suzmccarth wrote:
> --- In, "Peter T. Daniels" <grammatim@...>
> wrote:
> > suzmccarth wrote:
> > >
> > > --- In, "Peter T. Daniels" <grammatim@...>
> > > wrote:
> >
> > > > > > There is a HUGE difference between having 50-100 different
> > > > > > characters, each for a separate syllable with no similarity between the
> > > > > > characters for similar-sounding syllables, and having 20-30 different
> > > > > > characters, each of which takes on a handful of (up to a dozen)
> > > > > > modifications, with similar character-bases and similar modifications
> > > > > > reflecting phonetic similarity.
> > > > >
> > > > > Cree slips in or out of your definition of an abugida every single
> > > > > time you post.
> > > >
> > > > You are truly the mistress of the non sequitur.
> > >
> > > You know very well that your paragraph above includes Cree as an
> > > abugida, which is a reversal from your preceding post. Do I need
> > > to point this out?
> >
> > I see no mention of Cree whatsoever. I see no mention of any
> > examples at all.
> >
> Obviously, in your description above, Cree has the lower number of
> characters, "each of which takes on a handful of modifications with
> similar ..."

Only if you accept rotation as a "modification" on a par with adding
appendages etc. You will recall that I have expressed great hesitancy
over whether one should; but the fact of its invention by someone
familiar with phonetic science puts it outside the realm of the

> Can we talk about Punjabi? Is it representative of abugidas? Could I
> expect to find a syllable chart for Punjabi which resembles the one
> for Ethiopic? Would there be some apparent similarity between Punjabi
> and Ethiopic? I had origially thought that Tamil was the better
> candidate for an abugida but evidently it is unusual.

Obviously, the paradigm example of an abugida is Brahmi, the
"perfection" of Kharoshthi. Its descendants, most familiarly Devanagari
but also all the Indic scripts, retain the abugida principle; Tamil has
departed farthest from Brahmi of all, in abandoning the conjunct system,
using dots to mark the boundaries instead. (Even the Southeast Asian
scripts, whose phonetics are very different from Indian phonetics, still
variously make use of the abugidic resources to indicate vowel quality,
consonant quality, or tone.)

By Punjabi you presumably mean the Gurmukhi script, which does an
interesting thing with its vowel notation, bringing it some distance
from the Brahmi paradigm.

I don't know whether Sikh children are taught with grids of syllables or
not. In both Chicago and New York I've tried to collect kiddie ABC books
for as many scripts as I could find, but even though there are lots of
Sikhs on the streets of Jackson Heights (i.e. South Asian-looking people
with turbans), the one big bookstore has very little Sikh material --
maybe half a shelf of the scriptures, as compared with the vast amounts
of Hindu and even Buddhist literature. (I did get my Sacred Books of the
East Avesta there -- maybe the publisher made them order at least one of
every volume in order to get the ones they'd be more likely to sell --
but I didn't find anything else Parsi-related). And no baby books that I
could find.

(The Learn Punjabi through English/Learn Punjabi in 30 Days volume has
the same presentation of the script as the other invaluable volumes in
that series, but that doesn't say anything about how children learn to
Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...