Old Albic alphabet
The Old Albic alphabet is probably a conscript.
Before the invention of this alphabet, the Elves were almost entirely illiterate, their language only occasionally being written with the rather ill-suited Phoenician abjad.
The Old Albic alphabet is usually ascribed to Senantho the Grammarian whose grammar of Old Albic was found in the Tresco Library (he is also known for Senantho's Law); it is indeed quite likely that as a featural alphabet, it is the conscious design by an individual. The letters p, t and c are apparently taken from the Phoenician script, with the other letters derived from these three by featural principles:
- Angular forms represent voiceless sounds, rounded forms represent voiced sounds.
- A stroke across the tail of a letter marks frication. The sibilant s is marked by another stroke through the middle of the letter.
- A hook on the tail of a letter marks nasal articulation.
- Tailless letters represent liquids and semivowels.
- Vowels are broken down into features, written to the right of a circle (opening upwards in stencilled texts).
- Long vowels are marked with a vertical stroke above the circle, which also represents the accent type: a straight stroke for thrusting tone, a tilde-like stroke for slipping tone.
- Old Albic alphabet chart - not entirely up to date: the vowel circles should be open to the top