Pau Cin Hau scripts proposal : confusive N3865 and better older N3781

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Tue Jul 20 2010 - 18:52:31 CDT

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    A side note about this preliminary proposal for allocating blocks in
    the SMP for the two Pau Cin Hau scripts (including one for the large
    "logographic" script, with 1050 signs):

    (authored by Anshuman Pandey, in MIT)

    If the non-logographic Pau Cin Hau script (currently counting 57 signs
    in this preliminary report that does not give its sources and does not
    give examples) is effectively described as containing 21 separate
    consonnants, 7 separate vowels, and incidentally a few other (9) final
    consonnants (not different in fact from Greek with its final sigma, or
    even from Latin with its deprecated final "long s"), then it is
    certainly not a "syllabary", and probably not even an "alphasyllabary"
    ("abugida") unless the some or all of the consonnants carry their own
    inherent vowel that the vowel signs will modify. The addtional
    presence of diacritical tone marks will not be decisive for this

    But may be there are some consonnants that combine the two aspects
    (with or without the inherent vowel), or some "consonnants" that are
    in fact coming from old ligatures treated now as separate letters and
    used to write a complete syllable distinctly from the separate
    consonnant and vowel (look for the Mandaic script for finding two
    similar examples at end of its alphabet).

    So why this documents still hesitates between "syllabary" and
    "alphasyllabary" when designating the 57-signs script ? For me it can
    only be a alphabet or an alphasyllabary (abugida), depending on the
    behavior of the consonnants (implicit presence of an inherent vowel,
    and absence of this vowel as a separate sign).

    Is that because this document confuses the "logographic" 1050-signs
    script with what it could really be, in fact a "syllabary" : 1050
    signs is not exceptionnal and reasonnable for a syllabary (compare to
    UCAS or Ethiopic for example) but it is very small for a true
    logographic script (even if it contains ideograms or ideophonograms or
    are built using sometimes radical components but unsortable strokes
    like the sinographic script of China/Japan/Korea/Vietnam/Singapore
    that combine all these options).

    For me the N3781 document (from the same author) found at:

    is much more useful than N3965 (I don't know why the later was posted
    again in a so abbreviated and confusive form). It reveals that the
    57-sign script is in fact a true alphabet, and does not demonstrate
    any abugida feature : vowel /a/ for example uses a separate glyph.

    N3965 just adds the need to preallocate a separate bloc for the large
    "logographic" script which, given its preliminary glyph count is most
    probably a syllabary, but without giving any details about why this
    counting of 1050 signs would be accurate for preallocating now a block
    for it in the Roadmap of the SMP ! For me, the N3965 document is
    totally useless and gives no additional value to what was already in

    But N3781 has probably enough details for allocating a 64-position
    block in the SMP for the small script.


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