Re: [ANE-2] Reading revolutions
- Thoroughly refuted, see Lingua Posnaniensis 42 (2000): 43-55.
Because of Gelb's fallacious "Principle of Unidirectional Development," he had
to claim that Ethiopic/Indic are "alphabets" because he knew perfectly well that
they developed out of the consonantary, which he had labeled "syllabary." He
also said that Ethiopic/Indic "presents some difficult problems" (186). Only to
What is "Winkeralphabet"? In English, "semaphore" is sending visual signals over
a distance, usually by an alphabetic code using signal flags, or Morse code from
a beacon, or similar schemes.
Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
>From: R. Lehmann <lehmann@...>
>Sent: Sat, October 2, 2010 2:52:59 PM
>Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Reading revolutions
>But what about Gelb’s earlier statement that all West Semitic scripts were not
>alphabets, but rather syllabaries? (Daniels 1990, Gelb 1963, see also Powell
>"Semaphorics" is the "Winkeralphabet". Admittedly, I was a little bit kidding.
>Reinhard G. Lehmann
>Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz
>Am 02.10.2010 um 05:02 schrieb Peter T. Daniels:
>> I refer you to Alfred Schmitt, *Die Erfindung der Schrift* (1980), aposthumous
>> collection of papers, and also to various articles of mine going back to
>>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
>> What is "semaphorics"? --
>> Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
>> Jersey City
>> ----- Original Message ----
>> > From: R. Lehmann <lehmann@...>
>> > To: ANEemail@example.com
>> > Sent: Fri, October 1, 2010 8:39:09 AM
>> > Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Reading revolutions
>> > ... syllabaries?
>> > An all-too simplistic kind of view. Gelb re-activated?
>> > Maybe syllabaries.
>> > maybe logograms.
>> > maybe semaphorics,
>> > or maybe something else.
>> > Nobody will know for sure how the mind of mankind would have gone.
>> > ииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииииии
>> > Dr. Reinhard G. Lehmann
>> > > What is "it"?
>> > >
>> > > It's certainly true that there's nothing intuitive about the alphabet -- or
>> > > would have been invented lots of times around the world. Instead, what gets
>> > > invented when people know nothing about writing except that it exists is
>> > > syllabaries. --
>> > > Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
>> > > Jersey City
>> > >
>> > > >
>> > > >From: Graham Hagens <rgrahamh@...>
>> > > >To: ANEfirstname.lastname@example.org
>> > > >Sent: Thu, September 30, 2010 3:23:19 PM
>> > > >Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Reading revolutions
>> > > >
>> > > >
>> > > >But it was a 'functional' communication medium which was able to
>> > > >compete with the alphabet for several centuries.
- Peter - thanks for your insightful responses to what Brian called by 'enigmatic' note.
It is probably time to stop before I get into more trouble.
But just a couple of remarks:
Peter Daniels wrote:
>And a Chinese person tells us that he can _get a general idea of_ a JapanesePrecisely my point: they are not reading the other language, they are absorbing the information in their own.
>newspaper article even though he knows no Japanese. In neither direction are
>they _reading_ in the other language.
As you know various trades achieve this all the time by means of technical symbolism.
In my profession I am frequently required to understand chemical data embedded within a text written in any one of a number of languages with which I am unfamiliar.
It is surprisingly easy to do.
In the case of mathematics even more so. Marshall McLuhan famously stated that the medium is the message: in technical literature symbolism becomes the medium.
>>This carries the implication that humans would have kept looking for something
>>like the alphabet for a long long time had it not emerged when it did.
>Sorry, I cannot fathom this statement. What is "something like the alphabet"
>that could have been "looked for"? Seems like _you're_ suggesting some sort of
>superiority for an alphabet!
Exactly. And why not?
Don't you think it's a little odd that such an idea might appear so out to lunch that an exclamation mark is required?
What if we could design a system which would allow us all to communicate in our own languages and have others anywhere in the world absorb the information in theirs?
Anyway, as I said. Probably time to stop, we're a long way from the ANE now
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