RM>Let me elaborate, then on my perspective. An "alphabet" is
a collection of symbols. It includes only the "phonological"
or "syllabic" units and not the punctuation, quoting
conventions, document formatting conventions, and so forth. An
alphabet is a static collection of symbols, which typically
represent some form of segmentation of a natural language. A
"writing system" includes the symbols of the alphabet, but in
addition includes rules about their use, some set of
punctuation symbols with rules for their use, and so forth...
I see the value of Rick's use of "alphabet" to exclude
punctuation, etc. Writing system, then, would include
everything used for the given language, including punctuation,
etc. This makes sense in terms of Daniels typology since it
does not address at all punctuation, etc. but only those
elements that represent phonological units.
I think it better, however, not to confuse alphabet with
syllabary, or with other types. It seems to me that Rick's
statement, "It includes only the 'phonological' or 'syllabic'
units..." suggests the need for a term that refers to the
collection of symbols in a writing system that represent purely
phonological information. I don't think "alphabet" is the best
choice for this since this is used to mean a particular type of
writing system or script. Perhaps "orthography" would be
appropriate for this purpose.
Non-Roman Script Initiative, SIL
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