--- In qalam@yahoogroups.com, "Peter T. Daniels" <grammatim@...>

> If you're going to take that line of argument, why not simply say
that everything we've been talking about is Aramaic script?

> Or West Semitic?

The term 'alphabet' would work quite well if you didn't need it for a
more specialised sense. Apart from alphabetical order, what major
difference between the West and South Semitic alphabets would one
want to capture at this level?

> Or Egyptian hieroglyphic?

That's pretty much a specific script. There are practical issues in
how you relate the hieroglyphic, hieratic and demotic scripts.

> Surely you don't consider Tibetan an Indic script, given the
considerable change in orthographic principles?

Are you referring to the splitting of aksharas into vowelless and
vowelled aksharas, so that CCVC$CV ($ = syllable or even word
division) may become C.CV.C'CV (. = akshara boundary, ' = tsheg)?
The tsheg is similar to word separators, and they have arisen
independently in many scripts. The splitting of aksharas at syllable
boundaries is very common in non-Indo-European languages (e.g
Dravidian languages), and is the norm for the spelling of monks' Pali
names in Thai. (In Tibetan the syllable boundary is frequently a
morpheme boundary, and it is argued that tsheg represents a morpheme
boundary rather than a syllable boundary.)

The splitting of an onset is somewhat unusual, but again it relates
to the widespread principle of making spelling morpheme-based rather
than purely phonetic. The consonants that might be prefixes are
therefore written in a separate akshara. The writing system for
Tibetan is kept slightly simpler by making this rule a spelling rule
that is independent of the actual morphemic structure of the word.
There may be a similar reason for one consonant per akhsara rule for
the consonants following the vowel. For example, the past tense form
_bsgrubs_ is written <b.sgru.b.s'>, compared to the corresponding
present tense form _sgrub_ <sgru.b'>.

I have no trouble considering Tibetan to be an Indic script.
However, I was asking what others understood by the term.

Which specific features of Tibetan makes you say it is not Indic?
Are you using roughly a point-scoring scheme? Do you count Tamil and
Malayalam as Indic alphabets? Burmese?