The Nìmpyèwèn Script

The native writing system for Nìmpyèshiu is a logography called The Nìmpyèwèn Script. In this writing system, each character represents a single unit of meaning, a morpheme, and not necessary. A whole word may be a compound of multiple characters. In the dictionary, character compounds are referred to in square brackets [].


Most characters can be made by combining the components (called Wèmba̤n) listed above. A component can be used in two ways:

  • Signific (Kṳwèmba̤n): These suggest the meaning of a character, and usually occur on the right side of the character. All characters have a signific, and some characters even have multiple significs which are stacked vertically.
  • Phonetic (Bváwèmba̤n): These hint at the native pronunciation of the character, and tend to occur on the left side. Not all characters have phonetics. Characters that represent polysyllabic morphemes may have multiple phonetics, which like the significs, are stacked vertically.

Stroke Order

Each component is written individually, starting in the top right corner and then working anticlockwise. Each stroke within a component is written anticlockwise according to their starting points. Strokes that start on another stroke are written immediately after that stroke. If two strokes start at the same point, then the stoke heading towards the top right corner is written first.

Writing Direction

Most of the time, characters are written vertically from the top of the page to the bottom, but can also be written horizontally from right to left. Characters can never be written from left to right.

Each new line is written to the right of the previous line when written vertically, and below the previous line when written horizontally.

Loan Words

Loan words are written with characters that represent the etymology of the word. These characters tend to keep their foreign pronunciation in informal speech, but in formal speech they are pronounced with their native pronunciation, forming a calque.


Numerals (see chart above) are based on an old tally system which clusters marks into groups of four. The final three marks in the character for four were simplified into a single curved stroke. Characters for five to sixteen consist of a phonetic representing the previous multiple of four, plus the numerals one to four on the right. Numbers larger than sixteen are written how they are said (see the number section on the Grammar page).

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