suzmccarth wrote:
> --- In, Michael Everson <everson@...> wrote:
> > At 03:43 +0000 2005-09-22, suzmccarth wrote:
> >
> > >Table 6-1 Ethiopic, Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics and Hangul
> > >as 'Featural Syllabaries' - is that intended to stand?
> >
> > If you object and have alternate text to propose, state your
> > objection and propose alternate text.
> Never mind, on careful reading I see that there was a deliberate
> decision to classify Ethiopic as a syllabary and not an abugida
> because of presentation issues. Although this does not reflect
> greater constistancy since Tamil was also traditionally presented as
> a syllabary but is still classified as an abugida. I would have no
> trouble with this if only there were some consistancy.

Remember, Unicode had no coherent definition of abugida, so there's no
telling what they meant by it.

> Unicode standard states that three different approaches were taken
> for encoding abugidas. It might have been easier to say that
> Ethiopic is also an abugida, and abugidas are encoded in four
> different ways. Anyway I see that there was a deliberate preference
> for not calling Ethiopic an abugida.
> What does the 'featural' in a 'featural syllabary' stand for? How
> about compositional or systematically composed?

"Featural syllabary" could be a portmanteau description of Korean.

> > >And is there some reason why for CAS, 'the relationship of sound and
> > >graphic parts is less systematic' than for Hangul?
> >
> > If you have a point to make, make it.
> My point is simply that no explanation is given for this statement -
> it just out there hanging as if it meant something. It is pretty
> hard to get more systematic than CAS.
> I also find this statement,
> "Those who first approach the Unicode Standard without a background
> in writing systems may find the huge list of scripts bewilderingly
> complex."
> Do you have any idea what it feels like to approach the Unicode
> Standard *with* a background in writing systems?
> Not to mention the everlasting suggestion that 'ideographic' is a
> term that is 'widely understood', rather than 'widely
> misunderstood'. If 'ideographic' is a legacy term that could be
> explicitly explained and one could learn to live with it.
> I realize DeFrancis is considered obscure for some reason unknown to
> me, since I think his books are great.

Who considers him obscure??

> One can even read many selections of his books online - it doesn't
> cost a penny.
> However, I take it 'morphosyllabic' is not 'satisfactory'. I can
> only assume that this is because it does not sufficiently befuddle
> the reader.
> Is it true that for Chinese, "the units of the writing system are
> used primarily to write words and/or morphemes of words" - surely
> there is a primary relationship between the graphs and the sound
> patterns at the syllable level - no?

"Morphemes of words"? What do you suppose that's supposed to mean?

> I apologize for my frustration, you know that I am in general very
> apreciative of Unicode. I have tried to abstain from examining
> definitions and labels for over a year now, but necessity calls.

Hmm, where were you when I was going through that?
Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...