[This page is under construction. Please excuse the dust!]
I hope you like grammar because Tapissary has two layers of it!
The first layer is fairly conventional in performing the tasks that are expected from grammar.
The second layer considers a personal relationship with time. In certain instances, Tapissary records time as a cycle. If you imagine that anything you may choose to describe is somewhere along a cycle, then time becomes something open to interpretation. The speaker needs to indicate how or why their subject should fit into any given stage of the cycle. Patterns can be established to set a mood, or they can just as easily be broken to show a violent contrast, for instance. In any case, the cyclic grammar provides quite an interesting ride for the thousands of Tapissary glyphs.
The Graduated Cycle
I created the cyclic grammar in 1987. Tapissary was already 10 years old by that time, but being a glyphic language, the cycle fit the contours perfectly.
The cyclic system pairs words to compose a phrase. It is not done with the use of accent marks, or any other grammatical marking. It is built by phrasing within Tapissary’s modular system. Also note that everything on this page describes the basic cycle which is called the Graduated Cycle. There is another variation called the Fiction Cycle which I’ve posted on another page of this site. Please read this page first, as it equally builds the foundation for the Fiction Cycle.
I have divided the explanation of the cycle into nine short chapters as follow:
Let’s take a dip into the system called the cycle.
Example: “I burned the oatmeal”.
OK, so I ruined my breakfast, but let’s consider that unique experience of overcooking the meal as it fits into the cycle. The cycle has six steps from its inception to its finish.
THE SIX STEPS IN THE CYCLE
1 Existing, coming into being, material.
2. Interaction or building. Taking the existence and material and constructing something with it.
3. Result, what comes from having used the material to build something abstract or concrete.
4. Usage, living. The result now begins its journey toward the void. It is no longer a perfectly new thing. At this stage it is alive and experiencing usage and ware.
5. The lack of interaction. Here, the journey has faded or may basically be over.
6. Void. At this point, the journey is nearly forgotten.
Let’s look at that sample sentence again: “I burned the oatmeal”.
Where is the burnt oatmeal in the scheme of the cycle? It depends how that affects you. Whatever step you choose within the cycle defines your relationship to that charcoal breakfast.
If you put it in the 2nd step, that of building (or equally deconstruction, as that is also an interaction), I, who am the subject of the sentence, would be toward the early stages of the cycle and focusing on my active error. Were I instead to have applied the 5th step (lack of interaction which is toward the end of the cycle), it may indicate that I don’t intend a second try at cooking oatmeal. Perhaps I would be off to the day with an empty stomach? What about the 1st step (material and existence)? That position can be used for mundane lists as it is just material. You will see later how pairing steps can affect their base principles greatly, but for now, had I used the first step for my burnt oatmeal, it would communicate a rather bland acceptance of the fact, as if it were just another thing in the day.
Remember I said before that steps are paired up? What I describe above is the first half of that pair, where the 6 steps of the cycle are called ‘gestures’. We will see the second half further down, which use the same 6 steps of the cycle and are called ‘moods’ but have a different application. For now, the focus is on the gestures. They pretty much define what is immediately before you. I will show you how to build the gestures before moving on. A gesture is focused on the main verb of your sentence. In the example I burned the oatmeal, ‘burn’ is going to be replaced by another verb. Don’t worry, you’ll see in the following section how we retrieve it. Each of the six gestures of the cycle has its own verb class.
THE VERB CATEGORIES FOR THE GESTURES
Gesture 1: verb To Be
Gesture 2: verbs of creativity. (including: make, create, build, cook, plot, design, introduce, dig, mate, study, awaken, engage, inspire, integrate, hire, score, nurture, unearth, demonstrate, encourage, reduce, etc)
Gesture 3: verbs of state (except To Be). (including: stand, hold, wait, need, contain, count, await, etc)
Gesture 4: verbs of living function. (including: live, verbs of the 5 senses, bleed, breathe, flow, know, work, use, sense, eat, drink, etc)
Gesture 5: verb To Leave
Gesture 6: Verbs To Let, or To Allow. (irregular construction. It always must be in a pair).
Let’s repeat the previously shown examples from above, by putting the sentence into these gestures 1, 2, and 5. You need to choose which verbs in each category best fit your purpose. Here’s mine:
Gesture 1: I was the oatmeal.
