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Riktas/Writing

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The varieties of Riktas found in and around Sumpa Rammay are written with a syllabary script that is typically incised in wood or written on palm leaves or paper made from a variety of local plant fibers. Inscriptions of personal or spiritual significance are also frequently incorporated into basketry, beadwork, and weaving as a decorative element. Different terms are used to refer to the script when it is produced in each of these media, and the shape of the script itself varies somewhat as well. Likewise, each variety of Riktas is written somewhat differently, though all of these systems share the same basic inventory of letter forms. The writing system described herein is the standardized "pen-and-ink" style used for writing Riktas Rammay (the prestige dialect of Riktas) in official documents and communiques, usually referred to as Minris, from minnir, "ink, black paint."

Minnir consists of 15 characters corresponding to the consonants /m n ŋ t k g f v s z h j w ɾ l/. The "secondary" allophones /p b d d͡z/ are written with the characters for the corresponding "primary" allophones. /t͡s/ is written with the /s/ character when it occurs as an allophone of s, and with the /t/ character when it appears as part of the word-final syllable /t͡si/.

Every character also has an inherent vowel, /a/, forming a syllable of the form /Ca/. Characters may also be repeated in groups of two or three, which modifies the vowel associated with the syllable. Two identical characters in sequence encodes the syllable /Cu/, while three represents /Ci/. The characters for /ɾV/ and /wV/ are not repeated identically, but rather follow the regular pattern shown on the chart below.

Syllable codas are marked with the /Ca/ character for the corresponding consonant, which is generally reduced in size relative to the surrounding characters, though this may not always be obvious depending on the penmanship of the writer. Characters making up a single word are generally joined to one another, and may change shape such that the final stroke of one character replaces or is incorporated into the first stroke of the next. The characters /gV/, /kV/, /vV/, and /jV/ are always written separately within a syllabic group. /gV/, /kV/, and /jV/ may join with the following character, while /vV/ may join with the preceding character. Sequences of syllables involving the same consonant are usually indicated with a short break between the two otherwise identical character groups, while words are typically separated with a longer break, though once again these features may vary depending on penmanship.

Minnir is written from left to right or, more rarely, from top to bottom, in which case the characters are effectively rotated 90 degrees in a clockwise direction. Each line of a Minnir text is linked with a continuous "through-line" that is typically drawn in first, thereby helping to align the individual characters of the line.

The following chart illustrates the character groups of Minnir and gives the standard Latin orthography for the syllables they represent. Each character used in Minnir is known by a name in Riktas Rammay that begins with the corresponding consonant. These names are given in italics alongside each character group, along with an English translation in quotes.

Ddiktas

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