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From:  Michael Everson
Date:  Sat Mar 9, 2002  7:05 pm
Subject:  Efficiency


Someone said:

> > I'm sure a Chinese or Egyptian might think (or have thought) that
>their logographic systems were more efficient than an alphabetic
>script. I am not sure having not spoken with a Chinese or Egyptian
>to see their thoughts <SMILE>.

Logographic writing systems don't generally last. Usually they
degenerate into syllabaries and then alphabets. Cuneiform pictographs
became very stylized, and like Egyptian, there were alphabetic signs,
syllabic signs, and unpronounced "determinatives" (determinatives are
a grammatical category in Irish Sign Language, interestingly). There
has been a lot of work done on how much actual phonetic information
is encoded in most Chinese logographs, too.

Anyway efficiency has to do with lots of questions. How long does it
take to learn? Is the language composed of mono- or di-syllables
which can easily be represented by a single unit?
--
Michael Everson *** Everson Typography *** http://www.evertype.com


  Replies Author Date
6497 DIssertations and papers Flavio Medina Wed  3/13/2002
6498 Re: DIssertations and papers Valerie Sutton Wed  3/13/2002
6499 Re: DIssertations and papers Valerie Sutton Thu  3/14/2002
6500 Re: DIssertations and papers Valerie Sutton Thu  3/14/2002
6514 Re: Dissertations and papers Flavio Medina Sun  3/17/2002

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