Re: Shorthand (Re: Camion Code

Date: Sat Aug 21 1999 - 11:04:13 EDT

>> Don't let that discourage you too
>> much: every iconic system for representing language
       has either
>> gone that direction or died.

>Wasn't Hangul originally iconic? Did it deviate? It obviously
       hasn't died.

       I might be wrong on this - I'm no expert on Hangul, but as far
       as I'm aware the assumption of iconicity being used in the
       design of Hangul is only speculative; I don't know if there is
       any documentary evidence to support this. I realise that this
       is the basis for Hangul often being referred to as "featural",
       but it works only (if at all) for points of articulation of
       consonants. As I recall, for vowels, any assumed iconicity is
       based on some pretty abstract metaphors. Regardless of whether
       or not iconicity was a factor in the way King Seychong (or his
       wise men) invented Hangul, I doubt that it is at all a factor
       in how children are taught to read Korean, or in how anybody
       mentally interprets the characters in the reading process (but
       with fluent reading - chunking - or when encountering new
       words). So, in that sense, I'd say (if my assumptions above)
       that it has come to be treated as abstract (if it wasn't always

       Again, my knowledge of Korean and of Hangul is limited, so any
       experts on the history of Hangul out there can please feel free
       to correct me on this.

       If I am wrong, then I'll revise the initial statement to say,
       "... nearly every iconic system...".


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