Steve Bett wrote:

> What Swadesh, Pike, Laubach, and others are saying is that code
> literacy can be achieved in 3 months or less.

Morris Swadesh and Kenneth Pike? Where did they pronounce on this topic?

Pike's concern was to "reduce" unwritten languages to writing, and,
having grown up a good American Descriptivist, he reflexively assumed
that a surface-phonemic (in those days, simply "phonemic") orthography
was optimal.

A quick glance at English or Arabic shows that that's not necessarily
the case: what would a little later be called the _morpho_phonemic level
seems to be the most useful place to base the orthography. Whether that
orthography is alphabetic, abjadic, syllabic, abugidic, or some variety
of logographic depends on the nature of the language and its
Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...