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Re: OT: Evolution of dialects (was Re: Tirelat and related dialects)

From:Alex Fink <000024@...>
Date:Friday, September 26, 2008, 5:56
On Thu, 25 Sep 2008 23:07:26 +0200, taliesin the storyteller
<taliesin-conlang@...> wrote:

>> T9, or rather the Nokia phones, have a setting where the words >> are guessed instantly as you type them, with a minimum of >> extra button pressing required. > >Yeah, but my experience is that it guesses wrong, especially on >short words like 'et' and 'du' (same two buttons in T9). Though: >I thought T9 was tuned to a language? You have a phone with >English T9 or is it universal?
You probably meant tuned via its predictive dictionary... But (speaking as one who's composed maybe five words in T9 ever) I've always thought it should additionally have been tuned in its letter groupings as well. With a clever choice of sets of letters, and one that was allowed to vary by language, I'd imagine the number of collisions could have been minimised much better than it was. Parker makes the point that there's another thing that could then be optimised as well, namely the lettergroup-to-digit assignment, so that the more common groups ended up in easier positions. Unfortunately the association abc:2, def:3, ... already existed and I imagine the designers of T9 felt shackled to it. I'd be surprised if no-one else has thought this before. Anyone know of someone who's tried to optimise the assignments this way, and what the results were? ObConlang: anyone got interesting keymaps / input methods / etc. for their conlang? Especially ones that pay attention to frequency considerations? [If you'll permit me one more paragraph of rant -- there's this neat little input device called the Twiddler: Unfortunately its default keymap commits this too: Where T9 is understandable as cleaving to an older tradition, this I think is just indefensible design. I figure that most anyone who'd care to use one of these things would care to use it sufficiently much that the speedup associated to a better keymap would easily dominate any initial mnemonic benefit that putting the letters in order gives. Fortunately some folks have made better ones (GIYF).] Alex