--- In qalam@yahoogroups.com, "Peter T. Daniels" <grammatim@...>

> You cannot determine the pronunciation of a word from its spelling
> every case; you need to know the word -- to memorize it as a whole
> "whole word" approach).

Would this also include the characteristc that it differentiates

> I think you said some script was an alphasyllabary and some other
> was an abugida.

I believe you are right about that. I have never before used the
word alphasyllabary myself for classifying scripts and may never
again. However, I intended this term to suggest that it was a sub-
type of the syllabic script group.

There really should be a term for systematically constructed
syllabic scripts that would, in fact, include Ethiopic, Tamil and
Cree all in one group. I would not want to see the term abugida used
first because it suggests an association with alphabets and abjads
that Cree does not have. Secondly, abugida can only refer to a
separate *primary* type, not a sub-type, and obscures the fact that
there are two groups of syllabic scripts. Why not recognize the
similarities between these two groups, systematically constructed
syllabic scripts and non-systematically constructed syllabic scripts
and unite them under the larger class of syllabic scripts?

Originally, I proposed two continua for scripts. The first was the
phonographic to logographic continuum (or phonographic to
morphographic continuuum)and the second was the alphabetic to
syllabic continuum. This includes alphabetic, consonantal
alphabetic, systematically constructed syllabic scripts and non-
systematically constructed syllabic scripts. Since both dimensions
truly are continua, this avoids the need to pinpoint a script type.
It also recognizes the equally phonological character of alphabets
and syllabic scripts, while enabling one to differentiate
phonographic and logographic syllabic scripts. It may even allow for
an understanding that an alphabetic script can provide a quasi-
logographic spelling type.

Suzanne McCarthy