So you "know it when you see it," but you can't define it? That's not science. ("Exception that proves the rule" isn't science, either.)

Do you understand the difference between Bright's "alphasyllabary" and my "abugida"? The difference is very subtle, but it comes into operation in at least one historical example of a writing system.

Blissymbolics simply does not fit the definition of "writing system" used by me or any other scholar of writing systems in linguistic terms; if you embrace the uselessly broad definition espoused by those who want to see any sort of visible communication as "writing," then come out and say so.

Roy Harris has made quite a career of writing about writing without ever once saying what he is talking about -- he frequently complains that this or that formulation of a definition is inadequate, but he has never said what he means by the term, so his books are largely incoherent where they are not incomprehensible. Is that the company you wish to keep?
Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...

----- Original Message ----
From: Michael Everson <everson@...>
Sent: Saturday, October 14, 2006 2:39:53 PM
Subject: Re: FW: [M_L] Re: Languages with writing systems?

At 10:13 -0400 2006-10-11, Ph.D. wrote:

>We've been through this before. Neither of you is going to agree on
>the definition of "writing system" and neither of you is going to be
>convinced by the other.

I know what a writing system is, certainly. And I know a lot about
Blissymbolics. I don't see how anyone is going to convince me that it
isn't writing.

Definitions are not finite, and Blissymbolics is the exception that
proves the rule. This is elementary.
Michael Everson * http://www.evertype .com

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