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Featural Alphabets

From:Tim May <butsuri@...>
Date:Saturday, October 15, 2005, 1:28
Henrik Theiling wrote at 2005-10-15 00:57:47 (+0200)
 > Hi!
 > tomhchappell <tomhchappell@...> writes:
 > >...
 > > King Sejong's Hangeul system for Korean is supposed to be a
 > > featurography, but I don't think it really is.
 > >...
 > Hmm??  Errm, how close a look did you have?  The layout of the vowel
 > letters (almost!) looks like an IPA vowel space map and the consonants
 > are also obviously assigned by POA plus consonant modifications
 > (e.g. 'plus one stroke') do the same thing to different letters
 > (e.g. add voicing).  It's strange to me that you say that that system
 > is not really featural.  It looks surprisingly featural to me and also
 > very constructed.

Indeed, there's very definitely a featural basis to the script, though
the underlying analysis isn't necessarily the one we would make.  Look
at the consonant grid below, for example.  I don't know nearly enough
about Hangul, but I think I've captured the basic idea behind the
letters, and the graphical relationships are obvious (they're less
clear in the labial column than elsewhere, so don't start there).

I hope this actually comes out legible.

			labial	coronal	sib.	velar 	null

-plosive		ㅁ	ㄴ	ㅅ		ㅇ
			/m/	/n/	/s/		zero, /N/

-plosive+fortis				ㅆ	

+plosive		ㅂ	ㄷ	ㅈ	ㄱ	ㆆ (archaic)
			/p/	/t/	/tS/	/k/	/?/

+plosive+fortis		ㅃ	ㄸ	ㅉ	ㄲ
			/p*/	/t*/	/tS*/	/k*/

+plosive+aspiration	ㅍ	ㅌ	ㅊ	ㅋ	ㅎ
			/p_h/	/t_h/	/tS_h/	/k_h/	/h/

For more information see the Wikipedia page:


R A Brown <ray@...>