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Re: beautiful scripts

From:SuomenkieliMaa <suomenkieli@...>
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 writing.
> Thai letters,according to her, all have the "o" > vowel.
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. Matt33 __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Make a great connection at Yahoo! Personals.