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Picture of shufitz
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So, Korean is like German, i.e. one word paragraphs?
 
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I don't buy the idea that lots of languages have writing systems that fit their grammar really well.
Why? I am interested in your views on this.
 
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Just because he doesn't offer any convincing evidence. He says it's hard to write Korean with the Chinese script. Chinese is isolating and tends to have one morpheme per word, while Korean is agglutinative and has multiple morphemes per word. Therefore, he says, the Chinese writing system which uses one character per morpheme or word is unsuited to Korean because you would have to use a lot of characters to represent one word. I guess you would have to use a character for the base and a character for every suffix.

I know nothing about Korean but here's an example from Wikipedia from Turkish, another agglutinative language. "Evlerinizden" means "from your houses" and the structure is:

ev-ler-iniz-den
house-plural-your-from

So to write this in Chinese script you would need 4 characters even though it's one word. But I don't see what the problem is here. This same phrase would be written with more than one character in Chinese too. The fact that it is considered one word in Turkish and more than one word in Chinese is not important.

In the video I linked to he says Chinese is suited to a logographic script because it has few words. I'm not sure how he knows how many words Chinese has compared to other languages.
 
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Your analysis makes some sense, though his argument, with the examples, was convincing to me. What evidence would have convinced you?

I wonder if it would have been presented differently, like in a TED talk, rather than that sophomoric presentation, if you would have felt differently.
 
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Originally posted by Kalleh:
Your analysis makes some sense, though his argument, with the examples, was convincing to me.


Are you referring to the Arabic example?

He says that not writing vowels wouldn't make sense in English because in English a lot of words are no different except for their vowels.

Then he goes on to say that in Arabic, a lot of words are no different except for their vowels! He talks about Arabic trilateral roots: to change the verb form you change the vowels and keep the consonants the same. And yet he says it makes sense that you don't write the vowels. He says that writing the vowels isn't just unnecessary, it is stupid and cumbersome.

That makes no sense. If the vowels tell you the form of the verb, then surely it would help to write the vowels!

Anyway it isn't true that Arabic and Hebrew don't have vowel letters; they do. Some vowels are written and some aren't.

nd t snt mpssbl t rd nglsh f th vwl lttrs r rmvd.

His Japanese example is a little more convincing, but I don't believe English would require thousands of symbols for every possible syllable. The 50 characters in the Japanese syllabary can represent English words, after all.

quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
What evidence would have convinced you?


I'm not sure.
quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
I wonder if it would have been presented differently, like in a TED talk, rather than that sophomoric presentation, if you would have felt differently.

I don't think so, I don't like TED talks.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: goofy,
 
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So, you don't know what would convince you, but this explanation didn't. Fair enough.

I like TED talks. You really have to know your subject to summarize it in 10 to 20 minutes. Too often people go on and on forever on a subject, but the points they're making are not obvious.

Of course, as in anything, some TED talks are drivel.
 
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You could argue that Japanese is more suited than English to be written with a syllabary. But English can be written with the same syllabary, the English loanwords in Japanese prove that. But how exactly would it be worse? It wouldn't be a one-to-one sound-symbol correspondence, but Chinese certainly doesn't have that and he thinks the Chinese script is suited to writing Chinese.
So I guess my problem is that the whole idea seems arbitrary and hard to define. If he had a consistent way to define suitability, that might convince me.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: goofy,
 
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Makes sense. It was all pretty new to me, so I found the examples interesting. However, I don't have the background to be convinced, really, either way. I do enjoy talking about it, though.
 
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