Gesture 2: I reduced the oatmeal.
Gesture 5: I left the oatmeal.
While the gestures tell of the immediate situation, the moods complete the pair by putting your situation into a larger context (it is a little like music, where the gesture is likened to the short motif, and the mood is likened to the key). Like the gestures, the 6 moods also make use of the cycle’s 6 steps, and therefore, there are 6 gestures and 6 moods. The 2nd gesture is about interaction in the immediate sense, while the 2nd mood is also about interaction, but as a state or atmosphere. Above, I mentioned how the 1st gesture is fairly plain in that it describes material. Let’s see what happens when you put that 1st gesture into the 6th mood of the void. In essence, from the void emerges matter so to speak. You’ve heard ‘from nothing comes something’. Suddenly our bland 1st gesture packs a punch. It is a mini version of the big bang. You can use this construction with the impact of an unexpected surprise, for instance. How you move your gesture from a mood is an important balance, it can greatly impact the meaning of your cyclic choices. Important note: the cyclic constructions are generally only needed once, or sparingly per paragraph if the general mood of the paragraph is fairly stable. The remaining sentences of the paragraph do not need to be rendered into the cyclic structure, because they are assumed to already be there. The atmosphere of the paragraph can maintain itself over that distance. “I burned the oatmeal, washed the dishes, and went out the door.” Only one of those phrases needs the special cyclic structure. Here I have chosen ‘I burned the Oatmeal”. You chose whichever sentence best represents your meaning. Perhaps that choice will be “went out the door”, which may indicate throwing up your arms and saying, I give up, just go to work already. It may also mean, It’s my usual, I always mess up breakfast, and just get on with my day. The cyclic pair you choose will help clarify what you intend.
The role of the mood is to set the atmosphere showing from where the gesture comes, and also preserving the original main verb of the sentence. Earlier I’d given the example how “I burned the oatmeal” using the 2nd gesture might be said like this: “I reduced the oatmeal”. If you want to establish the mood of this event into a rather active, possibly confusing state, you may choose to place the atmosphere equally into the 2nd mood. It implies lots of movement, either abstract or concrete. Below, you will see how this is done, which will preserve the verb ‘burn’ into a noun, giving such possibilities as ‘charcoalization’, ‘a cinder’, etc, and of course, burn being both a verb and noun, you can keep that too. I’m going to use ‘cinder’ however, because I like the image. Here is one possibility for that sentence now completed in the 2nd gesture of the 2nd mood:
I reduced the oatmeal into a cinder. OR… I reduced the oatmeal into a burn. OR… I built the oatmeal into charcoal.
OR…. so many possible combinations depending on what vocabulary you like best for each verb category for the gestures, and which ones you choose for the noun category for the moods. Perhaps my favorite way of expressing the above sentence is ‘I built the oatmeal into charcoal’ because it makes sense and is also obviously a cyclic construction… it sounds just a little bit off to the ear. Had I said instead the cyclic sentence like this: ‘I cooked the oatmeal to a burn’, it follows the cyclic rules, however it does not have any obvious road signs so that the listener could overlook it as being a normal sentence and not at all describing the cycle. The construction should not be invisible. On the other hand, it is important to clearly define the cycle, but not so much so, that it is highly awkward. ‘I engaged the oatmeal toward cremation’ might be a bit overdone! Your choice though.
To recap: the construction of the cycle starts by determining what the main verb of your sentence is. That verb will be replaced. Use one of the verbs found in the gesture of your choice to replace it. If you feel the 2nd gesture is appropriate for your sentence, use one of the verbs within the 2nd gesture’s category. I wrote a short list for each gesture to help out.
THE NOUN CATEGORIES FOR THE MOODS
You will see below that there is an either/or choice for how you may construct each mood. For instance, see the 3rd mood in the chart. The choice is between using the genitive (showing possession, which is usually the ‘s in English - the baker’s dozen) or you can use a preposition of location. The prepositions take precedence. In other words, in the 3rd mood, if you choose a preposition of location, then you can break the rule and also have the noun be plural (which ordinarily is the sign of the 2nd mood), or you can also choose to use neither plural nor the genitive (even though this is ordinarily the sign of the 1st mood), because the prepositions are the first focus. Even though the plural is not indicative of the 3rd mood, the preposition of location overrides that, and you remain in the 3rd mood.
