--- In qalam@yahoogroups.com, "Peter Constable" <petercon@...> wrote:

(there isn't any script for which neither
> phonemes nor syllables are relevant),

Why should there be? It should be either one or the other, or both.
I am not sure I understood this comment.

and it doesn't provide a unique
> class for things like Korean and SignWriting, which was precisely
what I
> *was* trying to establish in Nov. 2001.

Interesting. I don't want to preclude that but would like to hear
more about it.

> I don't know, but in the scheme I just outlined, Tamil could be
> considered an alphasyllabary, Ethiopic, an abugida, and Cree/Inuit
> syllabics, a syllabary.

This makes sense to me. A typology which lumps these three together
as abugidas is not very intuitive to someone who uses these scripts.
However, Tamil is not an alphasyllabary in the same way that Korean
is. (Is what you call Korean?)

It is important to recognize, as you do, that they all have a
syllabic primary structural unit.

Another problem with calling Tamil an abugida is that Tamil has 12
full vowel symbols. Is it in any way helpful to draw attention to
some historic relationship between Tamil, with 12 full vowel symbols,
and an abjad?

In general, your typology communicates something uderstandable to me.
I would like to hear more about it later.

Suzanne McCarthy