Francis Lodowyck


Francis Lodowyck was a wealthy London merchant, who published three well known books on language. In 1647, in A Common Writing, he implemented a suggestion for a universal ‘character’ made by Francis Bacon (1605). He invented a symbol system representing ideas or concepts, which could be realized in any language. In 1652 in his book entitled The Ground-Work or Foundation Laid … for the Framing of a New Perfect Language, he produced a second, more sophisticated system. In the second system he proposed the establishment of conceptual classes to which ‘radical’ symbols were assigned, with regular diacritics denoting subclasses.

Lodowyck’s third publication was a proposal for a phonetic alphabet in which related sounds were denoted by related symbols. Lodowyck's unpublished manuscripts are listed in Salmon’s book: The Works of Francis Lodowyck (1972).

Writings of Francis Lodowyck

Writings about Francis Lodowyck.

Abercrombie, D. (1965) Forgotten phoneticians, Studies in phonetics and linguistics (1965), 45–75 ·

Salmon, V. (1972) The works of Francis Lodowyck (1972).

A Common Writing, Title Page

Title page of A Common Writing