sitelen musi

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Sample of sitelen musi, reading jan li pana e moku tawa sina.

sitelen musi is an alphabetic Toki Pona writing system in which words are assembled into a multidirectional line. It is a compressed alphabet, in which each shape can stand in for up to 3 different letters.

sitelen musi ends up having 6 letter shapes in total, which still stand in for all 14 letters. In isolation, which letter the letter shapes represent, is completely ambiguous. The ambiguity gets resolved, because letter shape combinations of any one word never overlap with that of another. So while most shape combinations of a word allow for several phonotactically valid constructions, only one of them is an actual dictionary word.

The selection of which characters got merged was done on the basis of pu words, for which the minimum amount of combination shapes is 6 (unless a word gets left out). Introducing more words may result in unresolvable ambiguity. Other mergings with 6 combination shapes is possible to allow for different ranges of words, but without rewriting how sitelen musi works, it would not easily be integrated into this writing system.

Writing rules[edit | edit source]

Any paragraph starts with an arrow indicating the reading direction. It can point up, down or to the sides. The end of a paragraph is marked by an arrow heading away from the reading direction.
A bar perpendicular to the line separates out words. This bar can serve as the start of the line for the new word instead of having the line continue in the same direction.
A small unconnected dot interrupting the line stands for the letters a and p
A sharp 90° turn in the line from vertical to horizontal stands for the letters e, n and s. A 90° change from the side upwards or downwards does not stand for a letter.
Repetitions of this shape can be realised as redoubling the horizontal line above or below the horizontal line.
A curved 180° turn in the line from the bottom back to the bottom stands for the letters i, j and m
A curved 180° turn in the line from the top back to the top stands for the letters k, o and t
A circle interrupting the line stands for the single letter l. The line may continue at a 90° angle from the circle instead of continuing straight on the other side of the circle.
An interruption of the line with a space stands for the letters u and w. This gap can be widened or shortened. Another part of the line may pass through it perpendicularly.
Curves and changes in directions not covered by these rules can be added for styling without changing the spelling of words.

Punctuation[edit | edit source]

Punctuation may replace the ending arrow if it's in the final position of the paragraph

An arrow heading in the reading direction directly on the line stands for a comma
2 arrows heading in the reading direction directly on the line stand for a period
3 arrows heading in the reading direction directly on the line stand for a question mark

Extension for names[edit | edit source]

Extension for incompatible words[edit | edit source]

Due to being based on pu words only, adding more words often enough works, but for many it doesn't make resolving the ambiguity of the combination shapes possible. Out of the nimi ku suli, the word n would be a homoglyph with e and ku would be a homoglyph with tu. A solution is adding another punctuation method:

Writing out any ambiguous word like a name, but separated by other words with double bars, makes it possible to spell out words

History[edit | edit source]

  • Between the 2nd century BC to around AD 900, Book Pahlavi condensed the 22 characters of the Midlle Iranian Pahlavi script to only 13 characters
  • In October 2019, u/increpatio came up with linja pi kute mute, where 14 Toki Pona letters got merged to 6, after a discussion with a friend about Book Pahlavi[1]
  • In July 2020, jan Simejo published sitelen musi with instructions, each word written out and a poem as an example
  • Seven days later, jan Simejo makes a video tutorial for the script and introduces the extension for names[2]
  • In November 2021, jan Ke Tami creates a sitelen musi generator and later adds an extension for incompatible names

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]