Re: Basque & Katzner's Languages of the World
|From:||John Cowan <jcowan@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, November 14, 2001, 22:56|
Yoon Ha Lee wrote:
> It claims Korean "is the only true alphabet native
> to the Far East," which I don't know if that's true
This is being discussed on the firstname.lastname@example.org list
right now. It's true if you believe that Hangul is an alphabet.
Michael Everson says it is, because it represents vowels and
consonants equally -- as opposed to abjads, which represent
consonants either exclusively or primarily; abugidas, which
represent consonants-with-implicit-vowel that can be overridden
with a vowel sign; and syllabaries which represent syllables.
Abjad examples: Arabic, Hebrew (though Yiddish writing is
alphabetic); abugida examples: all Indic scripts, Ethiopic;
syllabary examples: Cherokee, kana.
Peter T. Daniels says it isn't an alphabet but a featural script
like Gregg or Pitman shorthands or Shavian (or Tengwar, which
is otherwise abjad-like), partly IMO
because he is committed to the notion that only scripts
descended from Greek (or stimulus-diffused from Greek-descended
scripts) are alphabetic.
Both Daniels and Bright are on qalam, BTW.
Not to perambulate || John Cowan <jcowan@...>
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during the hours of repose || http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
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