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Hallo conlangers!

On Tuesday 29 November 2011 08:38:34 R A Brown wrote:

> On 28/11/2011 22:39, And Rosta wrote:
> [snip
> 
> > It had been my impression from a whole slew of messages
> > that people were saying it was off-topic and, iirc, a
> > message from Sam countenanced its prohibition. But I
> > don't have time to reread for quotes.
> 
> Some people seem to have a similar view of Shwa to mine; the
> closest that Sam came was to say that _advocacy_ of the
> Roman alphabet as a universal alphabet to the exclusion of
> others would be prohibited.

Yes.  Advocacy of auxlangs and "auxscripts" (if there is such
a word) is frowned upon on this list.  There is the AUXLANG
list for that.
 
> [snip]
> 
> > That seems to me not a slight rewording but rather
> > utterly different. There are clear linguistic criteria
> > to the suitability of a script to a language,
> 
> That is an arguable thesis. Was the hieroglyphic system
> specially suitable for ancient Egyptian and the Coptic
> alphabet suitable for its descendant?  It seems to me that
> writing systems are remarkably adaptable.

Indeed, they are.  I have once read that the Egyptian
hieroglyphics and the Mesopotamian cuneiform were so
complex because the scribes wanted it so such that they
could maintain the advantaged position they held in
society - had they simplified the scripts towards an
alphabet, everybody could have learned to write, and the
scribes as a class had become superfluous.
 
> Tho I admit no one would disagree that the Phoenician
> derived alphabet was a better way of writing Greek than
> Linear B was (tho the Cypriots happily carried on using
> their syllabary well into the Classical period).

Yes.  Actually, many if not most writing systems are
underspecifying, leaving some details of the phonology
unrepresented, to the frustration of philologists.  Why?
Because they are made for people who know the language
and can thus supply the missing details from their own
knowledge.
 
> > whereas there aren't clear linguistic criteria to the
> > suitability of a language to a nation.
> 
> But according to many, there are clear linguistic criteria
> to the suitability of a language as a global auxlang.  I
> also think that is very debatable - but that other list is
> the place for that debate.

Right.  "Easy to learn" is such a vague and vacuous notion,
for instance.  One can draw a few conclusions from that, such
as that irregular inflections are to be avoided, but that is
about it.  The linguistic criteria for a good IAL are anything
but clear!
 
> > I don't object to you perceiving this strange analogy; I
> > object only to an unwarranted clamour that might silence
> > Peter. But you make it clear that you're not part of any
> > such clamour.
> 
> It is clear from the Shwa website that Peter is passionate
> about Shwa and its aims.

He is.

>       I have no quarrel with his reply
> to my email of the 24th Nov.: "Or you could use the Shwa
> Syllabary gait, which is already a featural syllabary."
> 
> I would probably have done the same in his position   :)
> 
> I was annoyed only with myself for rising to the bait, so to
> speak.  Of course I could have used that abugida or any
> other abugida or, indeed, some syllabary such as hiragana,
> katakana, Linear B or the ancient Cypriot syllabary.  But
> *none* of them would have met the aim of using the Roman
> alphabet as a shorthand system.

Indeed.  The idea behind the briefscript project, as I understand
it, is to use *the readily available Latin alphabet* in a way
that texts are, at average, shorter than in natural languages;
there is *nothing* a newly invented script such as Shwa could
contribute to the solution, no matter whether it is peddled as
a universal orthography or not!
 
> [CONCERNING BRX]
> 
> > Joerg said, IIRC, that he couldn't think of any way of
> > improving it. I gave it some thought and couldn't
> > either, but decided that a "Nor me" message from me was
> > not worth anybody's while.
> 
> You are correct about Jörg.

Right.

>       OK, I can see that you could
> consider a "nor me" message to the whole list pointless; but
> a private message would be nice. It is helpful to know
> opinions of one's ideas.

Sure.
 
> > My more general comment would be that the central
> > question of Brx, namely the optimal phonetic
> > realizations of syllabemes if the roman alphabet were
> > used as a syllabary, derives from the accidents of your
> > own intellectual history
> 
> Or rather the accidents of my attempting to improve on what
> Reginald Dutton tried to do more than half a century ago.  I
> was warned by someone on this list a few years that Dutton's
> aims were incompatible.  He may be right - but nevertheless,
> I doggedly persist.    ;)

Certainly, everybody of us has his own subjective trajectory
of thoughts and experiences leading them to doing those projects
they are doing.  That makes the world of conlangs as diverse as
it is.
 
> > and is more a conlinguistic challenge than intrinsically
> > interesting (e.g. other engelangers are unlikely to be
> > moved to borrow from Brx). You are always at great pains
> > to be clear about this, and not to claim otherwise; I
> > mention it simply because it explains why Brx isn't of
> > broader interest.
> 
> But still, it would seem, Brx is of greater interest than
> Adam's Alleliawullian/ Alelliawuilan which got zero
> responses - until, conscious stricken, I replied yesterday
> (Adam had told me privately: "Ray, you should be offering
> sacrifices of thanksgiving at the altar of St. Hildegard
> that you got a response at all.  My last on-topic post went
> entirely without response").

No conlang raises the interest of every person on this list,
I think.  There are people who just don't care about Latin-
alphabet syllabaries; there are people who aren't interested
in a language of "Elves" of prehistoric Britain; etc.  Some
people monomaniacally pursue their own project and don't care
about *any* other conlang.  Most, however, take interest in
some, but not all projects of other conlangers.
 
--
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