2L Script
Anthologica Universe Atlas / Universes / Vana Gloria / The Second Language / 2L Script


The 2L script is logographic, built of semanto-phonetic compound characters.

Component Glyphs

Monumental style consists of 450 component glyphs, though only 391 are in common use.  The glyphs cover nearly all of 2L's basic plant and animal vocabulary: fifteen groups with fifteen members for each set.  Missing are the terms associated with the goddess Hubris.

? indicates an undesigned glyph
X indicates lack of a glyph for that position
Red glyphs are reserved

Reserved Glyphs

Glyphs connected to the god Hypostasis are only used in Name syllables.  The "northern wolf" glyph (Analysis/Crisis) is also reserved from normal use because its syllable is nvv́n, near synonymous with nvv̀n, the 2L word for the Supreme Being.

Glyph Compounds

Words are written with a pair of glyphs, one phonetic and one semantic.

Phonetic Use of Glyphs

For phonetic use glyphs are divided into groups, first by the 54 possible syllable codas and then by three kinds of initial sound - nasal, fricative and glottal.  Any 2L syllable will fall into one of these groups (162 in total). 

Phonetic Table of Glyphs (old)
Phonetic Table of Glyphs (up to date but on fucking photobucket)

Any single glyph can represent a small subset of possible 2L words/syllables.  For example the crab 40doovG.png  kv́js, in group -vjs II, can theoretically represent the phonetic component of 27 different words - including itself and the ginger plant kvv̄js, the other glyph in its group.  The syllables a glyph can represent are those that share the same coda and initial group: in the case of the crab these are pvjs, prvjs, pjvjs, tvvjs, tvjs, tjvjs, kvvjs, krvjs, kvjs, in all three tones.

Take the word ʔjj́x, "(to be) yellow".  ʔjj́x splits into the initial ʔj- and the coda -jxʔj- is a group III initial.  In group -jx III (bottom right of the middle table) there are two glyphs, the mauka plant k6bAOWk.png  ʔvj̀x and the flying snake xHmdbDe.png  ʔjj̄x.  Either of these could be chosen as a phonetic component for "yellow".  The flying snake is more likely because of its closeness, as overall it differs only in tone.

Empty Groups

The groups -vx III and -jj III have no gylphs, and the group -rx III is functionally empty as it contains only a reserved glyph.  Words that fall into these group are phonetically represented using corresponding group II glyphs with the intial k-.

Semantic Use

The semantic components are taken from the same set of glyphs, but this time read according to their associations within the Divine Order.  Semantic glyphs are always placed on the right, and reversed (this reversal is optional in the case of plant glyphs). 

To go back to ʔjj́x, that word, along with the 15 other basic colour terms, is in the Metamorphosis/Anthesis section of vocabulary.  The Metamorphosis/Anthesis animal is, appropriately, the butterfly hwnIIIT.png, so the semantic component for colour terms is the butterfly glyph.  So "yellow" is written FhuUkJi.png.

Style and Proportion

Animals are portrayed in profile, mouth open, teeth and/or tongue showing, specific poses depending on category, with no attempt to illustrate details on the far side of the animal (e.g. opposite legs or ears).  Bodies tend to be lower detail and more uniform than the heads, which hold most of the distinguishing detail.

Plants are highly stylised, with the goal of indicating only the most important features: general type of plant, leaf shape, flower and fruit.  There is more variation in the angle of common features: flowers and leaves can be portrayed full on or side facing.

[side facing leaves]
[front facing leaves]
[side facing leaves]
[front facing leaves]


A glyph fits into a box, twice as tall as it is wide.


The top horizontal red line marks the usual height of glyphs:


Some glyphs are tall enough to fill the box:


The lower red line (marking the bottom 1/4 of the box) is the usual height of plant roots:


Trees, seaweeds and a few miscelaneous plants have roots half that height:


The blue line mark halfway points in width and height.  Plants are usually symmetrically designed along the vertical middle, except for their flower and fruit where both appear.  Animals have bodies in the lower half and head/neck in the upper:


Easily Confused Glyphs

[or an attempt to predict what will be easy to confuse based on similarity]

zfZPCYg.png  otYTyA4.png
ʔrr̀jn (sea lion) vs hvv́f (seal)
At small scales the best indicator is the flipper size and position.  The sea lion's flipper is larger, further forward, and angled down.  The seal's flipper is smaller, closer to the head and angled across.  The seal also has an "eyebrow" mark rising above the head.  At larger scales there are more differences between these two glyphs, including head shape, tail shape, and ear shape.

hwnIIIT.png  vQePaDf.png
qvv̄v (butterfly) vs qjv̄j (moth)
The butterfly has a plain antenna, the moth a barred one.  The moth may also have fur marked on its body.

y0gvEHw.png  dfYRNTI.png
hv́rx (hart's tongue fern) vs hj̀n (water trumpet)
The fern has the typical "fiddlehead" spiral coil that marks most fern glyphs.

SQTDoaG.png  Q4oCmvF.png
grv̄v (citrus [orange] tree) vs grŕv (berry [apple] tree)
The citrus tree's flower is star-shaped, the berry tree's is round.  The berry tree's fruit is also indented at the top and bottom, though this can be hard to see at small sizes.

read more Animals   Plants   see full hierarchy see discussion (1 message; 51 years ago)