|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
The women's script is a writing system used in Vorin nations, such as Alethkar, Jah Keved, and Kharbranth, on Roshar. The script is a phonetic alphabet, meaning each symbol, or "grapheme", denotes a particular sound, or "phoneme". Each letter is determined by both shape and size. As is indicated by the name, it is almost exclusively used by women, as writing is considered a feminine pursuit. The women's script is distinctly different from glyphs, which are a more logographic writing system (albeit with a phonetic component), which men are also allowed to learn.
The twenty-five known letters in the women's script can be arranged into five sets of five letters each. Each set is defined by the basic shape of the characters within it: the "vowel set" is a vertical line, the "T set" is a curved triangle pointing to the left, the "S set" is a curved triangle pointing to the right, the "P set" is a curved diamond, and the "K set" is a jagged triangle pointing to the left.
Within each set the characters are defined by height and the addition of shorter lines. The first character is the maximum height, the second is two-thirds the height of the first, and the third is one-third the height of the first. The fourth is the same height as the second with the addition of two short lines to the right, and the fifth is the same height as the third with the addition of one short line to the right.
Women's script has only one known character for punctuation. It is a single vertical line with two small, horizontal lines at the top and bottom. It is written at the beginning of a passage and it defines the maximum character height. It is unknown what other punctuation exists, if any, as no other examples have been observed. There is also a question mark present in Navani's sketch in Oathbringer on page 447, but judging by the handwriting this was added later by Nazh and is not part of the women's script.
Women's Script Characters
- The only samples of the women's script currently available are five excerpts from Navani's notebook, a sketch depicting a lait in Shallan's sketchbook, and a ketek by Jasnah
- It was designed by Isaac Stewart, to look like waveforms.
- Neither Brandon nor Isaac can read the women's script without reference.
- The women's script is often erroneously referred to as the "Alethi script" among fans. This term is never used in the books, and is demonstrably false as the script is also used in places such as Jah Keved and Kharbranth, at the very least.
- The mapping between the women's script and the Latin script was first discovered by Harakeke on the Timewasters Guide forum.