Doug Ewell wrote:
> Suzanne MCarthy <suzmccarth at yahoo dot com> wrote:
> >> Script typology isn't primarily for "encoders." It's mostly for (and
> >> by) scholars of writing systems. Modern character coding systems do
> >> generally try to encode a script according to its inherent structure,
> >> though.
> >
> > So Cree and Tamil have some similarity in the way they are coded?
> In a sense. Cree is encoded as a syllabary, which is what it is, and
> Tamil is encoded as an abugida, which is what it is.
> > If encoders think they have a system, why shouldn't those working
> > on, or trying to choose, input methods have a system?
> I didn't say they shouldn't have a system, and I don't think anyone else
> said so either. Keyboard and input-method design is important and
> deserves a lot of thought.
> >> You think the fact that Tamil displays in non-linear sequence is what
> >> makes it an abugida?
> >
> > No, non-linear sequence somehow distinguishes it from an alphabet.
> Not true at all:

This is wrong in three of four lines:

> * An alphabet has symbols for both consonants and vowels, and all are
> mandatory.
> * An abjad is similar, but symbols for most vowels are optional.

The definition of "abjad" does not mention vowels at all; Phoenician
never indicated vowels in any way (until Late Punic under Greek

> * An abugida has the concept of an inherent vowel, which must be
> explicitly overridden if not present.

An abugida has the inherent unmarked vowel; overriding is irrelevant

> * A syllabary has a separate symbol for each syllable. The shape of
> these symbols may be systematic (Ethiopic) or not (hiragana).

Ethiopic is not a syllabary, but an abugida -- the word "abugida" is
itself Ethiopic.

> Notice that linear and non-linear sequence was not mentioned in this
> taxonomy. In fact, there's really no reason why an alphabet couldn't
> have reordrant letters, though I can't think of such an alphabet
> offhand.

Linear vs. non-linear is important to Bill Bright, whose definition of
"alphasyllabary" excludes hPags pa because the vowel-letters only follow
their consonants.
Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...