above, and the formatting I use is borrowed from Snork so that the
read-direction is dynamically oriented, covering 5 in the list.
As far as 6-9 go, there is a 4x8 pixel area that can be appended, above, below, or on
the sides of characters to act as a carrier for whatever you want to signify
diacritically, but these might be able to all fit in the side columns of the normal
symbols, as 7 in particular is already fully accounted for by the tonal markings of
the throat. 10 is covered by the fact that a single color is used for all the writing,
a lesson I learned from the Chromatophore project, and 11 is covered as a concomitant
of 1 since you could easily make a pixel mask that XORs all the text.
I am not certain if this is purely an alphabet, syllabary, or logography, as it seems
to me a combination of them. This could potentially work as a universal textual bridge
language since every phonetic from every language is captured by it and the characters
featurally describe how to produce the sounds they represent with your own mouth,
giving you a more intuitive capacity for use over the IPA characters
. What this also
means is that every document transcribed into this writing system will be
pronounceable by everyone regardless if they understand any of the source language.
This means you will be able to fluently speak something in a different language so
long as it is written in this new writing system.
The difficulties of creating perfect symbolic systems that work in all use-cases and
remain optimally efficient become obvious with things like
. As an example of poor or 'un-optimized' symbolics I would point to
for spacecraft which doesn't rely on silhouetting, is
hard to determine if borders are solid or dotted from a distance, and fails to work
for other species that perceive colors differently than humans. An example of good
symbolics would be
, which have none of the prior problems.
Some inspiration for conlang studies -
). Purely aesthetic conlangs can have very
interesting results too, like canonical