suzmccarth wrote:
> --- In, "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.

What do you mean by "preclude"?

> > 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.

For the gazillionth time, SO WHAT? The typology is not intended for
users of the scripts, nor need they know about it.

> However, Tamil is not an alphasyllabary in the same way that Korean
> is. (Is what you call Korean?)

Maybe Peter C. will tell us what he means by distinguishing
"alphasyllabary" from "abugida," and we can tell whether Korean is one.
I can't imagine why it would be, though.

> 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?

Why should the number of vowel symbols be interesting?

Tamil is very far distant from the ancestral (unidentified) abjad; only
Kharoshthi and maybe Brahmi need to directly refer to abjads (and to
ones with quite a few matres, as it happens, having been Aramaic).

> In general, your typology communicates something uderstandable to me.
> I would like to hear more about it later.
Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...