--- In qalam@yahoogroups.com, John Cowan <cowan@...> wrote:
> Doug Ewell scripsit:
> > * An alphabet has symbols for both consonants and vowels, and
all are
> > mandatory.
> And are treated on a typographically equal footing.
> > * An abjad is similar, but symbols for most vowels are optional.
> Vowels are normally subordinated to consonants, appearing as
> of some sort.
> > * An abugida has the concept of an inherent vowel, which must be
> > explicitly overridden if not present.

Yes important for encoding.

> > * A syllabary has a separate symbol for each syllable. The
shape of
> > these symbols may be systematic (Ethiopic) or not (hiragana).
> Ethiopic is an abugida, though encoded in Unicode as if it were a

Yes, one of life's little mysteries. How did an abugida get treated
like a syllabary? Maybe there is some reason for this, some
important and relevant reason for this.

I think Peter Constable's framework from a couple of years ago is
pretty close to what I see. An abugida would be a subcategory with
the syllabaries for input consideration only. Otherwise nonlinearity
is the problem. What is so difficult about that?

I have to say that the inherent vowel is not a problem for computer
input but the non-linearity and reshaping are really a problem when
it comes to keyboarding a script. Somehow this non-linearity has to
be dealt with - it cannot be ignored. It has to be considered as a
feature of the script that is an issue for input. Input of abstract
phonemic units manipulated mentally is not going to work.


> --
> Long-short-short, long-short-short / Dactyls in dimeter,
> Verse form with choriambs / (Masculine rhyme): jcowan@...
> One sentence (two stanzas) / Hexasyllabically
> Challenges poets who / Don't have the time. --robison who's at
texas dot net