Re: Hangul leaves the nest...

From: Mark E. Shoulson (
Date: Mon Aug 10 2009 - 21:32:38 CDT

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    Doug Ewell wrote:

    > Mark E. Shoulson <mark at kli dot org> wrote:
    >> Even if they use the Jamos with different values, i.e. if the
    >> phonology is really different, what matters is that the
    >> syllable-structure should be similar. Hangul is designed to handle a
    >> particular kind of syllable; something with, say, too many consonants
    >> allowed in the coda could be a problem.
    > You know, like English.
    > This might be an interesting experiment for the Hangul enthusiasts who
    > have called it "the most perfect phonetic system devised" and "the
    > most efficient alphabet ever invented," and have claimed that
    > virtually any language could be written effectively in Hangul.
    I know that Hangul isn't really as wonderfully logical and perfect as it
    seems to people like me, looking down at it from 1000 feet. But even
    so, it is awfully cool, I'll admit... but, yes, ill-suited to a language
    like English. I don't know where "virtually any language could be
    written effectively in Hangul" is from, and if it's true it is just
    because you can eventually come up with SOME coding in almost any set of
    symbols that can limp along. I don't know if Cia-Cia is really using
    Hangul in all its regularity (real or imagined), or maybe doing
    something like using the stacking arrangements but ignoring the
    relationships among the different consonants
    (voiceless/ejective/whatever). Losing that regularity might seem a
    terrible thing to do to Hangul, but since a lot of languages/writing
    systems don't preserve such things anyway, it's not such a disaster for

    (Once or twice I mused about inventing a Hangul-like system for
    Esperanto, which is still heavy in consonants, but at least has a
    simpler syllable-structure to analyze than English. Could also be
    useful in showing morpheme-breaks which otherwise can be ambiguous.
    Never wound up with anything decent.)
    > Fortunately, from the few available samples, Cia-Cia appears to
    > contain a high concentration of CV and CVC syllables, implying that
    > Hangul might not be such a bad fit. Personally, I hope it's a raging
    > success for the 80,000 or so speakers.
    If it really stank, presumably it wouldn't have gotten enough support
    for them to adopt it. More power to 'em.


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