Until now, I haven’t talked about the structure of the Feedel alphabet, but as you might already noticed, the alphabet has a certain logic about how you form the different orders starting from the basic shape.
We can divide the symbols of the Feedel in five basic shapes:
Two have flat bottoms:
Six have rounded bottoms:
Nine have only one leg:
Fourteen have two legs:
Three have three legs:
The basic grid is constructed with 7 columns and 33 rows. The way I’m explaining the alphabet is the one called Hahu, that is, reading it horizontally from row 1 to row 33. The other way is by reading it vertically column by column, or Abugida. If we read the alphabet this way, we can find common elements in the characters of a same order.
The 1rst column from Ha to Pä is the basic shape that defines the basic sound or first order.
The 2nd column or second order from Hu to Pu is very simple, you only have to add a horizontal line to the middle of the right side of the basic shape, example:. The exceptions are the two symbols with flat bottoms Ru and Fu where the line is added to the bottom: .
The 3rd column or third order from Hi to Pi is formed in most of the cases by adding a short horizontal line to the bottom in the right side of the shape, example:. If the basic shape of the letter is one with one, two or three legs, then the third order sign is added directly, but if the basic shape has a rounded bottom, then you add and extra leg to be able to add the sign of the third order, example: . But Ri, Fi and Yi are formed differently, without following the expected pattern: .
The 4th column or fourth order from Ha to Pa is formed in many ways depending on the shape of the basic letter. Most of the letters with one leg form the forth order by adding a curved line to the left bottom, example:. But Na and Ña are different: . The letters with two or three legs shorten the left leg or legs, example: . Rounded bottom letters add an extra leg such as in the third order but without adding the short horizontal line, example:. As always, Ra and Fa are different:.
The 5th column or fifth order from He to Pe is also formed easily with a semicircle added to the right bottom the same way the short horizontal line is added to form the third order, example:. This means that letters with rounded bottoms will need to add an extra leg, example:.
The 6th column or sixth order from Hï to Pï has a lot of variations in the way it is formed, that’s why it’s difficult to establish a rule. There are twelve different ways to form it, so it’s better to learn the sixth order of each letter separately.
La 7th column or seventh order from Ho to Po has three different ways to form. Most of the letters with only one leg add a small circle on top:, but not Yo, Go and Po:. The letters with two or three legs shorten the right leg or legs turning in a mirror image of the fourth order:, but the syllable Lo is formed adding a circle to the right side of the basic shape:. The letters with rounded bottom add a curved line to the center of the bottom of the basic shape:, but Ho and Mo are formed differently: . Finally Ro and Fo add the circle on the right top of the letter: .