Question about LSD

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Ecott Martin

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Mar 14, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/14/00
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: sd...@faith.csis.hku.hk [SMTP:sd...@faith.csis.hku.hk]
>
>
> Many people learn many languages without being able to write in any
> them.
>
And presumably they use sounds not pictures....?


> >>
> Ecott> You just told me no-one needs to write at all. So
> Ecott> you're contradicting yourself (again).
>
> Wrong. One can write by not transcribing the sounds he speaks, but by
> using symbols with definite meanings.
>
> When you read a writing, which is more important: knowing its sounds,
> or knowing its meanings?
>
Yeah, but you speak (presumably) by using sounds...

> So, does it make more sense to use a writing system which records:
> sounds or meanings?
>
What comes first, the chicken or the egg?

I see little point in just going for pictures (though I don't
actually think Chinese pictures really represent the world as *I* know it:
putting a pig in a house doesn't really represent "home" to me...), when
they only communicate on one level, and everyone is going to call the object
something different when they talk (which is our primary communication
means).

I can travel far merely with a note pad and pencil, drawing
everything I need. But that doesn't mean I'm really international. If I draw
a table and show it someone may understand, but have to make a phone call to
explain what I want, I am lost.


Just explain the point of Chinese tones to me, LSD. Is that really
so very logical? Does it really make so much sense to use "maa" to mean
horse, mother, and god knows what else? Where is the logic in it?

What is actually your bottom line? To put Esperanto down or to
promote Chinese? Esperanto has disadvantages, so does Chinese. You're not
going to change either in short or long term. So? What next? Do we just keep
up this discussion - which has already been going on for **years** now -
with no hope of conclusion?


Lee Sau Dan ~{@nJX6X~}

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Mar 15, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/15/00
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>>>>> "Ecott" == Ecott Martin <ec...@ebu.ch> writes:

>> Many people learn many languages without being able to write in
>> any them.
>>

Ecott> And presumably they use sounds not pictures....?

And on the other hand, I know some Westerners who speaks no Chinese,
but claims to be able to read and understand written Chinese. I have
not verified their claims, although what they said is not impossible.
I myself can decipher Japanese instruction manuals for electrical
appliances, even though I have almost no idea how to pronounce the
words in it.


>> When you read a writing, which is more important: knowing its
>> sounds, or knowing its meanings?
>>

Ecott> Yeah, but you speak (presumably) by using sounds...

And you read (presumably) by using eyes. (What do you want to say?)


>> So, does it make more sense to use a writing system which
>> records: sounds or meanings?
>>

Ecott> What comes first, the chicken or the egg?

Haha... how about sign language?


Even if you assume that all languages come in the spoken version
before the written version (there might be exceptions), that does not
support your argument that scripts should be phonetic. Do you grow
your own food, because food is all grown, in the first place? So,
don't eat canned food. Don't buy packaged food. Grow your own one.


Ecott> I see little point in just going for pictures (though
Ecott> I don't actually think Chinese pictures really represent
Ecott> the world as *I* know it:

And I see little point in just going for sounds.


Ecott> putting a pig in a house doesn't
Ecott> really represent "home" to me...),

And written a small circle doesn't really represent the "o" sound to me.


Ecott> when they only
Ecott> communicate on one level, and everyone is going to call the
Ecott> object something different when they talk (which is our
Ecott> primary communication means).

So? As long as everyone understand the pictograms in the same way,
who cares how they are pronounced? (Poems and songs ignored here.)
This is how I decipher Japanese instruction manuals.


Ecott> I can travel far merely with a note pad and pencil,
Ecott> drawing everything I need.

That depends on whether you're a good artist.


Ecott> But that doesn't mean I'm really international.

Using Latin letters only, you're definitely not international.

Ecott> Just explain the point of Chinese tones to me, LSD. Is
Ecott> that really so very logical?

Just explain the point of word stress to me, Ecott. Is that really so
very logical?


And just explain the point of vowels to me, Ecott. Is that really so
very logical?