1. No change, or use the abstract prepositions (for, with, within)
2. Plural or prepositions of motion (to, toward, until, out of, along, into)
3. Genetive or prepositions of location (in, at, on, under, below, over, above,)
4. As + genitive or prepositions of location.
5. As + plural or prepositions of motion.
6. As + no change, or abstract prepositions.
APPLICATION OF THE MOOD
Perhaps the best way to explain the pairing of the mood to the gesture is by example. To begin with, all pairs can be described with a simple formula which can be used as training wheels only… these formulae are not written in Tapissary. Here’s an example: 4>1 . This is the 1st gesture coming out of the 4th mood. And another, 5>2 . This is the 2nd gesture coming out of the 5th mood. In the formulae, the mood is written first, and the gesture second. Following are some sample sentences with their formulae preceding them, but please remember, these are not written in Tapissary, they are just learning tools.
“We are going to the mountains.” For me, this would be a kind of exciting trip, and so the 2nd gesture would fit in my case. I would equally use the 2nd mood, as the atmosphere of exploration is afoot. First, we must replace the verb GO with another verb compatible with the 2nd gesture. I’ll use ‘AWAKEN’. This may give: “We are awakening the mountains…” You may notice that I turned the indirect object into a direct object. If it is a simple sentence, and retains its sense, you can do this. Either is OK, however since the mood will also be a prepositional phrase, I think it’s more elegant to cut down on the number of prepositions. Another option is to make the phrase reflexive: “We are awakening ourselves to the mountains”. (It’s a good idea to have a direct object in the cyclic construction. Creating a reflexive as shown above, is one way to do this if the original sentence has no direct object. So, if you say, “I am hungry”, you can use the reflexive to say, “I am myself hungry”, or “I am hunger”). Though most languages do not consider the object after the verb To Be as a direct object, it is treated as one in Tapissary.
The mood will preserve the verb GO with its nominal equivalent. What is the equivalent of GO as a noun? How about TRIP, or DRIVE, or VENTURE? As seen in the chart above, the prepositions of motion define the 2nd mood, so I’m going to choose ALONG. Putting the sentence together now, this is one possible result:
“We are awakening the mountains along the drive”. OR, “We are awakening ourselves to the mountains along the drive”. There are tons of other possibilities.
Next, imagine if this were not a fun journey, but something you have to do out of commitment. You might still choose the 2nd gesture of interaction, yet the mood could be say, the 1st mood of something not noteworthy, or even in the 5th mood showing a lack of connection or inability to travel, and thereby you could be so far along the cycle that the future feels dismal. I’ll show both:
1>2 We are awakening the mountains for a drive.
5> 2 We are awakening the mountains as trips. (Notice here that the plural on the noun TRIP in combination with the word AS, shows the 5th mood).
Pairing takes a bit of getting used to.
Territory of the moods
This is the heart of the cycles. The cyclic system embraces communication in the context of an ongoing story. No paragraph is an island to itself, they are all tied together into a network. As an example, I like to cite THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA by Hemingway. I interpreted the first half of the work as him telling the story of an old fisherman past his prime with little hope of ever regaining respect from the village where he lives. I might place the entire first half of the book in the 5th mood. The gestures in contrast, would change according to what is happening. They give the local color while the 5th mood retains the psychological color. In the middle of the story, the old man catches a fish of legendary size on his long perilous journey into the sea. At that point, the story is flung into the 2nd mood of interaction: an outstanding success of which he is the only one to witness it. On return from the sea, his catch which was tied to the outside of the little boat, has been eaten away by the jaws of the ocean. On return to the village harbor, there is little left of the magnificent fish besides the bones. He finds himself in much the same position as before the great adventure, returning him to the 5th mood. Generally, we don’t keep such long distances of mood in our communications. Authors can do that. However, we can keep a mood going for a long time if the atmosphere warrants it. If you are relating a fantastic experience you had, the description might reside predominantly in the 2nd mood but with all sorts of gestures serving as accents. It’s not required that the cyclic grammar be used in every sentence, as a matter of fact, usually it shows up only once or twice per the equivalent of a paragraph. Once you establish a mood for a paragraph, you can let it linger for up to two or three paragraphs without repeating it. After a couple paragraphs however, the listener or reader should be reminded of what mood the story is in. If you choose to use the moods much more frequently than that, say, every other sentence, or maybe even every sentence, the atmosphere produced would be one of great agitation, confusion, or excitement. The frequency of the cycle’s usage tells much about the speaker’s state of mind.
