[sw-l] SW system type... alphabetic vs. others ( pictographic, ideographic, logographic)

Charles Butler chazzer3332000 at YAHOO.COM
Tue Jun 21 13:55:08 UTC 2005

I would certainly affirm diagrammatic, as it would
match a writing system like Korean as well, which is
based on what the tongue is doing in the mouth.  Each
of the strokes is the position of the tongue.  The
whole word is then constructed in a box so that it
looks like a Chinese ideograph, but it is actually a
diagrammatic alphabet.

Charles Butler

--- Sandy Fleming <sandy at scotstext.org> wrote:

> Tomá¹ Klapka wrote:
> >
> > People always tell me that it is pictographic,
> ideographic or ...
> >
> ...
> >
> > So it must be alphabetic.
> > Is it right?
> It depends on how you define alphabetic,
> pictographic &c
> For oral languages, as well as the idea of an
> "alphabet" which has
> vowels and consonants, there's the idea of a
> "betagam" which has
> consonants only - usually used in Semitic langauages
> where vowels are
> represented only as optional diacritics. The idea of
> vowels and
> consonants don't apply in SignWriting, so I'd
> suggest not using the term
> "alphabet" when talking about SignWriting - it's one
> of those things
> where signed and spoken languages part ways.
> "Pictographic" refers to a writing system where the
> written words are
> simple pictures of the referents. But in SignWriting
> the written words
> are _not_ pictures of the referents, they're
> pictures of the signs
> themselves.
> The nearest thing to this we have in oral languages
> is the linguists'
> "vowel diagram" which shows a picture of the inside
> of the mouth and
> where the vowel is pronounced. I would suggest
> referring to this, and
> therefore to SignWriting also, as a "diagrammatic"
> writing system - the
> writing system diagrams the actual execution of the
> language.
> Mundbildschrift could be thought of as a
> diagrammatic writing system for
> oral languages and for one channel of signed
> languages.
> Sandy

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