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The main goal of Tyl-Sjok writing is to provide for fast reading. It was decided to have a writing system that is similar to Chinese. This basically means the following things.

However, Chinese writing is very hard to learn, while Tyl-Sjok writing should be easy to learn. It was thought about Korean writing which writes the pronunciation of syllables into a square, but it was decided that semantic information is important. Therefore, Tyl-Sjok writing contains both pronunciation for easy learning, and additional semantic information. This redundancy is assumed to be solved with the aid of computers, i.e., semantics are added to the writing by a computer from a large data base. So being able to read the semantics is not necessary for learning to read. It is hoped that the design of the semantic parts is easy enough to be managed by learners after a while of studying in order to get the profits of fast reading.

In short, the following design decisions where taken for Tyl-Sjok writing:

Pronunciation: Letters

The letters of Tyl-Sjok writing have already been introduced in Chapter 2.

In some cases, the semantics are left out (e.g. in polysyllabic foreign words). In that case, the pronunciation column are either centered or stretched inside the character, depending on the font properties.

Writing Semantic Hints

Semantic hints are stacked on the left side of a character. Between 0 and 3 parts can be used.

Semantic parts are designed to always use a third of a character's height. They will be centered if fewer that three parts are put into a character. This is in contrast to the pronunciation, which is squeezed and stretched to fit into the character.


According to Chinese terminology, the semantical hints are called radicals. If a meaning is (loosely) tied to another radical, that radical is given in parentheses. The one in parenthesis will usually appear on top of the one that changes its meaning, but may occasionally be left out.

Please note that the radical system does not need to describe everything shade of the meaning since the pronunciation can (and must) be used to interpret a stem, too. Therefore, the tendency is to use few radicals. Three radicals are seldom.

The columns on the following pages are as follows:

Please also note that many radicals are composed of other radicals, so they usually do not have to be learned as atoms. Some frequent radicals used to compose others are `hand', `water', `head', `not', `earth', `self' etc.


Abstracts & Basics

Tyl-Sjok Name Meaning(s) Example(s)
* <large> large great, power word (number),
old (age), much, many (number)
tall (line), large (space),
heavy (mass), long (time)
* <huge> huge huge
* <tiny> tiny tiny
* <small> small small, young (age), few (number),
...(see large)
* <abstract> abstract abstract, imaginary (opinion)
* <good> good good, lucky (feeling), evenly, even
* <bad> bad bad, unlucky (feeling), unevenly, odd
* <long> long long, high, thin
* <short> short short, shallow (but not flat), thick
* <flat> flat flat
* <open> open open
* <close> close close
* <middle> middle, centre middle, center, central, medium
* <presence> presence presence
* <absent> absent, absence absent, absence, missing
* <tight> tight tight
* <loose> loose loose
* <kind> kind kind, sort, category

Nature in General

Tyl-Sjok Name Meaning(s) Examples(s)
* <water> water water, liquid, wet, humid tee
* <fire> fire fire, warm, hot, dry burn
* <earth> earth earth, dust, dirt sand
* <air> air air, wind, fresh gas
* <sun> sun sun, bright (light), white (colour) day, photon
* <moon> moon moon, dark (light), black (colour) night
* <mountain> mountain mountain, climax

Analysis of Nature, Physics & Philosophy

Tyl-Sjok Name Meaning(s) Examples(s)
* <mass> mass mass, weight, gravity (attraction) gram
* <space> space, 3d space, three-dimensional liter
* <line> line, 2d line, two-dimensional, meter
one-dimensional (point)
* <time> time time now
* <speed> speed speed fast
* <location> loc, location location here
* <force> force force violent
* <energy> energy energy electricity
* <self> self self, oneself, for oneself we
* <others> others others, for others you
* <intern> intern internal, inclusive and, also
* <extern> extern external, exclusive only, but
* <light> light light candle
* <colour> colour colour red
* <distance> distance distance, part, stretch, liter
passage (through), finity
* <point> point point, dot moment
* <drug> drug drug, halucinate vision, foresee
* <truth> truth truth judge
* <contrary> contrary opposite, contrary whereas, but
* <aggregate> aggregate aggregation to take the power (huge, finite),
flock, herd, group
* <infinite> infinite infinite water
* <sentient> sentient sentient, conscious human
* <symbol> symbol symbol, representation, reference (wedding) ring
* <relevance> relevance relevance, key, leading important
* <animate> animate animate human, animal, robot
* <relation> relation relation but, friend, comperative particle
* <interpret> interpret interpretation read, watch

Aspects, Mode & Tense

FIXME: Perhaps there will be special particles that can be used in a sentence for some of the following radicals.

