the syllabary n.
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The Syllabary. From Serif to Sans-Serif. The History. In 1821 Sequoyah invented the Cherokee Syllabary . His original form is curvy and doesn’t resemble much of the block print syllabary we are used to .

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the syllabary

The Syllabary

From Serif to Sans-Serif

the history
The History
  • In 1821 Sequoyah invented the Cherokee Syllabary. His original form is curvy and doesn’t resemble much of the block print syllabary we are used to.
  • It was also in a different order than what we see in today’s syllabary charts. Sequoyah invented a shorthand version of his cursive syllabary to make print possible.
  • The syllabary we are used to today is in part due to a missionary named Samuel Worcester.
  • To make printing easier, some Roman script was used in the process of making printed syllabary characters, since they already existed in printing presses, and Samuel Worcester is responsible for the order of the characters we are used to.

The order was changed to aid those who worked at the printing press and didn’t know Cherokee. They followed English alphabetical order starting with Ꭰ(a) and ending with Ᏼ(yv).

present time
Present Time
  • That style is what people are used to seeing today. The serif font of the syllabary became the traditional version of the written Cherokee language.
  • There was one problem with that. People didn’t write the syllabary characters, they drew them.
  • They used the serifs and blacked out the bold parts of the characters. Which took much more time that it would to just write it.
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Present Time
  • There was no handwritten version of the syllabary out there, just the chart using serif characters. People would “write” the syllabary as they see it on the chart


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  • But nowadays with computers and Cherokee Unicode, there are new fonts for the Cherokee Language immerging.
  • There are the fonts that people are used to that still use the serifs but there are also fonts that are sans serif, making them feel more handwritten.
  • Fonts were also developed to aid children in their writing skills using the syllabary.
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