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From:  Bill Reese
Date:  Fri Dec 17, 1999  5:39 pm
Subject:  Re: writing compounds

Val et al,

Interesting that we would talk about spaces. When I was learning some Japanese,
I noticed that Japanese characters are all run together and it takes an
understanding of the use of the different alphabets in that language to
distinguish the different "words".

Also, recently, a friend of mine had a keyboard on which the space key was
stuck. When we chatted online there were no spaces between any of the words but
it only took a little bit more concentration to make out the individual words.
Content, familiarity with the language, and the use of a carriage return to
separate sentences provided ample clues.

Bill Reese

Valerie Sutton wrote:

> >Semantics -- gripes! My lay understanding is that when two words join to
> >form a single word, that word os a compound by definition (at least by my
> >definition.) Thus, FIREMAN is indeed a single word and it is a compound.
> >Right? So, is APPLE TREE in english a compound or two words? I think they
> >are two words, but APPLESAUCE is a compound. (I cheated -- used a
> >dictionary.) I don't know whether APPLE TREE is one or two words (or more)
> >in ASL.
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Hi James & Everyone....
> Yes...I am a lay person too when it comes to definitions of linguistic
> terms etc. The real difference between the word FIREMAN and hyphenated
> words (I guess), leans towards what Fernando was saying...that languages
> change overtime to something that is more centrally placed or more
> condensed. And perhaps way back in history, the word FIREMAN was written
> FIRE-MAN...I don't know. Really it is the hyphen that bothers far
> as I can see a hyphen is not mandatory between the parts of a
> compound....maybe new compounds, but not old ones? What do you think?
> Some languages string several words together in a long line - it is amazing
> that people know where one word stops and the other starts!
> And something similar is happening in writing compound signs in
> SignWriting. Years ago, back in the early 1980's, when we were real new to
> writing signs, we went through a stage where we used a line as a hypen
> between two signs that were considered compounds. So I know exactly where
> you are coming from, since I've been there!
> But time marches on, and new writing conventions evolve...Now the writing
> of compound signs is becoming like sign instead of two, with
> no hyphen.
> That doesn't mean I am saying you should drop your hypens, James! Nor do I
> want anyone else to change your writing styles...I am just sharing some of
> the newer developments. This has come about partly because of writing "down
> the page" now I will attach several signs in a row to show you some
> examples of this evolution...
> Val ;-)

  Replies Author Date
2512 Re: writing compounds (from Joe Martin) Valerie Sutton Mon  12/20/1999

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