And just explain the point of tense to me, Ecott. Is that really so
very logical?


Ecott> Does it really make so much
Ecott> sense to use "maa" to mean horse, mother, and god knows
Ecott> what else? Where is the logic in it?

Does it really make so much sense to use "object" to mean a thing,
"object" (same writing, differently stressed when pronounced) to mean
"to oppose", and god knows what else? Where is the logic in it?


Does it really make so much sense to use "of" to mean something, "if"
another? Does it really make so much sense to use "fun" to mean
something, "fin" to mean another, and "fan" yet another thing?


Does it really make so much sense to use "run" for the present, "ran"
for the past, "running" for the on-going, "have run" for something in
the past but considered at present?

Ecott> What is actually your bottom line?

I really can't see the bottom line of your ignorance about languages.
Asking me what gives sense to linguistic tones is like asking me what
gives sence to differentiating "a", "e", "i", "o" and "u" in English.


Ecott> To put Esperanto down or to promote Chinese?

Neither.


--
Lee Sau Dan �,X)wAV(Big5) ~{@nJX6X~}(HZ)
.----------------------------------------------------------------------------.
| http://www.cs.hku.hk/~sdlee e-mail: sd...@csis.hku.hk |
`----------------------------------------------------------------------------'

ind...@my-deja.com

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Mar 15, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/15/00
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In article <7f8zzkz...@faith.csis.hku.hk>,

sd...@faith.csis.hku.hk (Lee Sau Dan ~{@nJX6X~}) wrote:
> >>>>> "Ecott" == Ecott Martin <ec...@ebu.ch> writes:

Esperantaj tradukoj post miaj tekstoj.

LSD wrote (perhaps while on LSD):
LSD skribis (eble sub influo de LSD):


> >> So, does it make more sense to use a writing system which
> >> records: sounds or meanings?

> Even if you assume that all languages come in the spoken version


> before the written version (there might be exceptions), that does not
> support your argument that scripts should be phonetic.

All scripts should be phonetic. There is no doubt about that. The
Chinese characters are notoriously difficult to learn. In Japan,
students are not able to fully understand a newspaper until after
about 12 years of study. Even after learning the common characters,
many people quickly forget how to write them. There is a tremendous
difference in being able to recognize a character and being able to draw it.

Chiuj skribsistemoj devas esti fonetikaj. Tio ne estas dubebla. La
chinaj literoj estas fifamaj pro malfacileco. En Japanio,
studentoj ne plene kapablas kompreni jhurnalon ghis post 12
jaroj da studado. Ech post lernado de la oftaj literoj, multaj homoj
rapide forgesas kiel skribi ilin. Estas grandega diferenco inter
la kapablo rekoni chinan literon kaj la kapablo desegni ghin.

The same is true for Chinese. I have Cantonese friends who, although
they still read Chinese, are unable to write it without constantly
refering to a dictionary. I suspect that a large percentage of Japanese
and Chinese are only semi-literate.

Chi tio samas por Chinoj. Mi havas Kantonajn amikojn kiuj, kvankam
ili ankorau legas la chinan, ne kapablas skribi ghin sen konstante
kontroli vortaron. Mi suspektas ke granda procento da Japanoj kaj
Chinoj estas ne skribkapablaj.

I remember that during my visit to Cuba, some Cubans boasted that
after the revolution, they taught everyone capable of reading to read
within a year. This is quite reasonably, because Spanish is phonetic.

Mi memoras ke dum mia vizito al Kubo, iuj Kubanoj fiere diris ke
post la revolucio, oni instruis al chiuj kiuj kapablis lerni, kiel
legi ene de jaro. Chi tio estas kredinda, char la hispana estas
fonetika.

The reason that Chinese writing has survived is that it unifies
China. All Chinese are taught to read and write the same language,
even if they pronounce it differently from mandarin.

China skribado ankorau uzighas char ghi unuigas Chinion. Chiuj
chinoj lernas kiel legi kaj skribi la saman lingvon, ech se ili
prononcas ghin malsame ol la mandarena.

