Steve Bett wrote:
> Steve Bett wrote:
> > > What Swadesh, Pike, Laubach, and others are saying is that code
> > > literacy can be achieved in 3 months or less.
> > PD: Morris Swadesh and Kenneth Pike?
> Where did they pronounce on this topic?
> SB: A reference is provided below.
> > PD: 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.
> SB: Where is the evidence that he was wrong? If the writing system
> he helped invent could be learned by native speakers in 2 months,
> that seems to me to be to be fairly optimal.

And if a syllabary could be learned in 7 weeks, does that make it _more_

> It seems that Kamal Ataturk's insistance on a phonemic orthography
> for Turkish indicates that he didn't think that the Arabic writing
> system was at all optimal.

Ataturk "insisted" on a non-religious orthography. He was a secularist
and wanted to jettison everything he could of Islamic dominance.

> SB: Charles F. Hocket said that people would rather change their
> religion than change their orthography so there is something to be
> said for making the best of what you have. However, to claim that
> morpho-phonemic English spelling conventions are optimal for those
> learning to read and write seems to be going a bit too far.
> SB: I have nothing against orthographies that are boderline
> logographies except for the fact that they are notoriously difficult
> to master.
> >(PD) 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.
> PD: Whether that orthography is alphabetic, abjadic, syllabic,
> abugidic, or some variety of logographic depends on the nature of
> the language and its phonotactics.
> SB: Can we call you a phonotactic determinist?

I haven't the slightest idea.

> ---
> SB: From Kalmer's book: This system was complicated by the fact
> that the workers were bilingual in Spanish and Tarascan. Kalmar says
> that a hybrid Tarascan /tə'raas kən / alphabet had been devised in
> 1939 by Swadesh, Lathrop, and Pike, as part of the Tarascan Project.
> (p.108) "The Tarascan Project became the showpiece of adult
> biliteracy campaigns ... elevated [by UNESCO, 1948] to paradigmatic
> status as a model for how to conduct adult biliteracy campaigns in
> third world countries .... The Tarascan Project established once and
> for all that indios - illiterate indigenous monolingual adults -
> could learn to read and write both their own language and the
> metropolitan language in less than a month or two - provided both
> languages were systematically coded in a single alphabet
> deliberately designed to be as hybrid as possible, on the principle
> of one letter, one hybrid phoneme."

Do you know what they meant by "hybrid phoneme"? With no further
context, it looks like what would later be called precisely a

Did they contrast this with other groups provided with "systematic
codings" in syllabaries, abjads, abugidas, featural scripts, and

> Kalmer, Thomás Mario. [2001] Lawrence Edbaum Assoc., N.J.

Still no identification of the publications by Swadesh, Pike, or Kalmer.

I'll be away for a week and a half.
Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...