I am looking for an alternative to the classical "romaji" Pinyin with diacritics, that has the following features:

  • each symbol can be rotated about the square representing its centre, and the rotation/orientation of the character is used to represent tone.

Not, sure, if this is a good idea.

Was just wondering if anyone has invented a font whose pronunciation and/or tone varies according to some orientation inside some mathematical group theoretical done deal group.

Thanks for your interest, curiosity, knowledge contributions, and answers.

[Not sure if the graphic design stack exchange would be a better place to post this question].

  • This isn't related to pinyin, but there are syllabic scripts for some Canadian languages that use orientation to indicate the vowel of a syllable. Aug 11 '16 at 9:42
  • If you're going to change everything about it then it wouldn't be valid to call it Pinyin!
    – curiousdannii
    Aug 11 '16 at 12:33
  • I call it Pinyin because I don't have a generic word that encompasses the meaning of encoding of pronunciation and tone and nothing more. If you know of any such word, please let me know. Aug 11 '16 at 15:31
  • And the link you posted is broken. (?) Aug 11 '16 at 15:32

A historical approach to phonetic alphabets, Alexander Bell's Visible Speech, used rotations systematically.

The Canadian Aboriginal syllabics (mentioned in Sumelic's comment) is an example for a script systematically using rotations in practical use.

However, you can't do it in an alphabet based on the Latin alphabet, because of pairs of letters like (n, u) or (b, q). The letter "o" is invariant under rotation and not usable in such a font.

IPA created new letters by rotation, but this is done arbitrarily and without systematic meaning of rotation.

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