suzmccarth wrote:
> --- In, "Peter T. Daniels" <grammatim@...>
> wrote:
> > This idea certainly didn't begin with DeFrancis -- it was
> recognized by
> > DuPonceau in 1838,
> DuPonceau's letter can be read here

I'm referring to a book -- Chicago's copy was in Special Collections,
i.e. Rare Books, so it wasn't possible to actually read it through!

> and the modern locus classicus is the debate between
> > Creel and Boodberg in the 1930s. (I think one of them published in
> T'ung
> > 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 for
> > 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 better
> > suited for recording minute differences in speech sounds.
> So phonemic but not for any given language. How does it rate as a
> writing system?

As I keep saying, it isn't one! It's not used for recording utterances,
just for recording sound. Unless, of course, some here wish to propose
different definitions of "writing system."
Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...