Re: Non-linear / full-2d writing systems?
|From:||Sai Emrys <saizai@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, May 5, 2005, 9:15|
> Human languages are essentially linear (they are sequences of "words"). Ergo,
> writing sytems for human languages are essentially linear as well.
Your argument is circular here, if you intend it as one of 'purpose'.
Certainly, I would agree that a writing system *intended* to 'fix
language' as you call it - and I presume that you make the common
equation that "real language" = "speech" - would need to be linear.
But I would strongly disagree that a writing system *need* do so at
all, and cannot exist entirely separate of a spoken language.
> We could consider human languages and scripts to be bidimensional: the
> dimension of different movements (of the vocal tract in the case of spoken
> languages or of signing organs in the case of sign language) and the
> dimension of time (also known as the paradigmatic and the syntagmatic
> dimensions); scripts have the dimension of different signs and the dimension
> of the writing line (which might also be called the paradigmatic and the
> syntagmatic dimensions).
Mind translating that into common English?
I would agree that speech is multidimensional; again, that is obvious.
But viz. the above about that having to be encoded in writing. And,
for that matter, the writing itself is *not* bidimensional - it is a
purely linear string of discrete symbols. What the symbols *represent*
is irrelevant to this - I am arguing that the linearity could be
changed into something else.
(And again, you'd have to grant that, at least in possibility, writing
!= code-for-speech for that to be true.)
> It may be different with non-human languages.
Sure, but I am talking about a language intended for human use.