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CONLANG  August 2015, Week 1

CONLANG August 2015, Week 1

Subject:

Re: No Phonology!

From:

"Mark J. Reed" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 2 Aug 2015 15:49:22 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (124 lines)

Well, "impossible" is a word I try to avoid. I don't see why it's impossible in principle, even if unattested. Even if it couldn't happen as a natlang, one could certainly create such a thing as a conlang.

Sent from my iPhone

> On Aug 2, 2015, at 15:31, Jason Cullen <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Yes, and I am saying such a written language is impossible.
> 
> We have never had such a language, and I wonder what you would base its
> grammatology on if not phonology or morphology.
> 
> There have been attempts at philosophical languages--languages that are
> semantically precise--which, if they worked, could be the basis of such a
> writing system, but those have all blown up.
> 
> So what would a grammatology sans phonology/morphology be based on?
> 
> On Sun, Aug 2, 2015 at 2:31 PM, Jason Cullen <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> 
>> Yes, and I am saying such a written language is impossible.
>> 
>> We have never had such a language, and I wonder what you would base its
>> grammatology on if not phonology or morphology.
>> 
>> There have been attempts at philosophical languages--languages that are
>> semantically precise--which, if they worked, could be the basis of such a
>> writing system, but those have all blown up.
>> 
>> So what would a grammatology sans phonology/morphology be based on?
>> 
>>> On Sun, Aug 2, 2015 at 2:23 PM, Mark J. Reed <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> 
>>> We seem to have fallen down another rabbit hole, but one more time: I'm
>>> talking about a hypothetical written language that has never been
>>> associated with a spoken language or anything else.  It's a thought
>>> experiment, an example of "phonology" in the broader sense we were taking
>>> about in these threads. In such a hypothetical language, the only logical
>>> meaning for "phoneme" I can think of is identical with "grapheme". Unless
>>> there is some other candidate I'm missing that exists purely in the realm
>>> of a never-spoken written-only language...
>>> 
>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>> 
>>>> On Aug 2, 2015, at 14:20, Jason Cullen <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>> Well, two thoughts:
>>>> 
>>>> First, a grapheme is going to be realized as graphs. So there is still
>>> some
>>>> issue analogous to phonology.
>>>> Second, I don't know of any writing system that ignores phonology. Even
>>>> most Chinese characters have phonological elements.
>>>> 
>>>> Of course, people have always wanted an idealized writing system
>>>> independent of phonology and lexemes, like Leibniz's idealized
>>>> (mis)understanding of Chinese. I doubt such a system is possible.
>>>> 
>>>>> On Sun, Aug 2, 2015 at 1:15 PM, Mark J. Reed <[log in to unmask]>
>>> wrote:
>>>>> 
>>>>> I was speaking of a purely-written language. No spoken, signed,
>>> signaled,
>>>>> or any other form exists - just the script. What is a phoneme in one of
>>>>> those if not a grapheme?
>>>>> 
>>>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>>>> 
>>>>>> On Aug 2, 2015, at 13:13, Jason Cullen <[log in to unmask]>
>>> wrote:
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> A grapheme isn't actually a phoneme necessarily, since more than one
>>>>>> grapheme (or set of graphemes) can be used to represent a phoneme.
>>> {ph},
>>>>>> {gh}, and {f] are all used to represent English /f/.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> On Sun, Aug 2, 2015 at 12:01 PM, Mark J. Reed <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> On Aug 2, 2015, at 10:16, R A Brown <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> If you define phoneme as "The smallest contrastive
>>>>>>>> linguistic unit which may bring about a change of meaning",
>>>>>>>> then fair enough.
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> So for written-only languages, I suppose a grapheme is actually a
>>>>> phoneme
>>>>>>> as well. I can buy that.
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> As one of the folks who, through my own ignorance, helped kickstart
>>> the
>>>>>>> argument about the extended definitions of phon{e,eme,ology,...}, I
>>> must
>>>>>>> apologize again for the derailment.  While etymology is not destiny,
>>> in
>>>>>>> this case the root is so close to the surface that I tripped over
>>> it. :/
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> --
>>>>>> Jason Cullen
>>>>>> MA Applied English Linguistics
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> --
>>>> Jason Cullen
>>>> MA Applied English Linguistics
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> --
>> Jason Cullen
>> MA Applied English Linguistics
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> Jason Cullen
> MA Applied English Linguistics

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