I expand on this further down in chapter eight, The Purpose of the Cycles.
Dropping the moods
Carrying on from the previous point about the territory of moods, there is another simplification that is useful. In the case of extending a mood over the span of a couple paragraphs, so that it is in essence physically dropped, the gestures can still be used if they are easily enough understood by context. Remember that the gesture replaces the main verb with its own gestural verb which may or may not have anything to do with the meaning of that main verb, and then the mood picks it up again in a noun form. So if the mood is missing, so is the main verb’s meaning lost. This is the only time we see the cyclic grammar outside of the pair. Let’s say we are in the 3rd mood of completion, quite happy about having gotten some project complete, and we go on about this for some time. The gestures can still show up in the paragraphs without the mood’s prepositional phrases following them. Remember that one of the roles of the mood is to preserve the main verb of the sentence which has been replaced by the gesture. So, if that missing verb does not interfere with the meaning of the sentence, you can do it.
Example. Can you understand what Person B is saying? She has been talking with Person A for a while, so the mood presumably had already been established before this next exchange took place:
Person A: You arrived here before I did. How long now have you been waiting to see the doctor?
Person B: (using cycles). I’ve been leaving this room for two hours.
Leaving (this is leave in the sense of placing something down, not the sense of walking away) is the verb of the 5th gesture which involves the lack of interaction. In other words, the woman is indicating that this waiting has put her into a futile position, where she is incapable of doing anything about it. Since the mood is not added onto this sentence, the most probable verb it replaces is wait. But if the context of the interchange is not clear, then leaving the room for two hours could mean lots of other things like: I’ve been painting this room, I’ve been snoring in this room, I’ve been renting this room, etc… It is important to be on top of context like icing on a cake.
[Body Verb Groups]
The concept of compatible approximation is common throughout Tapissary’s cyclic adventure. The Impressionistic Clans are another way of presenting moods by using parts of the body in a vague way. For instance, the verbs which are executed with the hands such as DO, MAKE, GIVE, RETURN, WORK, BUILD, etc... take the noun “hand” to replace the verb. So, if the sentence were clear through context, you might say, “I will dig the library book next Friday for a hand”. In context, the hand here would refer to returning the book. This sentence’s formula is 1>2. We know it is in the 1st mood because the word FOR is what is called an abstract preposition which belongs to the 1st mood. The 2nd gesture is evident because it uses a verb from the creation category. Yes, dig is linked with creating something, because when you dig it is for a purpose in the construction of something that will have some use. Digging a well, digging a foundation, digging into research papers, etc…
The impressionistic clans can be used like any other cyclic sentence. If you drop the mood, as described in chapter IV above, then the clans can also be used there taking the role of a gesture. A gesture is a verb, whereas the clan is a noun. But this is an instance where the clan noun can behave like a verb. The sample sentence in the above paragraph “I will return the library book next Friday” which gave “I will dig the library book next Friday for a hand”, can be cut shorter if you are in a position to drop the mood, thus giving: “I will hand the library book next Friday”. It’s good to keep in mind once again, that the context needs to be evident, or these sentences will make no sense. They are not meant to come out of the blue, but rather to already be in the flow of some communication.
In the table below, the capitalized words in the left show the nouns you use to replace the verbs which are on the right side. For instance, if you use the verb to GO, you can replace it with LEG, or with FOOT. But LEG, as well as FOOT also represent COME, ARRIVE, ENTER, etc… You may notice that opposite meanings are also present in such concepts as REMEMBER and FORGET which both use HEAD. And even more noteworthy, LOVE and HATE both use BODY. This is why the context is so important. When using the impressionistic clans, the speaker is expressing universality as it pertains to the body. To REMEMBER and FORGET are united in the same HEAD. I do hope you rooted this presentation of the cyclic grammar!
