> Getatchew Haile thinks of the shortening of a leg as lengthening of
> other leg. I can't think what else you might mean by amputation?

thats ... something I'll have to bring up with him when next we meet.
At the level of writing, I can see how one may have this perception of
the forth form syllables where the first leg is written shorter and
then the next relatively longer but still in the "normal" length (as
per forms 1,2,3,5). But in the 7th form the perception should
reverse. Hand writing can vary widely though, but no, I can't imagine
anyone at the time of writing thinks they are cutting off anything. I
was thinking in terms of glyphs its a "negative appendage" or
"negative diacritic" in some sense as it is not additive to the glyph.

The notion of a "leg" implies a degree of anthropomorphizing the
syllabary (let me call it that for now). The syllabary, viewed as a
collection of biological entities then, could we reexamine the
syllabary vs abugida question to determine which is more applicable?

> > impose a minimum 70% (or so) systematic criteria?
> No; it must be kept strictly separate from the syllabaries.
> I don't know what "systematic criteria" are, or how you would
> them.

Take the kaf syllables* for instance, they adhere perfectly to
generalized rules one might devise for indicating the syllablic forms
(what one could mistake for diacrictical marks). My notion was a
statistical approach where if X percentage of other syllables applied
the same rules, then the script could qualify as an abugida.

What would interest me would be survey of native writers where a
series of questions are asked to determine a consensus perception of
the writing system. Does the average user perceive what they are
writing as a diacritical mark or an inate part of a syllable? Do they
think they are lengthening legs or shortening them? etc.

There should be a series of questions we could device to determine if
users perceive their writing system as an abugida or syllabary. Up to
the challenge? I'm willing to work on it if you are :-)


*What are elements of an abugida known as?