Re: Tree writing [Was: Non-linear / full-2d writing systems?]
|From:||H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>|
|Date:||Monday, May 9, 2005, 17:10|
On Sat, May 07, 2005 at 12:40:15AM -0400, Patrick Littell wrote:
> Several years ago I had been thinking along very similar lines as Teoh has
> been -- a radial, mostly-decorative representation of stories, prayers,
> warnings, what-have-you, with a variable order of interpretation. Basically,
> it was a tree-structure layed out radially, with the root in the center. The
> design motif was itself tree-like, akin to a Celtic "Tree of Life", and each
> glyph was an interwoven pattern.
Actually, what I have in mind is a little more than merely a strict
tree with a unique root. The type of writing I have in mind could, of
course, be tree-structured, but doesn't have to be. It is more
graph-like, in that as long as the 2D space of the paper allows,
symbols could very well form loops and other interconnections beyond
the top-down hierarchy of a tree structure.
> Firstly, though, think for a moment about the biggest benefit of a
> Chinese-style writing system. Your answer may be different than mine, but I
> consider the best part of the system its ability to simultaneously handle
> similar but mutually-unintelligeable spoken languages. If I speak Mandarin
> and you Cantonese, we may not be able to understand each other verbally, but
> we can still communicate via writing. We don't pronounce the glyphs the
> same, but we assign the same meanings to them.
> The only barrier to a language's "participation" in such a system is that it
> must be (basically) analytic and have (basically) the same word order. I
> figure two languages with a slightly different noun-number-classifier order
> wouldn't put up too many barriers, but SOV and VSO languages would have a
> tough time "collaborating" in such a way.
> But a *tree* (or a more general directed acyclic graph) is independent of
> the order in which one traverses it. Speakers of VSO participants would thus
> tends towards preorder traversals of nodes, speakers of SVO, inorder, and
> SOV speakers, postorder. VOS, reverse preorder, OVS, reverse inorder, OSV,
> reverse postorder. (The devil's in the details, of course, but you see the
> idea.) So long as the participant languages remain reasonably analytic, the
> system is at least possible. Not for several randomly chosen analytic-ish
> real languages, probably, but certainly for several languages of one's own
Sounds interesting. Although, you'd still have an overall linear order
to it, since this writing would represent spoken language, and there
is only 1 dimension of time for you to speak in. :-) So, not quite
what Sai had a mind, but nevertheless still a very interesting
approach to reconciling languages with different word orders.
Exaggerate?! I have never, *ever* exaggerated in my whole entire life, not
even 0.000001 times!