--- In qalam@yahoogroups.com, Michael Everson <everson@...> wrote:
> At 11:18 -0400 2005-09-01, Peter T. Daniels wrote:

> I never once called him stupid. I have maintained throughout that he
> is perfectly well able to learn the Latin alphabet, and to learn
> about segmentation in order to input Vai text. (And I suggested that
> it would be in his interests to do so given the nature of the
> hardware and software available to him.)
> > > 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?
> Ask the people who print the syllabary charts and distribute them to
> Vai children in schools.

What harm does it do? And as there are Vai for whom the Roman
alphabet is prinary, it also helps.

> But you dodged the point I was making. The doublets and triplets
> which are similar in shape and rhyme but differ only by the initial
> consonant is a form of segmentation.

I'm not sure that this is segmentation of consonant and vowel. The
differences within these groups are best described as featural. In
the examples above, we have:

1) Add a stroke for voicing: FU/VU, FO/VO, PEE/BHEE (rarer glyph,
possibly), CE/YE*
2) Add double dot to toggle voicing: KPEE/GBEE
3) Add a stroke for prenasalisation: KPEE/MGBEE, JE/NJE
4) Add double dot for voicing: PEE/BHEE (commoner glyph), PE/BHE
5) Add double dot for unsystematic difference: YE/JE

* CE/YE/JE are confusingly similar. The Ndole form for the sounds of
YE and JE corresponds to modern CE, but according to Dalby, the form
of modern JE is what was in the same period or slightly later used for
the sounds of YE and JE. The relationship of CE and JE might be seen
as double marking - add both a stroke *and* a double dot for voicing.

The above is *not* an exhaustive listing.

Double dot and stroke are also used to nasalise the vowel, as in:

Double dot: HA/HAN, HE/HEN, WOO/WOON (not real Vai), WE/WEN, KPE/KPEN
(unusual dot placement), GBE/GBEN
Stroke: WI/WIN (?), NGGE/NGGEN
Separate strokes: WEE/WEEN (not real Vai), GBO/GBON (at all 3
vertices), KE/GEN (simplest interpretation of GEN)
Double stroke: WA/WAN**, WU/WUN (missing in Vai), WO/WON

**The WA/WAN relationship is less clear in some of the glyphs for WAN.

I believe it is misleading to describe these modifications as
evidencing a form of segmentation into consonant and vowel.