Michael Everson wrote:
> I suppose I should note that I am taking time out while a document is
> printing. ;-)
> At 19:59 -0400 2004-07-16, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> > > 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.
> This is very interesting. I have noticed that one Wikipedia
> contributor insists that Canadian Syllabics are an abugida because
> "rotation" is like a diacritic; or rather, because the base forms are
> present in all of the vowel positions. I don't think this is
> particularly convincing, myself.
> >You will recall that I have expressed great hesitancy over whether one should;
> Woo hoo! We agree! But it would be interesting to pursue this
> further. Why do we hesitate?

Hesitate to pursue, or hesitate to include?

> >but the fact of its invention by someone familiar with phonetic
> >science puts it outside the realm of the classification.
> Why would that be a necessary proscription? A great many of the
> world's writing systems evince quite sophisticated linguistic
> analysis. At least one of the twentieth-century African "syllabaries"
> modifies "basic consonant" glyphs with various marks for the vowels.
> I'd have to hit the books to find out whether the creator had any
> particular knowledge (which might not be as formal as that of
> "phonetic science").

Which one? *Afrikan Alphabets* is somewhat unsophisticated in its
linguistic analysis ...

> Would Tengwar be "outside the realm of classification"? I don't think
> so. (Depending on the mode, it is either an abjad or an alphabet.)

Certainly. Its inventor was a rather famous philologist.

> >Obviously, the paradigm example of an abugida is Brahmi, the
> >"perfection" of Kharoshthi.
> The successor, anyway. Have we evidence of an explicit relation
> between the two?

You wouldn't suggest independent invention of two so nearly identical
schemes, would you? (The difference being that Brahmi notates vowel

> >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.)
> Tai Le is an alphabet, though derived from the Brahmic abugidas. New
> Tai Lue is sort of a hybrid, perhaps rather like Tamil.

Never heard of them ... are they for Tai languages? Tony Diller offered
to describe minor scripts of Thailand/Laos only if we bought the ANU
fonts from him at $100 apiece or so. Oxford balked.

> >I don't know whether Sikh children are taught with grids of syllables or
> >not.
> I'd be surprised if they weren't.
> OK. the printer has finished. Back to the salt mine.
Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...