Re: Non-linear / full-2d writing systems?
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, May 7, 2005, 17:21|
As Sai & Teoh make some similar points, I'll try a joint reply :)
[ALL WRITING IS 2D]
H. S. Teoh wrote:
> On Fri, May 06, 2005 at 07:25:03PM +0100, Ray Brown wrote:
>> _All_ writing systems surely have to be fully 2d otherwise we'd not be
>> able to see the darn things? Sure, things like radio and electronic
>> transmissions are not 2d - but *writing*?
> I think what is meant is a writing system that is not confined to a
> single dimension in its extension.
Sure - but arguably this applies to abugidas, to the Korean writing system,
Egyptian hieroglyphics to some extent and to Mayan hieroglyphics to a
greater extent. What I guess I was trying to get at is: "What are the two
> Ray -
>> Now - a 3d writing system would be interesting ;)
> *laugh* Agreed, and something I've proposed elsewhere - it would
> probably have to be holographic, or sculptural, or somesuch. I've no
> idea how it would work. ;-)
> If you meant writing in 3D characters, that'd be right up the alley of
> a conlang spoken by 4D beings. :-)
But why couldn't 3d beings use 3rd characters? But I thought Sai was
envisioning something that was not just made up of characters.
Elsewhere H.S.Teoh wrote:
> How about a description of carvings on a long totem pole?
Yes, and a totem pole, whether short or long, is a 3d object :)
As Sai suggested above, it could be _sculptural_ which is what a totem
If we 3d creatures can play 3d chess & other 3d games, then some 3d
written system should be possible. I am not saying that I am advocating it
- but it might be fun to try :)
> Surely you take my point about nonlinearity, though - writing now is
> 2d in its symbols, yes, but not in anything else (e.g. syntax or
>> Even if whole sentences are depicted as a single symbol construct
>> (glyph/frame/ or whatever) the sentences will surely follow sequentially
>> or linearly.
> Certainly... *if* one was transcribing sentences. But I see no reason
> why one would need to do this,
Yes, the sentence is probably to restrictive, but ......
> But the point is, it doesn't *have* to be linear in order to be
> understandable. Take for example, the description I gave in my post a
> few days ago, of a "writing" on the wall which describes the story of
> a hero who slays a beast:
> The entire story is written as a very large, and very complex 2D
> diagram comprising of interconnected parts.........
Yes, I read your "writing on the wall" description and was going to reply
to it. This is all very well, but two points occur to me:
1. Having something that takes up so much space it needs a whole wall is a
bit inconvenient. We need something that is going to fit onto a reasonable
size sheet of paper or VDU (with sensible resolution) IMO.
2. How would you deal with something like J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the
Rings"? Six walls? In what case the walls would be read linearly.
What I getting at, I guess, is trying to firm up what the subject line
really means :)
>> That sounds very much like the 'box analysis' we used to do in English
>> lessons way back in the 1950s.
> IIRC, my elementary school made us do those. That would be similar,
> except that it functions merely as a transcription / code for English,
> and in addition it reduplicates the information already encoded in the
> words. :-P
Sure - agree on both points.
> I think the idea goes beyond that:
I am quite sure it does.
> take a look at Pinuyo if you
> haven't already --- it expresses complex concepts by
> arbitrarily-complex layouts of pictograms, in 2D. You can potentially
> write an extremely complex "sentence" in Pinuyo, involving nested
> boxes of every sort at every point, and it will still constitute a
> "single sentence". This can obviously be linearized (as with anything
> else), but it is much easier to "read" in its 2D form.
I have - quite literally - taken a look at Pinuyo; maybe I should look
more closely. I am sue Sai want to express concepts (not words) in layouts
which would, I guess, necessarily be complex. But _arbitrarily_ complex?
[EARLIER THREAD & EARLIER IDEAS]
>> We did - and I'm fairly sure you participated in it; I certainly did. IIR
>> it was initiated by Sai when he joined the list :)
> Muh? I don't see myself on that thread - though I notice that it's in
> the same digest as my first messages; care to explain how it came
> about? (If I'd initiated it and seen it, I would no doubt have
> replied, since I agree with a lot of the original poster's ideas...)
I'm probably not remembering it properly - on reflexion I think it was a
"side thread" which came out of the thread generated by your message. I
think I was arguing most of the time with Philippe who seemed to me to be
confusing semiotics and semantics.
I don't know any reference to expanded version of it on the Net, i'm
afraid. It was certainly far more developed than Leibnitz's attempts. But
we would find all these 17th century attempts somewhat quaint as they
embody scientific & other knowledge as understood at that time.
This, it seems to me, is the problem with trying to derive a written form
that expresses concepts. thoughts or whatever, independently of natural
language (whether spoken or otherwise signed). What we will IMO finish up
doing is finding a way of expressing in graphic (or sculptural) form the
way we conceptualize the world/universe in the early 21st century.
But on second thoughts that might not be so bad. It would provide
amusement for people in centuries to come, but by seeing how we have moved
on from the earlier efforts, they can improve and by a process of Socratic
dialectic better & better systems might be developed :)
Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight,
which is not so much a twilight of the gods
as of the reason." [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]
>> We don't know, do we? The *idea* is certainly not new and similar ideas
>> can be found at least as early as the 17th century.
> *nod* Would you happen to know any references for fleshed-out or
> expanded versions of it? I've seen the (extremely small) websites for
> the langauges mentioned above - here's another, btw:
> the actual website, which is down) - but haven't seen much else.
> Obviously I already have the basic idea; I'd be curious to see how
> others have actually developed it.
> Hopefully it's not as ... shall we say, "shortsighted", as Lebniz's
> other attempts at conlanging. :-P (I read Yaguello and others and had
> to cringe at how many obvious "uber-newbie conlanger" design mistakes
> there were...)