Segmented glyphset for SIGIL

Ian James
© January 2010

language name

Another script system for SIGIL, this time encoding the phonology in a segmented space. Once the glyph-space has its segments marked out, proper strokes can be drawn in to make fairly readable glyphs.

Encoding the phonemes

As with other script systems for SIGIL, this system breaks down the phonology into phonemic components. These are then encoded into spatial divisions or segments reminiscent of the segmented LEDs used in calculators for displaying numbers.

segments and their meaning for SIGIL

There are 4 combining segments on the left of a fixed vertical, encoding regions in the mouth. Not all combinations (2^4=16) are used; in particular, if only 1 of the 2 middle strokes is encoded, a single upper-middle stroke is equivalent to a single lower-middle stroke (see T S R and K).

segments for region

For the encoding of vowels, the regions are as follows:

SIGIL vowel regions

On the right of the vertical are the manners of articulation. For each articulation, 3 out of the 5 available segments are used. This rule gives us 5!/(3!2!) = 10 possibilities. The voicing segment is a binary switch.

segments for articulation

Here are some other articulations. For the tones and rounded ejective, an extra segment is used; for the rounded double fricative, two are used. The flap is encoded as a voiced plosive in the SS region (for the moment).

extra segments


Some of the segment combinations do not form valid phonemes. These glyphs may then be reserved for other uses. The following such glyphs are nicely symmetric, and can be used for marking punctuation and textual metadata.

punctuation combos


This is the name of the language, showing how it is assembled from the phonemic segments. The final form with filled-in strokes is shown at the top of the page.

sample of Segmented printing

the segmented mangosteen - yummy


All material on this page © Ian James.
Last modified Feb.5,2010