This thread has just gotten too fun for words. I have learned that
almost everything I thought I knew about writing systems typology is
wrong, or at least debatable.

For example, I have learned that the abjad that uses marks to indicate
vowels other than the default is not the true abjad.

I have learned that an abugida is not required to provide a mark for a
vowel other than the inherent vowel, or for suppressing the vowel

I have learned that lack of adherence to strict visual order may
disqualify a writing system from being considered an alphabet. That had
certainly never occurred to me before.

I have learned that some people consider a writing system to be a
syllabary if children can learn its components a syllable at a time,
even though Marco Cimarosti demonstrated that he learned to write
Italian that way as a child.

I have learned that for some people, the question of whether a writing
system is an alphabet or an abugida or a syllabary or a
logomorphoconsonantary or a kumquat has something to do with how the
characters are entered on a typewriter or computer keyboard, and whether
a computer display renders them correctly or not.

And I have learned that some people consider "English major" and
"engineer" to be epithets, which as a former journalism major and
current software developer I find amusing.

The only two piece of typology information I feel comfortable with at
this time are:

(1) Latin, and other writing systems that have discrete symbols for
consonants and vowels, and in which all are required, and which are
written in the order they are read (language dependencies aside), can
safely be considered alphabets.

(2) Hiragana and katakana, which have an different blort for every
syllable, and in which the blorts don't bear any particular resemblance
to one another (except for dakuten and handakuten), can safely be
considered syllabaries.

Everything else, I leave to the gladiators on the floor of the

-Doug Ewell
Fullerton, California