--- In qalam@yahoogroups.com, John Cowan <cowan@...> wrote:
> suzmccarth scripsit:
> > Yes, one of life's little mysteries. How did an abugida get
> > like a syllabary? Maybe there is some reason for this, some
> > important and relevant reason for this.
> I don't know the full answer. The original proposal for Ethiopic
> it as an abugida, so the answer isn't ignorance, but what the
> actually was, I don't know.
> Canadian Syllabics can be viewed as either a syllabary or an
> in Unicode it is encoded as a syllabary.
> > I have to say that the inherent vowel is not a problem for
> > input but the non-linearity and reshaping are really a problem
> > it comes to keyboarding a script. Somehow this non-linearity has
> > be dealt with - it cannot be ignored. It has to be considered as
> > feature of the script that is an issue for input. Input of
> > phonemic units manipulated mentally is not going to work.
> It's just based on audible rather than visual ordering.

In an alphabet the audible and visual reinforce each other. The
visible letters are concrete and sometimes made out of plastic, or
plasticene or sandpaper. Then the 20 % of the population who need
this concrete connection in order to manipulate phonemes can have
it. (20 %, not negligible is it?) A phoneme is abstract - it is the
sound at the beginning of, in the middle of, or at the end of - it
is an idea only - the consonants, the stops, /p/,/t/,/k/ especially
are considered to have only abstract existance.

A syllable would be the lowest level of concrete audible production
and perception, cognitively speaking.

Visual and audible only come together at the syllable level for the
unitiated in Tamil and Cree.


> --
> We call nothing profound jcowan@...
> that is not wittily expressed. John Cowan
> --Northrop Frye (improved)