From: Jony Rosenne (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Jun 30 2005 - 02:51:17 CDT
> -----Original Message-----
> From: email@example.com
> [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Eric Muller
> Sent: Wednesday, June 29, 2005 9:16 PM
> To: Unicode Mailing List
> Subject: Re: Measuring a writing system "economy"/"accuracy"
> John Hudson wrote:
> > From your message, particularly the reference to IPA, I
> suspect that
> > you are talking about phonetic economy and accuracy.
> Yes, the question is "when a writing system is viewed as a
> mechanism to
> record sounds, how good a job does it do?", where "good" is to be
> defined. I chose "economy", because arguably a writing system
> that has
> 10 symbols or symbol combinations for the same sound is not
> "as good" as
> one that has only 1. But that is not enough: a system with a single
> symbol for all sounds would be very economic, hence the
> "accuracy" part.
Most writing systems, IPA excepted, are not intended to record sounds, but
rather to convey words and sentences.
> IPA, as least when restricted to the set of symbols used for
> the writing
> of a given language, is presumably both an economic (there is
> a single
> sign for a given sound) and accurate writing system for that
> Hence the idea of measuring by comparing to IPA (with the
> that the methodoly would have to account for the situation
> mentionned by
> Then the meta-question is: is that kind of question interesting? how
> should we define good? if we could answer it, what could we
> explore/learn? Or is the whole approach just doomed from the
> start, may
> be because historical accidents are far more important in the
> of writing systems than the forces that would tend to make
> them "better"?
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