Re: beautiful scripts
|Date:||Saturday, October 13, 2001, 7:05|
--- "Karapcik, Mike" <Karapcik@...> wrote:
> I got out my book, "Writing Systems of the
> World", by Akira Nakanishi
> (ISBN:0804816549, highly recomend!).
Have the same book! It's nice for quick reference,
but if you're looking for real advice on a particular
language's script, this book lacks. I base that
decision on the section on Japanese, which includes
the "major" points of the script but also includes
really old, nowadays really-seen, forms, while totally
skipping over the more common features of present-day
> Thai letters,according to her, all have the "o"
Basically, yes. But quite often, there are many other
rules that drain that inherent "o" out! Like if you
put "r" and one of the harder forms of "d" together,
the inherent "o" comes into play -- hence, "rod" (high
tone, I believe), for "car (ie, mobile engine)". But,
try writing "r" followed by the common form of "n" and
one of the forms of "k" -- you would get the
transliteration "ranok" because with 2 consonants
together, you retain the inherent "o" but with 3
consonants, you must change over to "a"!
My explanation leaves a lot for rebuttal, I'm sure, it
is not complete. But, from the little Thai I've
learnt, the above is part of the system. Not to
mention the tonal marks, whose symbols change
depending on the character...
> The Khmer script, however, is a bit wiggier.
Perhaps, just my own crazy way of seeing things, but
don't the scripts of Thailand and Cambodia
characterize their own people quite well? Thais, from
my experience, tend to be quite thin and up-right with
lots of amusing anecdotes and a zany spirit. Khmers,
on the other hand, are "thicker" in nature - quite shy
and sullen over their recent history, so not nearly as
open and wild as the Thais. And that is how I view
the scripts too!
> There are two "series" of letters. The "-a" are
> first series, and the "-o" are second series. (I
> think the series affects tone, but I'm not sure.)
Moreover, the manner the script appears varies; I
believe that book shows the newspaper form, as opposed
to the written form.
> The vowel diacritics create different vowels for
> the same diacritic
> between 1st and 2nd tone letters. Thus, "da" is
> first tone, and "da" with
> the tilde-thingy on top becomes "dei". However, "do"
> is second tone, so "do"
> with the tilde-thingy on top becomes "di:".
> I have no idea why this is done, as I have not
> studied any language from
> this area. I'm assuming it's either a tone thing, or
> because "it's always been done that way".
Far be it from me to pass myself off as a Khmer
scholar, but I do know that the diacritics do indicate
the tone as you suggest.
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