--- In qalam@yahoogroups.com, "Peter T. Daniels" <grammatim@...>
> This idea certainly didn't begin with DeFrancis -- it was
recognized by
> DuPonceau in 1838,

DuPonceau's letter can be read here


and the modern locus classicus is the debate between
> Creel and Boodberg in the 1930s. (I think one of them published in
> Pao and the other in a journal with Harvard in the title, but maybe
> not.) The refs. are probably in his *The Chinese Language: Fact and
> Fantasy* of 1985 if not in the later more general book.

Yes, the debate between Creel and Boodberg is described in
DeFrancis, The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy.


> Actually the Principles say they have attempted to provide a graph
> every sound _that is distinctive_ in some language or other --
it's not
> meant for transcriptions on a level much below the phonemic.
> Phoneticians have devised other transcription systems that are
> suited for recording minute differences in speech sounds.

So phonemic but not for any given language. How does it rate as a
writing system?