Here are the five clans with some of their equivalents:
LEG or FOOT [Come, Arrive, Enter, Go, Leave, Depart, Pass…]
ARM or HAND [Take, Get, Have, Do, Make, Give, Return, Start, Finish, Put, Work, Use, Care, Reach, Offer…]
HEAD or FACE [Say, Tell, Speak, Communicate, Know, Understand, Remember, Forget, Think, Seem, See, Hear, Taste, Feel, Smell, Touch, Eat, Drink…]
BODY or ROOT [Love, Hate, Dislike, Like, Admire, Despise, Need, Want, Desire, Envy, Try, Appreciate…]
POSE [Be, Wait, Stay, Remain, Sleep, Sit, Stand…]
how do we begin?
applying the information above into a sentence.
Now for a little practicality. You make a pair by choosing one of the six moods with one of the six gestures. That gives a choice of 36 possible pairs. Which do you start with? If you begin without a structure, your sentences may appear somewhat confused and disjointed. You are not addressing one sentence at a time, but rather orchestrating a flow over your entire train of thought. Your communication is being formed into a recounting of a ‘journey’. There needs to be a foundation, and that is style. Each person will develop their own style, but I will introduce mine here to get you started.
For me, I have grouped the six steps of the cycle into three soft steps (1, 4, and 5) and three loud steps (2, 3, and 6). The soft group contains the relatively everyday type of occurrences such as working, meeting with friends and family, going to a movie, etc... The loud steps are stronger contrasts, such as receiving good or bad news, doing something unusual or unexpected, catastrophes, miracles etc... In my style, I use the soft steps most of the time, so that when I need to show an impact the loud steps are more effective when used sparingly.
Example: Start with the mood…
Nursery rhyme from 1842
There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile.
He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.
Here’s the translation:
Click video below to hear the text read in Tapissary.
There certainly are plenty of ways to interpret this nursery rhyme. I will demonstrate one of the simplest. YOU ALWAYS BEGIN BY ESTABLISHING THE MOOD FIRST. Using my style described above, I will use a soft mood, because this little story describes the daily life of the man and the cat. In my opinion, the key sentence in this story is the last one, because it includes the full picture of both the man and the cat living their daily lives. This is the only sentence in the story which I feel needs to be put into the cyclic grammar. The other sentences by default belong to whatever sentence in the story is cyclic.
The soft mood I’m choosing is the fourth mood, as it is about living, and simply chronicles the day-in day-out lives of this man and his cat (and presumably the mouse since the author states ‘they all’ rather than ‘they both’). The mood will preserve the main verb “live” into the noun “life”, and using the possessive with the preposition ‘as’, we get the mood: ‘as their life’. This mood phrase will be tacked onto the end of the completed cyclic phrase.
Now we can apply a gesture. I will choose the fourth gesture to compliment the mood because it describes their daily life. The fourth gesture uses verbs of living, which include the five senses. Because the story is a little quirky especially due to the cat toying with the mouse, I’m choosing the main verb ‘lived’ to be replaced by the verb ‘tasted’. In all, the final construction having the formula 4>4, gives:
“And they all together tasted themselves as their life, in a little crooked house'
For another example using the same story above, let’s say you interpret some drama into the line about the cat catching the mouse. You might still wish to use the 4th mood, but you may want to increase the contrast by using the 2nd gesture, which is louder. In doing so, you remove the scene from the ordinary. Remember that the 4th mood will replace the main verb which in this case is ‘caught’ with its noun equivanent which is ‘catch’. The mood phrase begins with ‘as + the possessive’ giving us the phrase ‘as its catch’. With the mood finished, now we move on to the gesture. Having chosen the 2nd gesture, one of the available verbs is ‘reduced’, which seems to fit pretty well here. The completed sentence might look like this following the formula : 4>2
“He bought a crooked cat, which reduced a crooked mouse as its catch”.
The Fiction Cycle.
There is quite a bit to be said about this frequently used cycle in Tapissary, so I have devoted a separate page for it. Please see the tab Fiction Cycle to read about it. All of the rules mentioned above apply to both the Graduated and Fiction Cycles.
The Purpose of the Cycles
…to map out the journey.
In our daily lives we jump around the cycle quite a lot. I’ve never counted, but I’d assume we experience more than one hundred versions of the cycle a day. Here’s a sample from the beginning of a typical day in the life of Cörris. Each little scene can be a separate cycle.
+(6>2) Cörris reaches over to turn off the alarm clock. [Literally: Cörris reaches over to demean the alarm clock as a choke]. He continues lying in bed debating whether to hit the 10 min snooze button. Then it occurs to him that he was late to work on Tuesday, and will face bad consequences if this is repeated. -(2) His face shows the exhaustion, but he sits up. [Literally: His face doesn’t trespass the no-show of exhaustion…].
