Michael Everson wrote:
> At 20:51 +0100 2005-09-01, Andrew Dunbar wrote:
> >Well it's pretty widely accepted that learning languages is special.
> It certainly is.
> >They are much more easily learned by children than by adults.
> Yes, and multilingualism is high in Africa, and has always been.

It is not acquired by adults. Anglophony, however, generally is, in the
few cases when it is. ("Adult" in second-language-learning means over 12
or so.)

> >What's to say that phonemic analysis is not one of the things that
> >is difficult for adult learners for instance?
> Learning the values of 26 letters isn't learning a language, but I
> mean, come ON. To type the euro sign, I have to type alt-2. Is that
> "natural" in any meaningful way?

What does that have to do with learning phonological segmentation?

> I don't think that monoglot Vai speakers will get very far with
> computers if they don't learn the Latin script. I don't think that it
> is unfair or unreasonable to expect them to understand the advantages
> of the Latin script with regard to computers. And it isn't "cultural
> imperialism", but simple realism that is behind this view. Even if

Yes, it most certainly is cultural imperialism. You assume that the way
you do it (you and your employers) is the best way to do it.

I don't see the difference from the Southern Belle who explained that
her slaves were perfectly contented -- they _liked_ the life they led!

> Firefox is localized into Vai, the Vai user who wants to go to
> http://www.vai.lr is, amazingly enough, going to have to figure out
> how to type h and t and p.
> How long would it take a Vai person to learn what the letter T means?
> And the letter A? And that typing one after the other allows him to
> type the Vai syllable TA? Years? Months? Hours? Minutes?

I'm afraid Seshat's warning prevents me from saying this the way it
needs to be said:

Read the studies on this topic by psycholinguists.
Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...