Unity is extremely important to the Chinese, so I believe there is
no chance that they will abandon their writing system. Communist
China has simplified the characters. the Japanese attempt to limit
the number which are necessary to learn to around 2000, and the
Koreans have abandoned Chinese characters almost entirely

Unueco estas ekstreme grava al Chinoj, tial mi kredas ke ne
estas shanco ke ili rezignos pri sia skribsistemo. Komunista
Chinio simpligis siajn literojn. Japanoj provis limigi la nombron
kiu necesas al proksimume 2000, kaj Koreoj preskau tute
chesis uzi chinajn literojn.

Chinese writing is so difficult, that Chinese can probably learn
to read, write and speak Esperanto in much less time than they
need to learn to read and write their own language.

China skribado estas tiom malfacila, ke Chinoj probable kapablas
lerni kiel legi, skribi kaj paroli Esperanton, en multe malpli da tempo
ol necesas por lerni kiel legi kaj skribi propran lingvon.

> Lee Sau Dan

Klivo


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Ecott Martin

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Mar 15, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/15/00
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: sd...@faith.csis.hku.hk [SMTP:sd...@faith.csis.hku.hk]
>
>
>

> Even if you assume that all languages come in the spoken version
> before the written version (there might be exceptions),
>

Esperanto?

> Ecott> putting a pig in a house doesn't
> Ecott> really represent "home" to me...),
>
> And written a small circle doesn't really represent the "o" sound to me.
>

That's merely convention. Swedes pronounce the "o" roughly as "ou"
in French. Does that matter?

> Ecott> But that doesn't mean I'm really international.
>
> Using Latin letters only, you're definitely not international.
>

Proportionally, yes.

> Ecott> Just explain the point of Chinese tones to me, LSD. Is
> Ecott> that really so very logical?
>
> Just explain the point of word stress to me, Ecott. Is that really so
> very logical?
>
> And just explain the point of vowels to me, Ecott. Is that really so
> very logical?
>
> And just explain the point of tense to me, Ecott. Is that really so
> very logical?
>

No, no, and no. But then I never claimed they were. You are the one
to claim the "international" and "logical" element of Chinese in all its
dialects. I'm sure you're paid by those People in Pekin.

> Ecott> Does it really make so much
> Ecott> sense to use "maa" to mean horse, mother, and god knows
> Ecott> what else? Where is the logic in it?
>
> Does it really make so much sense to use "object" to mean a thing,
> "object" (same writing, differently stressed when pronounced) to mean
> "to oppose", and god knows what else? Where is the logic in it?

None.


> Does it really make so much sense to use "of" to mean something, "if"
> another? Does it really make so much sense to use "fun" to mean
> something, "fin" to mean another, and "fan" yet another thing?

No, actually I write them "fn" and let every one guess what I mean.
It makes sense in that they are actually pronounced differently.


> Does it really make so much sense to use "run" for the present, "ran"
> for the past, "running" for the on-going, "have run" for something in
> the past but considered at present?

No. But that is the way language has developed this side of Tibet...

> Ecott> What is actually your bottom line?
>
> I really can't see the bottom line of your ignorance about languages.
> Asking me what gives sense to linguistic tones is like asking me what
> gives sence to differentiating "a", "e", "i", "o" and "u" in English.
>
>
> Ecott> To put Esperanto down or to promote Chinese?
>
> Neither.
>

So... why don't you answer the question?


Rex F. May

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Mar 15, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/15/00
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>

I think we need to set some limits here. I'm opposed to
an artlang with tones, in much the same way I'm
opposed to an artlang with the many vowel sounds
of English, or the consonant clusters of Russian and
English. Ideally, the pronunciation should be a
compromise between total ease for as many people
as possible, and a broad enough phonology to avoid
an excess of poloysyllabic words.


--
Rex F. May
To order my book, click on:
http://www.kiva.net/~jonabook/gdummy.htm
See my cartoons daily at:
http://www2.conservativenews.org/cartoon/baloo.asp

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