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

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Saturday, May 7, 2005, 6:14
On Friday, May 6, 2005, at 11:28 , Tim May wrote:

> ...................... What I meant > to say is: if the human "language faculty" (however we choose to > interpret that phrase) can operate not only in the realm of sounds and > gestures of the vocal tract, but also in the realm of manual gestures, > it may be able to operate in other realms also. It might, in > principle, be possible for a child to acquire, under certain very > peculiar circumstances, a written language as a first language. The > graphemes of this language would not, at least in the mind of this > child, have any relation to any spoken or signed form. The child's > linguistic thought would operate in terms of these graphical units.
I imagine that this is precisely what would happen if communication was made through such a medium with a profoundly deaf child from their earliest years. [snip]
> We would then have a written form which was > fundamentally a language in its own right, analogous to spoken or > signed language rather than to its transcription.
> Do you agree that this is something that is imaginable?
Yes - see above :)
> To put it another way: I don't know how to define human language, > exactly, but I know it when I see it. I agree that music and > mathematical notation don't really count.
..tho at least one auxlang was designed using the notes of the tonic solfa, namely Solresol, which for a time apparently had quite a following :)
> But since both spoken and > signed language do count, I know that the medium of transmission is > not fundamental to the definition. So I can imagine a written > language that is no more a representation of spoken language than sign > is.
Yep, tho written language from ancient Sumer & Egypt till the present day has always been secondary to spoken language, it is possible to imagine a graphic form of communication that is not dependent upon a spoken language. Indeed, many over the past three centuries have tried to design just such. 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" ]