Re: Encoding localizable sentences (was: RE: UTC Document Register Now Public)

From: Philippe Verdy <>
Date: Sun, 21 Apr 2013 09:59:48 +0200

Some better proaches have been used with practical applications, on TRUE
languages supported by ACTIVE communities : it is sign-writing which
represent sign languages which are FAR richer than what is proposed. They
have a true grammar, a true syntax, they are versatile, with good links to
other oral languages. And they solve practical problems.

Other approches includes the proliferation of *conventional* pictograms to
represent only basic meanings. But what ius important is that they are used
under a convention that is widely recognized, and supported by active
standards. This includes trafic signs on roads, rivers, railways, or
pictograms frequently seen on maps or on directing banners in closed spaces
(e.g. toilets, phone, stairs...). This uncludes also conventonal pictograms
for representing a set of dangers or health safety, or environmental issues
(recycling...). Or those used in meteoroly. Or the set of logos (logograms)
used by organizations as trademarks. But they do not encode sentences, but
essential items in their own specific domain of application ; they are
essentially static in nature, not dynamic like actual humane languages and
cannot be used to define other concepts than what they represent isolately.

You can't really "speak" with pictograms and logograms. But to develop it
to represent true languages, you'll need centuries if not milleniums to
represent concepts and articulate them, and to include also some honograms.
This results in ideograms, and notably the very rich (and still uncounted)
set of sinograms used to write Chinese and partly Japanese and Korean.

But in fact this system becomes so complex that it naturelly evolved to
keep only the phonograms and you get the various alphabets of the world.
The development of orthography comes later, when this written form of the
language wants to "normalize" exchanges in a population using various
spoken dialects, and when phonograms alone become ambiguous. For Chinese
the system has evolved by compbining ideograms and phonograms to solve the
ambiguities that phonograms alone can't solve without an orthography, and
that ideograms alone can't solve with a rich enough set of ideograms only.

Sign writing belongs to the categoty of alphabets. Its "phonograms"
represent gestures, and they are combined to create semantics according to
the orthgraphy and syntax of the sign languages they are used for. Even if
some gestures used in sign languages may be perceived as ideograms, their
use is in fact not significant alone outside of the grammatical context
where these signs are used.
Received on Sun Apr 21 2013 - 03:06:05 CDT

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