2014-03-25 3:04 GMT+01:00 Nicole Valicia Thompson-Andrews <
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> I just read this and the post below it.
> I don't understand your question about Braille and lines and shapes. Are
> you
> talking about tactile graphics?

I think this question was already answered, but tactile graphics seem to be
a closely-related subject. Do you use them often?


Now, I'm going to describe a script I've been creating. I would appreciate
if you could help me finish it. If anything in the following description
can be copyrighted, consider it available under the license the most close
to GNU GPL as possible.
It was said before in this list that ideas are not copyrightable. I don't
know if my description would be considered simply as an idea. If any of you
want to create a "concrete expression" of this idea (or a modified
version), go ahead and please make an image of it available.

Well, my script is intended to be both visual and tactile. It's a featural
phonetic alphabet that could actually be used instead of IPA. This is a
working hypothesis of mine. Just to avoid a brain freeze caused by
considerations about the viability of an international auxiliary script
(other than roman characters), please use the technique of "willing
suspension of disbelief" to consider that it will actually be used by
hundreds of people to write languages and that we have a great
responsability on building it.


- Every visible stroke is also embossed.

- The reading direction is assumed to be left-to-right up-to-down in this
description, but that's easily changed if you want to write in other

- Three parallel horizontal lines guide the writing/reading process. Those
lines are invisible and non tactile, except in the beginning of the text
(see below).

- The beginning of the text is marked by a filled triangle, just like the
"PLAY" sign, from which our three parallel horizontal guidelines emanate.

- Each letter is built by placing graphemes that represent phonetic
features, one after another. I'm still deciding how to distinguish features
of the same phoneme from features of subsequent phonemes (e.g. /t_h/ from
/th/). Can you help me with that?

- In order to describe my graphemes better, let's first define some

-- DL: diagonal line, whose horizontal direction is left-to-right and whose
vertical direction is to be defined for each grapheme
-- HL: horizontal line
-- VL: vertical line
-- TGL: top guideline
-- BGL: bottom guideline
-- MGL: middle guideline

- So, the actual representation of consonantal features is as follows:

-- The places of articulation (they are ):

--- upper lip: DL from TGL to MGL
--- upper teeth: HL on TGL then folding into a VL from TGL to MGL
--- lower lip: DL from BGL to MGL
--- lower teeth: HL on BGL then folding into a VL from BGL to MGL
--- alveolar ridge: HL on TGL with a "tick sign" at the end (the tick sign
is "rotated" here; it's small angle formed by bending the line back and
downwards at the end)
--- lower alveolar ridge, the region beneath the tongue (if needed): HL on
BGL with a tick sign at the end
--- hard palate: HL on TGL
--- velum: DL from MGL to TGL
--- uvula: VL from MGL to TGL then folding into an HL on TGL
--- pharynx: VL from MGL to BGL then folding into an HL on BGL
--- epiglottis: HL on BGL with a "tick" at the beginning
--- back of the tongue: DL from MGL to BGL
--- tongue: a line from the corner of a small K-shaped sign centered on
MGL, that represents the throat, towards another part that represents a
point of articulation

-- So,
--- a bilabial would join the symbols of the upper and lower lips to form a
"greater-than" sign (>)
--- a velar would join the symbols of the velum and the back of the tongue
to form a "less-than" sign (<)
--- a retroflex would be a line emanating from a small "less-than" sign,
then going forwards and finally curving up and downward
--- etc.

-- Voicing is represented by a small unfilled circle centered on MGL. That
(this?) same circle alone represents a schwa. Each of the other vowels is
represented by the schwa circle with an arrow going from it towards the
relative position of that vowel in relation to schwa in the conventional
vowel chart (make rectangular instead of trapezoidal for the sake of
simplicity). E.g.,

--- [a] is represented the "schwa circle" with an arrow downwards,
--- a generic "e" between /e/ and /E/ is represented by the schwa circle
with an arrow backwards (to the left)
--- [u] is the circle with a diagonal up-right arrow

-- I have some ideas to distinguish rounded vowels, but I'd better hear
some suggestions.

-- So, a multiple articulated phoneme described as a
bilabial-velar-uvular-pharyngeal-dental would look like a diamond inscribed
in a square. If this phoneme is also voiced, it will be quite well
represented by the flag of Brazil.

-- The manner of articulations are represented as follows:

--- stop: VL from TGL to BGL
--- nasal: two parallel VL from TGL to BGL
--- fricative: two parallel HL, one above and the other below MGL
(equidistant to it and TGL/BGL)
--- etc.

Hmmm... This is all I remember now... I have also considered making the top
and botton guidelines visible and tactile, but, in that case, the HL on
those guidelines would have to turn into curves in order to make possible
to perceive them.

Até mais!


2014-03-25 20:45 GMT+01:00 Jim Henry <[log in to unmask]>:

> On Tue, Mar 25, 2014 at 3:50 AM, Matthew DeBlock <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> > I am no expert, but I will venture to guess that reason for Braille
> dominance could be attributed to
> >
> > a) Mechanical simplicity.
> > b)spacial efficiency
> I don't know much about various writing systems for the blind, but I
> suspect that the network effect may have been a signficant factor as
> well.  Braille may have been the first "good enough" system to get
> widely publicized, and once a significant number of blind people
> learned Braille, schools for the blind built up Braille libraries, and
> publishers and printers set up systems for printing Braille... then
> any other system, even if technically better, would have to be
> demonstrably a *lot* better to have any chance of persuading people to
> pay the changeover costs.  Like VHS tape format, or ASCII, or
> DOS/Windows, or any imperial power's natlang being used as an auxlang,
> etc.
> --
> Jim Henry