Constructed Alphabets

Systems for the phonetic or pictorial representation of speech are found in various forms. In attempts to avoid the complications of the Chinese ideographic writing system, the Pollard and the Chu Yin phonetic scripts were developed. Neither has survived into modern use.

In North American Indian languages, two scritps were developed; the Cherokee invented by Chief Sequoia and the Evans Script developed for use with the Cree language by James Evans. The script was modified for use with Chippewa, Chippewyan, Slavey, and Inuit, and is still in use in Inuit and in Northern Ojibwe.

Two major systems of alphabet for the blind were constructed in nineteenth century to be read with the fingers: Braille and Moon Type.  The Braille system, invented by Louis Braille in 1824, consists of six raised points or dots used in 63 possible combinations to represent letters, numbers, and punctuation.  Unlike Braille, the system called Moon Type, invented by William Moon in 1845, partly retains the outlines of the letters of the Latin alphabet. For the most part, it has now been superseded by Braille.

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Braille
Braille
Book of Jeremiah; New York,
American Bible Society, 1928 [234]
Moon Type
Moon Type
St. Mark; Brighton, National
Institute for the Blind, n.d. [232]
Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
Bible, Belgrade, British and Foreign
Bible Society, 1915 [759]
Miaio (Hwa) in Pollard Script
Miaio (Hwa)
[in Pollard Script] Matthew; Shanghai, 1912 [897]
Chinese [Chu Yin phoenetic]
Chinese [Chu Yin phoenetic]
Gospel of John; Shanghai, 1919 [63]
Chippewyan
Chippewyan
New Testament; London, British and
Foreign Bible Society, 1881 [514]

 

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