Re: Camion Code - way off topic

From: JoAnne Marie (
Date: Sat Aug 21 1999 - 09:05:37 EDT

> (Peter C.) Rather than "decipherable", I think a better term might be
> "iconic" for what you mean.

(JM) I'm not sure what you mean by iconic

> ... the voiceless plosives are considering ((?)) stronger or more
forceful than the voiced plosives...

What do you mean by 'stronger'? For me, the 'voiced' consonants have the
'added weight' of the vibrating vocal cords as opposed to the 'voiceless'
which do not.

> By the way, how would any other nasal consonant (e.g. velar,
> palatal) be represented?

If you're referring to the /ng/ type sounds, I have 'arbitrarily' chosen to
represent them as digraphs.

> Any
> representation - even an iconic one - is, of necessity, an
> abstraction. An iconic representation system, however,
> minimises that abstraction sufficiently so that the
> interpretation of the formal representation is apparent. (At
> least this is true of any *successful* iconic system of
> representation.) It remains an abstraction, nontheless: the
> denotation is not the same thing as the denotee. Now, for
> iconic systems, the degree of abstraction becomes an important
> factor in the determining the range of possible
> interpretations: since the interpretation is dependent *solely*
> upon the inherent qualities of the formal representation, the
> amount of information resulting from the interpretation is less
> than or equal to the amount of information that can be embodied
> by those inherent qualities. When there is a need to provide a
> high level of detail in representations, then the inherent
> qualities of that iconic system must be adequate to meet those
> demands. The fact that the representation is an abstraction,
> however, necessarily imposes limitations.
Can anyone out there tell me what he's talking about?

> From what I've seen, CC falls far short of phonetic
> representation.

How many times and with what additional *emphasis* do I need to repeat that
the Camion Code is intended to be PHONEMIC, not phonetic (nor
'comprehensive' - its for English first, and IF it may be adapted for other
languages, I leave that to speakers of those languages!)

> ... Even
> the iconic aspects of the system are don't seem to me to be all
> that intuitive. (Marie, ((that's my last name, Constable!))
herself, pointed out, "It's true that
> these terms ((labial, dental... plosive, fricative...)) and their
'meanings' must be learned... ".) Even
> having taken a course in articulatory phonetics, which ((?))
> apparently imporant in the iconicity of this system, symbols
> derived from Roman script have, at least for me, far more
> mne((u -?))monic value for phonetic representation.

Do you mean to tell me that the sign 'm' *intuitively tells you* it should
be pronounced as a nasalized bilabial fricative?! Do forgive me, perhaps
its a question of training, but I see absolutely *nothing* 'mnemonic' in
the (often variable!) forms of the letters of the roman alphabet!

> There is, in addition to all ((the, the -?)) critique that has been
> mentioned already that a phonetic representation of "English"
> is, of necessity, a representation of some specific dialect of
> English. For all of the problems of English spelling, it has
> one very great benefit, which is that a single representation
> can be read by people from (almost) all over the globe and be
> interpreted very nearly uniformly.

I have responded to this point in another post (also to you, Peter, if I'm
not mistaken). One of the greatest impediments to the learning of English
(including by native speakers, in terms of literacy) is the irregularity of
its orthography. This would be obviated by a graphic phonemic
representation. (If it can be understood aurally, it can equally well in
such a 'written' form).

> ... I am
> not aware of any evidence indicating that CC has enough user
> acceptance (I currently know of a user community consisting of
> one) to merit incorporation in any plane of Unicode...

What I asked for (in particular) was feedback on the binary coding I'm
proposing (0 for punctuation, 1 for speech sound, 1 for a consonant, 0 for
a vowel...) in the 5th paragraph (of 9) in my initial posting.

> I feel a little bad having said so much to deride what a new
> member of the list holds dear, so let me close by saying,
> Marie ((!)), don't let my critique bother you: you obviously find
> this interesting, so keep enjoying it. I know that if I
> admitted to my fascination with pant pocket lint, I'd be
> laughed off this list.

Honey, I fear its the quality of your (unlistening!) argumentation which
has me tittering in my beer!
((Is that lint in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me? ;-()))

JoAnne Marie,
CV, Phonetics and Poetry on:

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