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Re: VMs: Voynichese as an Abugida

On Fri, 30 Jul 2004, Rene Zandbergen wrote:
> Other scripts have been derived from the Devanagari, and have slightly
> different solutions for the vowels. The idea is that the 'implied' vowel
> (usually, if not always, "a") does not have to be written, and in those
> cases where there is a different vowel, it is indicated by a different
> symbol, occasionally also above or below the string of consonants. This
> works well for some Indian languages, where 'a' is by far the most
> common vowel.  Corollary: an abugida-like script could work with far
> fewer symbols than one might expect.

Assuming it doesn't do something special about representing clusters, but
treats them as piled up "empty consonant-sylalbles" it is interchangeable
with a Semitic style consonantal script (including the vowel signs as

> The question about word-initial vowels can also be approached in
> different ways. Some languages employ a null-consonant to start the word
> (or syllable), which in reality is like a glottal stop. Just because we
> don't write these in European languages doesn't mean that these couldn't
> be "real consonants".

Sometimes the nul consonant is an aitch, as in Winnebago, Shawnee, and
Cockney.  Or it might be an orthographic fiction.  I think that's approach
in Karoshthi.

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