On Thu, Sep 9, 2010 at 10:07 AM, John Vertical <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Since a word can have only one initial syllable but many non-initial ones,
> wouldn't it be a more combinatorially powerful system if there was an
> initial-syllable-only segment rather than a non-initial syllable one? That
> seems easier to parse, too: the lis'ner only has to be on the watch for one
> specific sound, not n-1 of them.

Yes, you are correct. Combinatorially, there are many more possible
words using a single vowel sound as the distinguishing one, but it
seems to me that it is easier to pick out the one distinct vowel sound
in a monotonous chain of uniform vowels sounds than to pick one
particular vowel sound out of a stream of constantly changing vowel
sounds. It's kind of like looking for a rodent, any kind of rodent, in
the bathtub as opposed to looking for the gerbil in a room full of
rats, mice, squirrels and voles.

Larry: How did I miss Konya? I didn't know about that one. It looks
very interesting.

> By "simplest", do you mean "fewest number of rules", or something like
> that, or are we fudging that to make allowances for what humans can
> easily parse? I find there's a significant difference between
> "logically simplest" and "simplest for a person".

I think what I had in mind was the system that requires the shortest
explanation. A system that can be explained in eight words is simpler
than one which takes 14 words to explain.