At 05:17 AM 12/13/2003, Peter Daniels wrote:
>You understood the "mutatis mutandis" part, didn't you? That means, "for
>oral languages, the basis is sound units; for sign languages, the basis
>is sight units," in each case the units resulting from an analysis of
>the language (see e.g. M. O'Connor in Fs. Freedman, ref. in WWS).

Yes, even though I understood what you meant, I figured that
asking you to be explicit might de-pressurize some of the rather tense
snipings on here. In any case, thank you.

>For the application of the concept to Chinese (the locus where it's most
>likely to raise incredulity), see DeFrancis, *The Chinese Language: Fact
>and Fantasy* (1985) and *Visible Speech* (1989) (though he makes some
>mistakes about non-East Asian languages/scripts).
>Because it's impossible to write at least some parts of the speech
>stream if you don't have a phonologically based notation.

Ok, so I've read DeFrancis before... as someone who's also a
Sinologist/Sinitic linguist, it still boggles my mind as to where one draws
the line...

I think it's a given that we acknowledge that there are "phonetic"
components to Han logograms (hrm.. will this be a safe term to use?), given
that there is linked phonetic association with particular graphemes.
(Meaning that there are logograms which share the same component part and
share similar phonetics.)
I wonder, though, how is it, then, that we can "derive" or access
the phonetics from the _base_ graphemes? If broken down to the set of
graphemes used as "phonetic" components, there seems to be an
overwhelmingly large set of overlap (with *semantic* distinction) given the
range of the phonology - even if using reconstructed phonologies for Old
Chinese or Proto-Sino-Tibetan.
For the sake of us being in a discursive mode (sans sniping, overt
or subtle, for personal reasons), I'm hoping that we can engage ourselves
in this conversation, since it would seem to at least bring out and
highlight some of the differences of where we're all coming from.