In 1585, English scientist Thomas Harriot devised “an universall Alphabet conteyninge six & thirty letters”, with which to record the Carolina Algonquian language. It was in essence a sophisticated phonetic script which, as it turns out, anticipates my own attempts quite closely. Indeed, the glyph structure is very much along the lines of scripts in my Phonological Cypher series. Harriot’s script is fully cursive.
The vowels have no ascenders or tails, and were designed in pairs. Two other letters not shown here (similar to the last pair, but more angular) were noted as being used “in barbarouss wordes only” but were not given any explicit values in Harriot’s paper.
The consonants were arranged into four phonemic sets. Some vowel shapes are used as bases. First are the semivowels and sibilants, with a looped descender. Next are the nasals and fricatives, with a looped ascender, in order of their place of articulation. Third is the glottal fricative /h/, by itself.
Last is the set of plosives, with both looped ascender and descender. There is a featural relationship between some plosives and their fricatives.
This is from Harriot’s own example, using a regularized font.
Our father which art in heav’n :
hallow’d be thy name : thy kingdom come
>>> Buy this font A$10.00