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

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Sunday, May 8, 2005, 5:09
On Saturday, May 7, 2005, at 07:20 , # 1 wrote:

> Sai Emrys wrote:
>> Mm. Ideographic I think would be limiting, but obviously whatever it >> is, it would need to encode purely meaning. (I don't know of any >> ideographic writing systems that do so; all the ones I know have at >> least some phonetics in them, like Chinese.)
Absolutely - which is why IMO Chinese characters are better called logographs than ideograph. The Bliss symbols, I believe, are ideographic; but of I know of no natlang written system that is purely ideographic. In any case, I guess a symbol encoding purely meaning is a 'semograph' :)
>> However, "affixing" and similar concepts I think become meaningless - >> or at least, they would change significantly if nonlinearized. (After >> all, "suffix" only is a useful concept in a linear system [*cough* >> like speech *cough*]...)
Yes indeed - this looks like re-arranging the familiar linear stuff in fancy ways, rather like the old 'box analysis'
> You could make affixation in a 2d writing but in more directions and in > more > manners > > Instead of prefixes,suffixes, infixes, circumfixes, you'd have upfixes, > underfixes,
'suffix' literally means "underfix", tho in practice we use suffixes as 'postfixes'
> rightfixes, leftfixes, upleftfixes, middlefixes, > right-middlefixes, circumfixes, up-hemicircumfixes, right-hemicircumfixes, > far-rightfixes, near-circumfixes...
But if these things are "instead of prefixes,suffixes, infixes, circumfixes", how is it not just a fancy way of displaying what is basically linear in a (pretty) 3d diagram? Affixes make sense in a morphemic analysis of spoken (and written) natlangs, however we display the things in some diagrammatic representation. And if we are dealing with morphemes, we are dealing with linear elements. Sai's idea, as I understand it, is to represent whole complex _meaning(s)_ in a some graphic form without any relation the linear way in which we order the natlang representations. I think Sai is right that the concept of affixation is meaningless or at least significantly different in such a context. Ray =============================================== =============================================== 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" ]