In ODODU each letter is assigned a fundamental archetypal meaning. The contention is that this meaning can be derived from a symbolic form which illustrates this meaning, and how the meaning might have evolved from the relational nature of the universe. Thus the lexicon of ODODU contains not only a definition of the meaning of a word but also an argument as to how that meaning was derived from fundamental characteristics of ourselves and the universe.

Start with the ODODU alphabet, which is:

It is not actually a linear alphabet, although it can be expressed in a linear fashion as; U, I, E, A, O, Q, Y, H, D, P, R, B, C, L, T, K, S, G, F, X, N, M, W, and Z. It also can be presented pictorially as;

This representation of the alphabet utilizes pictographs instead of letters. We have assumed that each letter represents a fundamental archetypal meaning which can be derived from a symbolic form which illustrates this meaning and how it might have evolved from the relational nature of the universe. The pictographic alphabet presents one such interpretation. The following discussion expands on this construction and provides a derivational argument for the assignment of meaning to the letters of the alphabet.

The derivation of ODODU will begin by using the four fundamental types of relation, self relation, linear relation, relational relation, and interrelational relation (see Relational Systems), as the first four letter/concepts in ODODU. These are the letters U, I, E, and A and they are designated as vowels. They are considered as indefinable so they will simply be described and exemplified as follows:

The U concept is conceived in terms of a relation which is related to itself. Its natural symbolic representation is a dot or a point. We represent this concept in ODODU with a capital letter U. Here a period would be a better choice than a U but the period on a modern keyboard is often hard to see and does not look like a letter. So U was used as a substitute because it was a vowel, did not obviously fit any of the other categories, and could be related to the U in Universe.

U is self relation. It is the origin, a beginning or an end. It can be viewed as a point in the universe and thus would possess only location, no width or length or mass. It would represent a unique perspective for the rest of the universe.

The concept I can be conceived as a relation whose relating is undefined except for the requirement that it not relate other relations. It relates something to something else. Its natural symbolic representation in ODODU is a line. What the line connects is undefined in terms of its primary exemplification but we can think of many specific examples. If V is related to J, then this could be represented as V¾ J. This concept will look like the letter I. Usually we will consider it to be a straight line but this interpretation requires a context such as a plane or a volume to have much meaning. It also can be viewed as a distance between two points.

The concept E can be conceived as a relational relation, that is, a relation related to another relation. Just what is related to the additional relation is undefined in the same way as for the letter I above, but whatever it is, it is related to a relation. Its natural symbolic representation in ODODU is a line, one end of which terminates somewhere in the middle of another line. The concept itself looks like the middle horizontal line ending at the vertical line in the letter E. From a geometrical perspective E could be viewed as defining a surface or a plane.

The concept A can be conceived as interrelation, a relation relating other relations. Its natural symbolic representation in ODODU is a line which connects two other lines, somewhere other than at their ends. It looks like the letter A. In this case the cross bar is the defining relation. The two lines which the interrelational relation connects may or may not themselves intersect. Thus the pictograph above could represent a Cartesian coordinate system comprising three mutually perpendicular coordinate axes. In this sense an A could represent the concept of a three dimensional space.