--- In [log in to unmask], Herman Miller <hmiller@I...> wrote:
> [snip]
> I had a sort of "featural alphabet" before the list, but it was 
> cumbersome and I never really used it. I believe it was called 
> Atylat or 
> something like that. The Gargoyle alphabet from Ultima VI also has 
> featural elements (as much as Visible Speech or Tengwar, at least).
> I've had an interest in Visible Speech for a long time after seeing 
> an 
> exhibit in a museum in Canada, and at one time even did a 
> translation of 
> my home page:

I looked; turns out this computer can't display it.

> I don't know how accurate this is; it wasn't easy at the time to 
> find 
> information about Visible Speech. But VS was one of the 
> inspirations 
> that led me to develop the Tharkania and Ljörr writing systems. 
> You'll 
> probably need the Teamouse VS font to view this, unless you happen 
> to 
> have another Visible Speech font lying around.
> Francis Lodwick's "Essay towards an Universal Alphabet" (published 
> in 
> 1686, and mentioned in an article in Jim Allan's book _An 
> Introduction 
> to Elvish_) appears to be more or less a featural alphabet, as far 
> as 
> the consonants go.
> Here, I found a picture of it on an Italian web page:

Thanks.  I have saved this URL.

> But probably one of the most "featural" of scripts would be Otto 
> Jespersen's "Analphabetic Notation". Each phonetic sound is written 
> as 
> an unwieldy string of Greek letters, numerals, superscripts, and 
> symbols. Daniels and Bright's _The World's Writing Systems_ gives 
> the 
> example of [n], which is written as α„β0fγ„δ2εɪζ3 
> (the "f" should be a 
> superscript).

That system is "featural", but not an "alphabet" (as, indeed, the 
name "Analphabetic Notation" would lead one to expect.)
I don't "like" it (for present purposes) because I, too, find 
it "unwieldy".


Thanks for the three URLs.


Does anyone know, or has anyone been able to, apply Roman Jakobson's 
[1] original distinctive-feature set to Alexander Melville Bell's 
Visible Speech?

[1] "Jakobson, Roman; Fant, Gunnar; & Halle, Morris. (1952). 
Preliminaries to speech analysis: The distinctive features and their 
correlates. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. "

IIRC Jakobson's original 12-feature set was:
Vocalic vs Non-Vocalic
Consonantal vs Non-Consonantal
Compact vs Diffuse
Grave vs Acute
Abrupt vs Continuous
Strident vs Mellow
Flat vs Plain
Sharp vs Plain
Voiced vs Mute
Tense vs Lax
Checked vs "Unchecked (?)"
Nasal vs "Oral (?)" (non-Nasal)

Tom H.C. in MI