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Re: Non-linear / full-2d writing systems?

From:Damian Yerrick <tepples@...>
Date:Saturday, May 7, 2005, 4:41
"J. 'Mach' Wust" <j_mach_wust@...> wrote:

> Sai Emrys <saizai@...> wrote: > > >> Not necessarily. Generativity and the use of arbitrary signs have been > >> reported by apes, for instance. > > > >Then you'd have to admit they have 'language', unless you can think of > >another way to differentiate human language from theirs. > > I admit they have, but only to a very restricted grade of complexity.
Pirahã anyone?
> Simple codes, not essentially different from what they represent, that is, > not different in the way human language ("speech", if you prefer) differs > from e.g. formal logics.
Lojban anyone? Point is that there are exceptions to every rule, and there are rules to every exception. "Sai Emrys" <saizai@...> wrote:
> For that matter, is there a list somewhere of the basic concepts - > relations, etc - that are necessarily or optionally expressed via > language, separate from the ways in which particular languages or > modes (like speech, sign, or linear writing) use to express them? > (E.g., "noun phrase")
I think Toki Pona, though it is a spoken or linearly written language, is small enough to analyze nearly exhaustively for necessary relationships. "Ray Brown" <ray.brown@...> wrote:
> > That sounds very much like the 'box analysis' we used to do in English > lessons way back in the 1950s. 'Twas certainly 2d - with 'boxes' on > different levels (the positioning was important) and the use of different > types of connecting lines. I guess if one replaced the boxes enclosing > English words with Chinese logographs it would be something like you have > in mind above.
Diagraming sentences survived into at least the 1990s in some American school systems. Given that I graduated in 1999 and that the last three years of high-school English class seemed to focus primarily on literary analysis, I don't know whether junior high school students are still drawing diagrams. Anyone want to see an example of such a diagram of a sentence with English words?
> But whichever approach is used, one cannot, as far I can see, avoid some > linearity/serialization. > Even if whole sentences are depicted as a single symbol construct > (glyph/frame/ or whatever) the sentences will surely follow sequentially > or linearly.
Especially given that at least to human observers at classical-mechanical scales, cause and effect is the dominant feature of time, and a "linear" path can always be traced from a cause to its effect. "Sai Emrys" <saizai@...> wrote:
> Can you give me some other (i.e. not time-linked) example of something > that would necessarily be written linearly? Keep in mind that you're > aiming for writing the semantics, not exact translation / > transcription...
How about spatial relationships, such as that things are physically laid out in a given order? H. S. Teoh pointed out the example of a totem pole. Or given the theoretical equivalence of space and time, is that still "time-linked" to you? "H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh@...> wrote:
> Also, within a single Pinuyo "sentence", there is no fixed point at > which one must begin to read, and no fixed endpoint at which one must > end. There can very well be multiple paths from any chosen point to > any other point. So this writing has a non-linear (or should I say > "super-linear"?) component to it that is lost when you translate it > into a linear language.
Likewise in the entity-relationship diagrams that one learns to draw in a database course.
> Or one could pick out a sub-part of the diagram, which need not > include any character of the main event.
The analogy to database design continues. Read the portion of an ERD that relates to only one use case, and it'll still make sense. -- Damian