--- In qalam@yahoogroups.com, ዳንኤል ያዕቆብ
<tamrin@...> wrote:
> > I don't know the full answer. The original proposal for Ethiopic
> encoded
> > it as an abugida, so the answer isn't ignorance, but what the
> > actually was, I don't know.
> I believe this was the authors' idea of efficiency at the encoding
> level. Not so friendly for rendering.
> I've tried to follow the Abugida debates in recent years but find
> challenging. In large part because the "Abugida" definitions
seems to
> be in the eye of the beholder.
> As to Ethiopic origins of the term "Abugida", it is a column wise
> rotation of the Ge'ez (classic ethiopic) syllabary in the Hebrew
> (preserved in the first column):
> http://ethiopic.org/Collation/Abugida.html
> The name comes from the sound values of the first 4 syllables of
> first column. The rotated syllabary is simply a learning aid for
> students who learn the syllabary (in Halehame order) musically, the
> rotation helps trip them up when they have to recite the letters
> (think of how the "alphabet song" breaks down if you mix the
> up). So in this sense the "Abugida" is a permuted syllabary table
> if ethiopic is an "abugida" and not a syllabary then the Abugida
is a
> permuted "abugida" table...).
> Cognitively (based on comments people make when they aren't
> about it), people seem to conceptualize ethiopic letter elements as
> "syllables", the collection then a "syllabary". When discussing
> systematic nature of the syllable shapes, people may speak more in
> "abugida" terms. Perhaps the best model depends on the intended
> application. The alphabet is viewed as a subset of the syllabary.
> Personally, I favor the description Kamal Mansour offered of
> as as "open alpha-syllabary". The discussion of IM designed based
> syllabary vs abugida logic is interesting.

This makes sense to me. Thank you for expressing it better than I

I think ... that Tamil should be thought of as a syllabary for some
purposes at least because

1. there is persistent and enduring use of a syllable table
2. there is no abstract analysis of consonants without inherent
vowels (very different than teaching reading with an alphabet)
3. the primary structral unit is considered by native speakers to be
the akshara (not consonants and vowels)
4. there is constant visual shape only at the syllable level
5. there is syllabic editing
6. there is a syllabic IME

So I think that an abugida must somehow for some purposes fall
within the greater category of syllabic writing systems


> /Daniel