Cörris dardastr uvr rabis jinoç wix ërlobdoc biñ çaçaa. Hlëydrë contin shicér léétto fluleth cödöm çatdit jinoc ça minut snouz boutoñ. Pui iril byañ hlëë sa hlërë ini tardi isrish tsëëxxi, na lajallal move coñsecetewr ivya duu répet. Cré fas ramma ze misbeye thotoor, ma hlë bes ox.
+(1>1) In the bathroom, Cörris washes his face with cold water, and takes care of his morning rituals. [Literally: … and is his morning rituals for performance].
Ydrou tö zezroiz, Cörris wésh cré fatsas cathëi lajöör, na i cré majyen gishcipriw nagaañs.
+(1>2) On the way to the kitchen, he stubs his toe, and briefly curses the world. [Literally: …he awakens his toe for a stub…]. He stands on his good leg, the other raised above the floor to relieve some of the pain, while he considers kicking the leg of the chair that attacked him. Instead he reaches for some bread to make toast.
Om tö uyuruy töc kuuxxhë, hlë mwashen cré ashnoyouproup biñ ëërt na clinla flux tö vorlda. Hlësrë stecom cré nefer jamsabalaa, zazaç droushcaa lev, iydril onlyolt joujouc plañkuu, entlast suiyui zazaç mérouush. Xé hlë xashav cça joujouc jamsabalaya coursii sa atanac hlë. Psasted, hlëprë dardastr ciñ leexxem mezcët tost.
-(2) In the newspaper, he reads a distressing article which grabs his attention to such a degree that he is only awakened from it by the smell of burning toast. [Literally: that he only scores the awakening from it by the smell of burning toast]. He throws away the toast and reaches for a quick bowl of dry cereal. He grabs the soy milk which almost slips from his hand.
Ydrou ze iton, hlë coréy biñ yisourad sahif jdya raifair cré vnimañrañ sosh biñ dëgréé, sa hlë yédiñ coñt ré mwashenamnad inil ré roñyoñj brenad toost. Hlë ciscath ze tost na hlëprë dardastr biñ malu xdzafoyox cseruul. Hlë raifair laç daizouy halav jdyamna ënbittmërs ashic cré zmaañ.
-(2) Cörris has four minutes to leave or he will be late. He dresses at lightning speed and buttons the shirt up incorrectly for which he must redo it. [Literally: Cörris launches the occupancy of 4 minutes to leave,…].
Cörris lañs ré maiwantéyé yi minuut çör, ha hlë iji tardi. Hlëtë rob héraraté söcuduu na boutoñ ox zeç bëthiz naxnola fi jdya hlë tsa rëtar il.
+(1>3) He hears the town bells ring 9 am. [Literally: He holds the town bells ring 9 am with an ear]. It is always two minutes early.
Hlë hoffel ré tanna glëtsëwccxen riñj ci a mé biñ orééy. Il i toujour ni minut avañs.
-(2>2) Running out the door, Cörris almost collides with his very attractive neighbor. [Literally: Cörris almost drives his very attractive neighbor into a collision]. They exchange warm smiles with mutual apologies, and -(5>2) suddenly it’s a real good start to the day. Etc, etc, etc. [Literally: suddenly it steers a real good start to the day as these spaces].
Txexad ulë réç capëjy, Cörris ënbittmërs shlif cré tsnou atiriv vwaziñytiñ biñ cöliziiiñ. Lar tneyer werm souritsiw mutalla itazaawr, na xudacctola il stér biñ xeci jañ xajeres ré dëbdë adë postvaañw, etsetra, etsetra, etsetra…
I presented several scenes from Cörris’ morning. You can plot each scene according to where you think it best fits into the cycle. I have put my own interpretation before each scene as examples. The numerical formulas are described on this Basic Cycle page, and on the Fiction Cycle page.
Also on this page, you may have read about the all important Moods. They are the key reason for why the cycle is used in Tapissary. When you have a sequence of scenes, they are tied into a string of events that I refer to as a ‘journey’. The journey is the focus of cyclic grammar, whether it is about your everyday morning, or if it is an epic tale. The moods you choose from cycle to cycle should be rationally built in relationship to one another so that the progress of your scenes make sense. If just any suite of moods is used, the journey will appear scrambled - which you can do if that is the specific effect you desire. But generally speaking, a clear flow with some logic is easier to absorb. In the graph above, I have drawn a journey shape for Cörris’ morning.
