--- In qalam@yahoogroups.com, "Peter T. Daniels" <grammatim@...>
> suzmccarth wrote:
> >
> > >From Peter Constable in November, 2001
> >
> > "1. phonic/phonemic: structural units represent a phonological
> > segment at some level in the derivation
> > 1a. abjad: consonants only (e.g. prototypical example: ancient
> > Semitic scripts)
> > 1b. alphabets: consonants, and vowels (e.g. Latin)
> >
> > 2. syllabic: structural units represent a phonological syllable
> How does this not cover (3) and (4) as well?

Well, I agree with you here. I think there should be only two major
types. Class one, the alphabets and abjads, segmentable in a line
(in phonetic order) below the syllable; and, class two, all the
others, which have a predominant syllabic structure.

Whether alphabets have to be linear or not - I don't know, but if a
system isn't linear then it seems to come in for different
treatment. So linearity should be a salient feature for systems but
I won't propose any definitions. What does Bill Bright have to say
about this? Maybe salient features is the way to go and forget
classes. obviously a system can have salient features from more than
one group, i.e. Korean.

I am pretty confused by having Cree, Tamil, Ethiopic and Korean
potentially in a class together but not Cherokee. Yes, the others
can be analysed below the syllable but in so many different ways.
Some can be decomposed and others not. Is an abugida about
characters that have systematic syllable permutations,
decomposability, or is about the inherent vowel? I think you should
relent and give me a 'sufficiently precise' definition. I don't
stop talking to people just because they haven't read Defrancis on

> > 2a. syllabary: no systematic relationship between shapes (e.g.
> > Hiragana)
> > 2b. abugida: regular relationship between shapes that
corresponds to
> > a regular relationship between phonemes (e.g. Ethiopic, Cdn
> > Syllabics)
> Insufficiently precise; it misses the point almost entirely.
> > 3. alphasyllabary: two levels of structural unit representing
> > phonemes and syllables (prototypical example: Hangul)
> That certainly doesn't agree with Bill Bright's usage, who coined
> term (as far as anyone can tell).

Well, I think the term alphasyllabary has been around for a long
time but maybe Bill Bright did coin it. I can see your point here

> > 4. logosyllabary: structural units represent syllables and/or
> > morphemes (e.g. Chinese ideographs)"
> Why "and/or"?

I would chuck the and/or also, but syllables and morphemes, that
seems right. Hence morphosyllabic - not much more to say on Chinese
than DeFrancis or is there?
> > Now that I am forbidden from using 'that word', which I have
> > to like, by the way, I will have to restrict myself to quoting
> > others.
> Even if others misuse the word?

Well, I am checking out my Hebrew Psalter. However, in the
Septuagint, the one I read online, the letters were given in Greek.
But in the Hebrew version I can see it is an acrostic. I don't want
to misuse the word.

> --
> Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...