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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 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@...> the corridors || during the hours of repose || in the boots of ascension. \\ Sign in Austrian ski-resort hotel


Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>