On Tue, 25 Jun 2013 19:49:22 +0100, R A Brown wrote:

>On 25/06/2013 19:24, BPJ wrote:
>> [^1]:   A thousand years ago people in this part of the
>> world made just dandy with a phonologically
>> underspecified, caseless script precisely because it
>> preserved all relevant grammatical distinctions!
>Ah, the younger fuþąrk with just 16 runes. Yep, why bother
>with the 24 of the elder fuþark when you can be readily
>understood with just 16?
>	:-)


>We tend to get so hung up on the idea that a script should
>be phonemic.  Whilst that is indeed useful for a beginner or
>foreigner, it certainly isn't needed for a native speaker if
>enough information is encoded to make the meaning clear.
>The Arabic script is normally phonologically
>underspecified, yet it is very widely used.

Taylor shorthand was a widely used shorthand for English
that omitted *all* vowels.

I think that omitting *all* vowels is extreme. Yet some
European languages like English, German or Franch have a
huge number of vowel distinctions. When writing, you can
easily drop about three quarters of them without losing