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Writing Systems and Biscriptal Children

From:nicole perrin <nicole.eap@...>
Date:Tuesday, November 30, 1999, 22:08
When we were talking about bilingual children (raising your kids to
speak a natlang and  a conlang, or another natlang even) I think I
recall someone wondering what happened to "biscriptal" children, no?
Anyway, I just finished reading a very silly book called The Alphabet
Versus the Goddess (it was really interesting, about how alphabets cause
the left brain to take over and destroy women's values) by Leonard
Shlain, and he talks about this.  The book, which I tend not to believe
in most cases - he seems to dwell too much on the associations of
women/goddesses and the right brain, while it might have been more
effective if he had only held that alphabets cater more to the left
brain and perhaps cause it to hypertrophy....but anyway, what he says is
that biscriptal children, especially those where one script is an
alphabet and one is ideographic/pictographic/etc, actually function
better than monoscriptal children because both their left and right
brains work equally (almost) well, instead of having the left (alphabet)
or right (ideographs) be dominant.  He attributes to this the fact that
Asian-Americans are sometimes really smart and hard workers and stuff -
huge huge stereotypes.  Again, I'm not sure how much I believe him, but
it's an interesting theory.
By the way, he also mentions things about how European women have
historically been more suppressed than Americans because most European
languages have gender and most feminine nouns are negative and weak
while masculine ones are positive and powerful.  This has subconsciously
given women in Europe the notion that they are somehow inferior to men,
blah blah blah, personally I don't really buy it, but still, it's

So, obligatory conlang reference:  those of you who do have gender in
your language, is it masc/fem?  and are masculine nouns more powerful?
or, more interestingly, to the female (and male too, but this probably
has more to do with females) conlangers on the list, do you find
yourselves dissatisfied with these horrid male-dominated natlangs and
left brain alphabets, and is this why you conlang - and, do you make
your conlangs/concultures/conworlds female dominated?  It's funny, China
was so male dominated and their women came up with Nu Shu, but Chinese
uses ideographs...hmm.

</rant about really annoying book that was a waste of a read -- sorry>