On 11/11/2001 06:38:11 AM "Peter T. Daniels" wrote:

>And that's no different from, and no more revealing than, the typology
>that was in place from Taylor to Gelb and all those who have since
>followed Gelb. Sampson, expanding that system, noted that Hangul has
>structural elements that represent features, viz. the iconicity of the
>basic shapes and the successive addition of marks in a systematic way
>(from the point of view of 15th-century Korean phonological theory) to
>arrive at the other letters. (The vowels, of course, were a lot more
>regular before 550 years of sound change.)

After reviewing the facts about the script, it doesn't seem to me that one
can say that Hangul has structural elements that represent features. If
that is what they represented, for instance, then a distinction between
(say) /s/, /t/ and /n/ or /p/ and /m/ should require pairs of structural
elements. Since these are not represented in the script in that way, the
structural elements must represent bundles of features.

There are certainly featural aspects of the script. The iconicity in
shapes is a featural characteristic, but it is irrelevant for the basis of
classification / typing that I am proposing. The use of doubling of shapes
to indicate lenis / fortis (voiced, voiceless) is more relevant, but it
still isn't consistent with a view that structural elements represent

Actually, perhaps there is some analogy here with the abugida (your
definition) that could be of interest: there are structural elements that
represent points of articulation with default values for other
articulatory features; then there are structural modifications (e.g.
doubling) that correspond to a deviation from those default values. It's
not entirely systematic, though. E.g. /m/ has the basic shape for labials,
but /k/ has the basis shape for velars. I don't recall all the details and
don't have materials with me to study the sound / shape patterns, so I
can't pursue this further.

*Perhaps* this may point to a valid structural basis on which to build a
definition of "featural" that I'd go along with. But a definition for
"featural" that makes reference to the *shapes* of jamos and their iconic
relation to points of articulation does not belong in the same taxonomic
system that otherwise defines types / categories on a structural basis. It
belongs in a two-way taxonomy of systems for which there are iconic or
metaphoric relationships between shapes and linguistic objects, and
systems for which there are not. That is a different taxonomy that is
orthogonal to one that has classes for things like alphabet and syllabary.

- 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@...>