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Re: Basque & Katzner's Languages of the World

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Friday, November 16, 2001, 8:36
En réponse à Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>:

> > Well, if alphabet must be arbitrary shapes representing sounds, then > yes. But, seeing as how Hangul is based on phonetic principles, there > is a kind of logic in calling it another category, "Featural code". > Of > course, that would make a category with only one member. :-) So, I > personally would also consider it an alphabet. >
But the point here is that those two categories are not mutually exclusive! An alphabet is a script where consonnants and vowels receive signs of the same importance. Whether these signs are arbitrary or based on some logic to try to represent actual articulations has nothing to do with it. You could very well create a featural code which is an abjad (consonnants are drawn to "represent" in some way the actual articulations, while vowels, if written at all, are written as diacritics), and abugadi, or even a syllabary (in this case, the characters would represent the articulation of the whole syllable rather than of the distinct segments). So being a featural code doesn't exclude from being an alphabet. The classification in alphabet-abjad-abugadi-syllabary-logographs and the one in featural code-non featural code are two parallel classifications which don't exclude each other (though I'd wonder what a featural logographic system would look like :)) ). In conclusion, Hangul is an alphabet, and also tries to be a featural code, while the Roman alphabet is not a featural code. Christophe. Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else play the leading role.


Almaran Dungeonmaster <dungeonmaster@...>