Tyl-Sjok Name Meaning(s) Examples(s)
* <change> change change, movement, become,
acceleration (speed)
* <state> state state, status, fixed,
proposition (opinion)
* <start> start start, birth (age), enter
* <stop> stop stop, death (age), exit cancel
* <repeat> repeat repetition, iteration, sequence
* <reverse> reverse, back reverse, back
* <negate> negate, not, no negation, not to refuse
* <cause> cause be the cause by, because
* <purpose> purpose purpose, final interpretation for
* <induce> induce induce, make s.t. do s.t. to force
* <impede> impede impede to prevent
* <durative> durative continuity, durative burn
* <complete> complete complete, perfective aspect ready, final, solve
* <through> through, total through, start & stop &
complete, experience
* <past> past past, before, faded
* <future> future future, after
* <now> now present, now (note: `present'
is different)

Validity, Status

FIXME: Perhaps there will be special particles that can be used in a sentence for some of the following radicals.

Tyl-Sjok Name Meaning(s) Examples(s)
* <suggestion> suggestion suggestion ask s.o. to do s.t.
* <imperative> imperative imperative
* <emphasis> emphasis emphasis really, insist
* <conditional> conditional conditional if, may
* <relative> relative relative big
* <absolute> absolute absolute red
* <necessary> necessary necessary must
* <sufficient> sufficient sufficient whenever, if
* <general> general general all
* <special> special special some, most
* <unique> unique unique, name Henrik

Feelings, Personal Inclination & Belief

FIXME: Perhaps there will be special particles that can be used in a sentence for some of the following radicals.

Tyl-Sjok Name Meaning(s) Examples(s)
* <wish> wish wish
* <achieve> achieve achieve (the goal of (being)...)
* <opinion> opinion opinion think
* <feeling> feeling feeling love
* <assume> assume suppose, assume, think, possible may, meet (on purpose)
* <assert> assert assert, propose
* <accidental> accidental accidental random, meet (accidentally)
* <percept> percept, perceive percept see
* <attraction> attraction attraction love, magnetism
* <trans> trans transcendence God, Devil, believe
* <learn> learn learn understand

Humans and Relations

Tyl-Sjok Name Meaning(s) Examples(s)
* <person> person person, men, people
* <male> male male, man
* <female> female female, women
* <child> child child
* <family> family family
* <age> age age wise
* <glory> glory fame, glory win
* <might> might, mighty power, might, mighty King

Living & Organisation

Tyl-Sjok Name Meaning(s) Examples(s)
* <house> house house, accomodation
* <work> work work, helpful/useful
* <duty> duty duty work
* <leasure> leasure leasure, free time, toy, game, art paint
* <sleep> sleep sleep, rest, recover
* <weapon> weapon weapon
* <furniture> furniture furniture
* <container> container container
* <private> private private
* <public> public public
* <together> together together, gather (change)
* <separate> separate be separate, separate (change)
* <control> control control, reign, influence King
* <hierarchy> hierarchy hierarchy, network Boss

Human Body

Tyl-Sjok Name Meaning(s) Examples(s)
* <corpse> corpse, body corpse, body
* <mouth> mouth mouth
* <eyes> eye, eyes eyes, viewing (percept), light (sun)
* <ears> ear, ears ears, hearing (percept), sound (air)
* <nose> nose nose, smelling (percept), smell (air)
* <skin> skin skin, touching/being touched (percept), leather
* <arms> arms arms, reaching out
* <legs> legs legs, move (tex2html_wrap_inline7397 change), walk
* <belly> belly belly, guts, instinct
* <brain> brain brain, intelligence
* <heart> heart heart, sensitivity
* <hands> hand, hands hands, touching (percept)
* <fur> fur, hair fur, hair, feather (air)
* <ill> ill ill, illness
* <sex> sex sex, reproduction

