Michael Everson wrote:
> At 09:02 -0400 2005-09-01, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> > > >WHY ARE YOU INCAPABLE OF UNDERSTANDING. The "Latin" approach to typing
> >> >Vai is NOT a good (let alone ideal) solution -- because it would require
> >> >an entire different level of education to get syllabically-writing
> >> >people to grasp the concept of segmentation.
> >>
> >> You couldn't be more patronizing if you tried, I am sure.
> >
> >I'm beginning to think you really are stupid.
> All that obtuseness must get in the way of your seeing more
> correctly, then. You've done all you can not to read and understand

Yes. Your immense obtuseness apparently makes you unable to understand
the problem.

> the intent of anything I've said, or of the very nice restatement of
> that position which Marco presented. I suspect your agenda on this
> forum is not to discuss and to learn and celebrate, but just to
> pontificate. I don't really understand what the payoff you get for
> that is...
> >How many times do we have to tell you, it has nothing to do with "stupid."
> You said: "The "Latin" approach to typing Vai is NOT a good (let
> alone ideal) solution -- because it would require an entire different
> level of education to get syllabically-writing people to grasp the
> concept of segmentation."
> Well my goodness. For a Vai to be able to use my keyboard layout he
> would have to *learn* something new.

Yet you keep calling him "stupid."

> And that something *isn't* alien to him. Because syllabary charts he
> has seen for his script are arranged in terms of segmentation.
> Because his script has doublets and triplets all through it, like
> PEE/BHE which are similar in shape and rhyme but differ only by the
> initial consonant. Like KPEE/MGBEE/GBEE. Like CE/JE/NJE/YE. Like
> FU/VU. Like FO/VO.

What use is a syllabary chart keyed with roman letters to someone
without roman-letter (i.e. English) literacy?

> Indeed, a Vai would have to be pretty unobservant NOT to be able to
> perceive the distinction that some glyphs represent sounds which are
> different in consonant but the same in vowel.

Now you've switched from "stupid" to "unobservant." You would look a lot
less foolish if you would simply consult the psycholinguistic literature
on syllable segmentation.

> >It has to do with some years of pre-preparation.
> A person can learn how to use a computer with no years of
> pre-preparation. A person can learn how to bake bread with no years
> of pre-preparation. Vai people are not cursed to be incapable of
> learning alphabetic input for their syllabic script.

A person WHO ALREADY READS AND WRITES ENGLISH (or Arabic, though you're
not willing to admit that possibility) can learn to use a computer with
no additional years of pre-preparation -- because they've ALREADY HAD
the pre-preparation (it's called preschool, and kindergarten, and grade

A person learns to bake bread by watching and being taught by her
mother. No literacy whatsoever is involved, so this is an irrelevant red

The learning of alphabetic script, however, is a long and arduous
process, especially for those already literate in a syllabic script --
did you simply skip over all the anecdotes presented here that support
the psycholinguistic research? That's why I called it pre-preparation.

> >Do they also want to have to learn to read and write English -- which is
> >a considerably different task from speaking Liberian English, even if
> >some fraction of them do so?
> A Vai person who does not learn some English will have a very tough
> time using a computer indeed. The Vais I have met, who want to use
> Vai on computers, speak English.

And it has now been revealed that the Vais you have met, who speak
English, are not representative of the Vai-literacy-using community.

> > > And you are wrong about Vai people being incapable of learning how to
> >> segment syllables. Their syllabary charts are arranged with
> >> consonants on one axis and vowels on another. In real books given to
> > > real children.
> >
> >I did not say "incapable." I said that people who have not been
> >educated in an alphabetic literacy cannot segment syllables.
> "Cannot" is synonymous with "incapable". Though to be more precise,
> what you said is that syllable segmentation would be a new skill they
> would have to learn.

Exactly. I said "cannot ... without"; in the latest formulation I said
"who have not ... cannot." A process that takes years.

> And the skill isn't that new, because their script has built into it
> a pattern which indicates a certain segmentation, and because their
> script is presented in syllabary charts. "Hm," says the learner,
> "I've forgotten how to write TA. Heres' the T- row, and I follow it
> over to the -A column....

There is no pattern built into the script. Don't you recall arguing
about that with Richard just last week?

> Wow, that's just like T + A = TA.

I guess you just don't get it, and maybe never will. Does that make you

> >Once again, I am not going to waste my time downloading a 1 Mb
> >document -- let alone looking through it to find what information
> >you may or may not provide.
> If you were really interested in learning about the world's writing
> systems from others who have spent time and effort studying them and
> analyzing them, you might have deigned to have downloaded the
> document we have been discussing for the past month. As you have not
> done so, it is clear that you're not really interested in Vai, but
> rather in just picking a fight.

It's clear that your document is a secondary collection of materials,
most of which are already known to me (from Singler and from Scribner &
Cole), assembled for the purpose of creating a Unicode block. That is of
no interest to me.

> >Is it too much trouble for you to copy and paste one paragraph? (If,
> >in fact, it includes such information.)
> Frankly, I don't see much reason to reward your rudeness just now by
> doing you any favours.

No need; Richard showed us that the relevant paragraph does indeed not
include any useful information.
Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...