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CONLANG Digest - 13 Jan 2000 to 14 Jan 2000 (#2000-15)

From:Muke Tever <alrivera@...>
Date:Saturday, January 15, 2000, 6:54
> From: "Daniel A. Wier" <dawier@...> > Subject: Re: Non-phonetic alphabets? > > >From: Muke Tever <alrivera@...> > > >Can anyone here think of a reason for a language to develop a kind of > >non-phonetic alphabet--that is, one having no relation whatever to the
> >it is spoken? > > Sorry, it's been done already. It's called English. ;)
Aw, you got at least _vague_ relations in English.. ;)
> >The only ways I can think of it might occur are > >- pictograms (not actually alphabetic, but...) > >- a kind of extreme borrowing (the written language borrowed entirely
> >an other, preferably unrelated language).
I can add to this: - evolution (the written language stays fossilized while the spoken language mutates beyond recognition) - unspoken languages (writing for peoples ordinarily communicating with sign languages or mental telepathy or such) [I hadn't even thought of this when I made the post, but this last was the reason I had already come up with for my current project... They didn't have need of speech, but still needed to make things like signs and keep records. Long afterwards, from necessity, they'll learn phonetics and convert their written writing into a spoken language.]
> Other than the obvious Chinese, there's a script out there called > Blissymbolics, which uses a pictographic/ideographic symbol system in many > juxtapositions to indicate many different lexical meanings. Works a lot > like Chinese too! I forgot where the homepage was that I found, but do a > Yahoo! search and you'll find some good info. It's pretty neat, except I > have no use whatsoever for it (I use a modified Arabic with
> borrowings for a personal shorthand).
I'll look it up. *Muke!