On 11/07/2001 09:50:13 AM "Peter T. Daniels" wrote:

>> There is no writing system that is featural in the sense that the
>> structural units represent phonological features.
>So who ever said there was?

Maybe nobody. But

1) People (in this thread before it came to qalam) were starting to use the attribute "featural" to apply to things like Ethiopic, which simply raised the question of what "featural" is supposed to mean, and whether it fits in a taxonomy of scripts that includes abjad, alphabet, syllabary, logo-syllabary and perhaps abugida or alphasyllabary. (I'm coming to the conclusion that it does not belong in this taxonomy.)

2) I suggested that hangul is structurally an alphasyllabary, and you and others responded that it's a featural system. So, I'm countering that there's no such thing as a structurally featural system.

My point is that when we try to classify scripts as abjad, alphabet, syllabary, etc. we are classifying in terms of what the structural units of the script typically represent in the phonology, and that scripts (with the possible exception of Bell's thing that you mentioned earlier) fall into these classes:

1. phonic/phonemic: structural units represent a phonological segment at some level in the derivation
1a. abjad: consonants only (e.g. prototypical example: ancient Semitic scripts)
1b. alphabets: consonants, and vowels (e.g. Latin)

2. syllabic: structural units represent a phonological syllable
2a. syllabary: no systematic relationship between shapes (e.g. Hiragana)
2b. abugida: regular relationship between shapes that corresponds to a regular relationship between phonemes (e.g. Ethiopic, Cdn Syllabics)

3. alphasyllabary: two levels of structural unit representing phonemes and syllables (prototypical example: Hangul)

4. logosyllabary:  structural units represent syllables and/or morphemes (e.g. Chinese ideographs)

I'm not familiar with Bell's visible speech, but I guess that would represent another

5. featural: structural units represent phonological features

but Hangul would *not* be an example of this class of script.

[in an earlier message]
>You'll have to take your fight to Geoffrey Sampson!

Should we not be willing to see if we can improve upon what has been given to us?

- Peter

Peter Constable

Non-Roman Script Initiative, SIL International
7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Dallas, TX 75236, USA
Tel: +1 972 708 7485
E-mail: <peter_constable@...>