This chapter is related to the above third chapter ‘Territory of the Moods’. It is placed here because unlike chapter three, now we can see the purpose of the Moods in its full dimension after covering all the parts such as the Fiction Cycle, Style, and other details.
LOOKING BACK TO THE PAST
I have been attempting a clear explanation of the cyclic grammar for decades now. I hope the above is understandable. Here is the description of it for an art exhibit in 2006. If anyone can make any sense of it, they deserve a medal! Of course for an exhibit, you are allowed poetic license. The way I apply the cycle has changed since the 1980’s, but not its base. The six gestures and six moods go way back, but they had different names, and slightly different and more complicated applications, yet recognizably similar to today’s usage. Hopefully, there is a little more progress in communicating what the cyclic grammar is. Please enjoy this little piece of Tapissary’s history. The exhibit by the way was sculpted from polymer clay, which in case you didn’t know, needs to be baked at a temperature lower than that of a batch of cookies. They don’t smell as good, but it was an enjoyable experience to make an entire art exhibit fresh out of my home oven!
A timeline of Tapissary’s history.
The organic history of the cycle
Sometimes, in the late night, insights just pop up. I had just posted the chart of Tapissary’s history above. After looking it over, I suddenly recognized a pattern, and remembered hearing something intriguing about the cicada insects. They only surface from their subterranean habitat after long years underground. We’re talking 13 years for one species, and 17 years for another species. I’m more like the first species in that my cyclic grammar has major revisions approximately every decade. What causes this, I wondered. Is it coincidence, or do I have an inner cicada? The dates concerning the cyclic grammar follow in the list below, and the events that coincided with them:
I begin creating a glyphic language (later to be named Tapissary), heavily influenced by American Sign Language of the Deaf.
I invent the cyclic system at the time of practicing Buddhist chanting. I had sculpted a set of dominos in clay, and devised a system where the numbers correlate with my daily activities. During chanting, I focused on the dominos which symbolized some aspect of current challenges in my life. It wasn’t long before the cyclic system hopped over into Tapissary, and I stopped chanting due to a worsening sore throat. Even at this early stage, the cycle was made of the six coordinates with the same attributes lasting into the present. [Just a sidenote, the numbers 1 - 6 in dominos actually are not the reason there are 6 steps to the cycle. In 1987 I finally narrowed the attributes down to 3 steps: existence, interaction, and completion. The remaining steps play off the first three. Step 4 is the lack of step 3. Step 5 is the lack of step 2. Step 6 is the lack of step 1. So, think of it this way, the first three steps build up the cycle, and the last three use the lack of those same three to work the cycle down. Please ignore that if it doesn’t make sense, I just wanted to show how the cycle evolved.]
First major revision of the cyclic grammar. It makes sense to me that the grammar was reinvigorated at this time, because I was in the heat of increasing the vocabulary. The dictionary in 1998 comprised of over 2,000 çelloglyphs and it was supplemented with a syllabary. My goal was to provide glyphs for all the common words. For nine months, I dedicated myself daily to accomplish this goal, reaching over 5,000 additional vocabulary glyps by 1999.
Simplification of the cyclic grammar. This was born out of necessity. The complexity was such that I could barely construct a sentence. The six steps of the cycle were rearranged within several other variations. Each had its own flavor, such as the order of the steps arranged as opposite pairs. In addition, a key point was to indicate in each sentence’s construction whether your gesture was going forward from the mood, or if it was going backward. I think there were something around 5 or 6 different cyclic templates. The phrasing itself was very heavy. Today, there is only the one remaining since 1987. In the end, it has survived my eccentricities.
I hadn’t been doing much with Tapissary in the quiet years before David Peterson contacted me about Britton Watkin’s film ‘Conlanging, the Art of Crafting Tongues’. They wanted Tapissary to be a part of it. Even though there was a ton of old manuscripts and books to show in the film, I still wanted to make new ones after the filming was finished. I started producing these texts in 2015 while simplifying the cyclic grammar bit by bit up to 2017. If it is true that I am part cicada, it makes me wonder what the year 2027 will bring.