Eating & Drinking

Tyl-Sjok Name Meaning(s) Examples(s)
* <swallow> swallow swallow, eat (corn), drink (water)
breathe (air), throw up (back), ingest
* <wine> wine, alcohol wine, alcohol
* <corn> corn, meal corn, meal
* <bread> bread bread
* <fruit> fruit fruit, vegetable
* <sour> sour sour, acid
* <salt> salt, hurt salt, salty, hurting, injuring
* <sweet> sweet, pleasant, sweet, sugar, pleasant,
pleasant advantageous, profitable
* <bitter> bitter, unpleasant bitter, unpleasant,
disadvantageous, unprofitable

Money, Goods, Welth & Poverty

Tyl-Sjok Name Meaning(s) Examples(s)
* <gold> gold gold, money
* <metal> metal metal, silver, having a flaw
* <count> count, amount amount, degree, enumeration,
counting (tex2html_wrap_inline7397 number), measuring
* <own> own ownership
* <material> material material

Creation, Craft & Tools

Tyl-Sjok Name Meaning(s) Examples(s)
* <tool> tool tool, use, usage hammer
* <put> put put, attach, mount
* <create> create creation build, cook
* <destruct> destruct destruction, decompose divide
* <artifact> artifact artifact

Animals, Plants, Etc.

Tyl-Sjok Name Meaning(s) Examples(s)
* <animal> animal animal, microorganism (tiny),
fish (water), bird (air)
* <plant> plant plant, fungus (earth), fruit (water)

Grammar & Language Structure

These are used for marking categories of words or other grammatical aspects.
Tyl-Sjok Name Meaning(s) Examples(s)
* <comma> comma binary particle
* <question> question question which, why, JN
* <number> number number 1, 2, 100
* <abbrev> abbrev, abbreviation abbreviation
* <onom> onom, onomatopoeia, onomatopoeia buh!, beep
* <foreign> foreign foreign word, split into
several syllables

Please note that `comma', i.e. that thing that usually separates two (auxiliary) sentences, is meant quite general in Tyl-Sjok since virtually all saturated phrases can be analysed as sentences. Accordingly, when a particle puts together two obvious, single stem nouns (like the word `and' in `tea and coffee'), the particle is marked with this radical. So a better name is `binary particle'. But the radical name `binary' was reserved. All clausal conjunctions (conjunctive particles) have this radical, so the name `comma' has some right to exist.


When using LaTeX, Tyl-Sjok words are put into a macro called \circum. This will be parsed by the Tyl-Sjok preprocessor to insert the necessary characters.

Characters are written in Roman transcription. Characters are separated by spaces or dashes. Spaces separate words, dashes separate syllables of polysyllabic foreign words that have to be split into several characters.

The computer will automatically add semantic information from the pronunciation alone if possible. Should there be ambiguities (e.g. for the number 10 which may either be a digit or a power word), a radical name (from the list above) that is unique to one of the ambiguous words shall be added after a dot. To state that a radical does not occur, a dash (meaning minus) may be prefixed. E.g. \circum{kjox.-count} generates kjox.-count while \circum{kjox.count)} generates kjox.count. If there are two stems a<b.c> and a<c.b>, then a constraint selects the one that is found first when checking the constraints from left to right, i.e., a.b selects a<b.c>.

If the author of a document wants to specify the radicals all by themself, pointed brackets may be used to specify 0-3 radicals separated by dots.

Furthermore, radicals may be added and removed using the operators - for removal, + for addition on top, ++ for addition on the bottom and -+ for replacement of a radical by another one, where the two are separated by a dot. The full grammar specification for the character composition is given in Figure 13.1.

FIXME: write an Emacs mode that does the selection (kjox.-c should be enough to be expanded to kjox<number>).

Figure: BNF-grammar of Tyl-Sjok words in the lexicon and LaTeX

The typeset preprocessor recognises non-words like single consonants or vowels and typesets them accordingly. E.g. \circum{ei} will appear as ei. In the same way, pure semantics are recognised: \circum{<np>} appears as

FIXME: continue.

FIXME: Changing Tyl-Sjok font properties will be provided in a later version.


Tyl-Sjok is typeset with several font styles. The main distinctions are as follows.

There are no italicized fonts.

up contents
Home Up: Tyl-Sjok--An Artificial Isolating Human Previous: Style Next: Unsorted Examples

Henrik Theiling
Sat Jun 9 18:52:24 CEST 2001