While the junior script provides a very basic and straightforward function (i.e. the consistent aural representation of English speech), the senior script provides a degree of functionality existing in several layers, the first of which is an accommodation for language’s natural tendency to abbreviate and simplify. Due to the polysyllabic nature of English vocabulary—particularly in written form—writing out a passage of English prose completely on the basis of a 1:1 sound-to-symbol ratio can become cumbersome, especially when one uses several extended vocabulary words in immediate succession.
The first tool that the senior script provides the user to combat this issue is a wide set of ligatures covering extremely common “function” words that incessantly repeat over the course of a generic piece of English prose. As a point of illustration, one need only consider the frequency by which the word “the” appears on literally any page of English text. In this context, the list of ligatures presented in this section is nothing more than an extension of an already well established practice within the English language, the most common of which is the “&” symbol to represent the entirety of the word “and,” which perfectly illustrates the task that a ligature accomplishes by design. If one picks up an album created by the rock band “Mumford & Sons,” the pronunciation of the full band name is no mystery. Similarly, a piece of writing may refer to a 5% unemployment rate, or stock values gaining 70¢ per share, or a gunslinger shooting a target at a 45° angle. These are all examples of unitary symbols standing in for entire words, of which there are many in English.
Additionally, a ligature need not be a singular graphical unit. Consider the example of a “50 lb bag of rice.” The letter L and the letter B are two completely independent letters, yet neither are to be found in the word “pound.” That’s because both letters come together to create a singular “unit” to represent the word. Ergo, while there are two letters or “graphemes” in this example, there is only one ligature, preserving a 1:1 symbol-to-word ratio that is functionally the very definition of what a ligature even is. This enables the user to use the following ligatures as free-standing symbols whenever the words they represent appear in a line of text.
Note: the natural starting point to begin learning these Senior Script elements is the Hwayih Woen translation of the McGuffey Eclectic Reader series.
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