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On Tue, Nov 29, 2011 at 2:05 PM, Jörg Rhiemeier <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

>  Also,
> logographic scripts have the advantage of being independent from
> pronunciation, which may vary a lot between dialects.  Chinese is
> a case in point, where the differences between the "dialects" are
> big enough to consider them separate languages, yet the writing
> system, in encoding morphemes rather than phonemes, manages to
> bridge these divides.  (Apparently, the differences in syntax
> between the Chinese languages are small enough to render them
> mutually intelligible once the differences in pronunciation are
> dealt with.)
>
>
Only if you ignore native vocabulary in the "dialects" which Mandarin
doesn't have, and thus, for which no "standard" character exists.  While I
was living in Taiwan there were several scholars working on remedying that
situation for Taiwanese,but with varrying degrees of success.
Traditionally Taiwanese has been written in romanization if you wanted to
write "real" Taiwanese with things like the mono-syllabic plural pronouns
and a the inclusive/exclusive we or all the Japanese, Portuguese and other
borrowings that are integral parts of the language.  Taiwanese cannot be
written, per se, in standard Chinese characters without resorting to ad hoc
use of Characters with same or similar sounds, interspersing romanize words
or some other trick.  The scholars I mentioned above were working
(independently) toward establishing characters to write the mass
of Taiwanese daily vocab that has not had established written form until
now.  One of the dictionaries I bought seemed to be working from the
premise that new characters could be invented by modifying existing
characters (which is the way much of Cantonese is written in "non-standard"
characters) while the other dictionary I have has gone to outrageous
lengths to find old obscure characters not in normal use anymore which have
been reclaimed or repurposed for writing  Taiwanese whenever possible.

Mandarin is the only dailect which can be fully and properly written using
only the standard characters.  Taiwanese gets gyped on pronouns.  Cantonese
looses all its interjections (which are very important to that language)
and the other "dialects" suffer other but equal indignities.

Adam