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From:  Charles Butler
Date:  Thu Oct 22, 1998  1:34 am
Subject:  Re: Frequently-Asked Questions

Judy Kegl wrote:
> This is one of those issues that my wife Judy can address with inspiring
> eloquence, but I am more earthy by nature.
> The terrific thing about SW is that it is not really all that iconic.
> Rather, the system sets forth a clear and readily understanbale CODE which
> allows the reader to reliably predict the "spelling" of the sign. In
> short, SW is a visually phonetic coding system. (One might argue how much
> a specific sign language may be iconic, but SW most definitely is not.)
> It takes years and years of schooling to learn to write Chinese -- each
> written form must be memorized by rote. One can master SW in a matter of
> days.
> -- James Shepard-Kegl
I have to comment here, the Roman alphabet (or apparently the Phoenician
alphabet on which it was based) was originally pictures, puns on the
language used, Aleph means OX, and sure enough the original Aleph was an
iconographic image of an Ox yoke with an ox in it.

Also, the order of the letters themselves was apparently important, the
"alphabet" i have read somewhere actually falls into a pattern of
placement of sound like:

Vowel Labial Guttaral Dental Liquid

a b c d
e f gh
i j k l
m n
o p q r
u v w x
y z

A few things are moved around from the Greek alphabet, but the sound
order follows closely.

Just a thought.

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