<Daffy Duck> It's mine, mine I tell ya, all mine!!! </Daffy Duck> ahem. i.e. as I have a vested interest in all things Hiver-y, I shall focus on editing the pages within this category as much as possible. Gruffty Hivers: If you tolerate us, then your children will be next... 11:26, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
The Hiver use an ideographic script derived from their hand signals. Each character stands for a discrete, individual concept and except for "beginning" and "emptiness," there are no synonyms. The majority of the ideograms are hexagonal. the vertices representing the fingertips of a fully splayed Hiver hand. Inside this field. shapes and areas of shading indicate the positioning of the digits and eyestalks and the precise orientation of the hand itself. The three dimensions of the original are traditionally represented by larger or smaller areas of decoration within the field. Modern holographic inks and 3D displays gel around this problem completely.
There are of course. many thousands of ideograms to remember. This was not a huge problem for the Hivers to whom it was native, or for the computer-using societies they met. but it slows the acceptance of the Federation by new neighbors and puts up barriers to communication. The Hivers write their language in lines of hexagonal glyph, intended to he read in sequence. The most common arrangement is to have the vertices pointing up and down and read horizontally. Very careful arrangement of the character allows them to be read diagonally instead (which sequence is intended is immediately apparent to the Hivers). More sophisticated draftsmen can all also hide messages in lines of hexagons with touching corners.
The Hivers would very much like the elegance, power and inherent subtlety of their written grammar to make it into Gurvin but it isn't catching on. Half of the Gurvin race cannot follow the concept at all, and the lthklur have chosen to lampoon it by designing a spiral form, which reads out from the center of a cluster of glyphs, reminiscent of a mandala. They also use the varying shading density of thcharacters to produce pointillist artwork.
Sidebar in GURPS Traveller Alien Races 3