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Re: VMs: Stroke harmony. Was: Has anyone been down this route before?
From: Jacques Guy
>>But not always - right? I see a fair number of ae sequences.
>I just had a look and found 14 occurrences of <ae> but 6666
>(wow! that's a worry!) of <ai>
>No. The gallows and <o> do seem to be "harmony neutral".
>You will observe similar properties in real languages which
>have vowel harmony, Finnish for instance, where e and i are
But is this the same thing? Each vowel is a distinct phoneme, whether it is front or back. Strokes can often stand by themselves. I'm not sure the concepts are analogous.
Too, strokes may not affect meaning. The ff ligature in current Latin typography doesn't, nor do the gallows embellishments we have found in medieval Ms, so far as I can tell.
Are Chinese and Arabic scripts relevant here? Chinese characters are conventionally analyzed into strokes for classification. Arabic characters take on different forms depending on position within words.
>The terminology (glyph, grapheme and so on) leaves
>to be desired. Add to that that the Russians (in Rongorongo
>studies and, I believe, in Mayan studies too) use "grafem"
>for graph, or glyph, or grapheme, and that the French have
>followed the Russian usage, and you have a complete mess.
So in French "graphe`me" may mean either graph, glyph, or grapheme?
>To communicate without confusion you have to redefine
>everything every time.
I thought "grapheme" was the analogue of "phoneme", a set of marks on a writing surface that constitute a meaningful unit; "graph" was a single instance of a grapheme; "allograph" was an alternative form of a grapheme, as B for b . I'm not sure about "glyph". Babs said it was the epigrapher's analogue for "grapheme".
> That is one of reasons which
>made me write, in my review of Kennedy and Churchill's
>"The Voynich Manuscript" that "without a guiding methodology,
>which we lack, which we need to develop, its study leads
>only to follies worthy of Newbold's." Graphs, graphemes,
>and so on, are only one very small part of the general
Yes. I've finally realized something. Cryptographers treat the VMs like a cipher. Linguists approach it as a language. Epigraphers and other students of writing are applying their own concepts. However, we have something which doesn't really follow the rules of any of the disciplines, so we need a methodology which is a superset of all of them.
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