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Re: Divergent Scripts

From:John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Date:Monday, September 2, 2002, 16:00
Barbara Barrett scripsit:

> The ancient inhabitants of India came closest to independently inventing > an alphabet, but end up with a compromise.
Brahmi script, the original Indic script from which all the others descend, is clearly itself derived from some form of the basic Semitic abjad.
> These are not "true" > syllabaries (ie where every "letter" is different and unrelated in shape > to any other) and are called "syllabets" by scriptologists.
Peter Daniels coined the useful word "abugida" (parallel with "alphabet" and "abjad") for these. It's still an open question whether there is a direct connection between Ethiopic and Indic writing.
> > How do you type Chinese characters? What are the fonts like?
Chinese fonts are very large, of course, but otherwise not too strange. There are several methods of keyboarding Chinese: one is to type pinyin and push a key (often Space) which presents alternative characters to choose from. Other methods are shape-based and involve memorizing codes for various character parts. -- "No, John. I want formats that are actually John Cowan useful, rather than over-featured megaliths that address all questions by piling on ridiculous internal links in forms which are hideously over-complex." --Simon St. Laurent on xml-dev