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Pleremic? Kenemic? It's all Martian to me.

From:Brian Betty <bbetty@...>
Date:Thursday, April 22, 1999, 19:35
Raimundus A. Brown scripsit: "Interestingly, the terms "pleremic" and
"cenemic" are standardly applied to writing systems, meaning roughly
"meaning-based" and "sound-based". (Specifically, the symbols of pleremic
writing systems *represent* senses, whereas the symbols of cenemic writing
systems *discriminate between* senses.) No writing system is entirely
either, but Spanish is very cenemic, whereas Chinese is very pleremic."

Oy! So once again ... what is pleremic v. kenemic writing systems? Does
that mean that Chinese is pleremic because it has a preferentially symbolic
range with occasional syllographic meanings while Spanish is kenemic
because it is a simple sound representation scheme?

If that is true, then the syllabic system of the alien language system I am
working on for my Space:1889 campaign is TRULY pleremic, as it is solely
used in a symbolic manner. Hilfers (human subspecies) cannot make the
sounds of the NA alien speech centers, so they simply have recourse to
their Chinese-style writing system as an interspecies marker: like DE
'danger, warning.' [Examples here are, again, given in the pidgin employed
as the lingua franca by the hilfers of the Syrtis Major colony, ie. 'SMP.'
It would be no different to refer to the symbols as DANGER 'danger,
warning,' but that's not nearly as fun, is it?]

Of course, the symbols used with local written languages are therefore only
partially pleremic, as they mark case endings and native hilfer terms with
a later, syllabic orthography (like Japanese and Korean use kana and the
Korean alphabet to supplement written Chinese characters). This is still
pretty interesting, as alien speech-orders show up in odd word combinations
like YUP-DE 'site containing non-hilfer environments or materials dangerous
to terrene life' became SMP 'armory;' but the digraph 'dangerous place' is
DE-YUP /de-'yup/, following normal SMP grammar patterns (adj-noun).

Incidentally, the word YUP-DE means many other things in other hilfer
languages; most commonly, the meaning is 'power plant,' 'industrial site,'
or 'temple.' In 2 locations, this written combination is used as a
placename with no apparent meaning. One YUP-DE place-name is in a marginal,
Hill-Martian area of the Oenotrian Empire, while the other allegedly is in
a polar region that is a traditional enclave of the High Martians.

Brian Betty, Front Desk
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders
Tel. (617) 426-1350