On Thu, 22 Jul 2004 06:12:16 -0400, Young-Key Kim-Renaud
<kimrenau@...> wrote:

> As I said before, Korean may be written in syllable blocks, but it is
> NOT "non-linear." There is a clear and unique order of the alphabetic
> letters in those syllable blocks both in writing and reading. The
> letters are not put into syllable blocks randomly as a bundle! That is
> why han'gul is neither a syllabary nor an alphasyllabary, but simply an
> alphabet.

> Young-Key Kim-Renaud

I think one can attach different meanings to the term "linear"; it would
help for the people involved to carefully and thoughtfully define
completely what they mean. I suspect that different contributors have
differing definitions.

One possibility is the geometrical form assumed by placing glyphs onto the
writing medium. If they follow in sequence in a straight line, I think
it's reasonable to describe that as linear. Boustrophedon des reverse
direction (as do modern inkjet printers), but that's still a straight line.

In fine detail, Korean, as I understand it, is first written according to
well-defined principles within square boundaries, and is also written
(afaik!) essentially, if not totally (I think the latter) in sequence
corresponding to sound. Once the "square groups" are written, they are
placed in a straight line.

As to sequence of writing matching spoken sequence, one might also refer
to that, somewhat more abstractly, as "linear". Citing personal
experience, knowing Devanagari only by appearance, I was startled to see
the detailed explanation of how "Hindi" is written, in the Unicode manual;
in visual sequence, left-to right, I think it's "i h n d i", in effect,
although probably not precisely.

There are other meanings of "linear", with implications, but they are
engineering and video production usages and not relevant here, although
(as I understand it) nonlinear video/film editing has something in common
with "out-of-sequence" Devanagari and other such.

Hope this helps,

Nicholas Bodley /*|*\ Waltham, Mass.
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