Re: Linguist's Of The Apocalypse, unite!

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Tue, 28 Jan 1997 20:55:13 -0800 (PST)

> } good reasons, especially the writing system. It is far more efficient
> } than alphabetic systems: more words per page, fewer penstrokes per word,
> } faster to read and comprehend.
> Bloody hell to learn, though. Thing is, language for humans (and most
> transhumans; I think you have to make rather drastic changes to avoid
> this) is foremost spoken communication. Or gestural, for the deaf; the
> relative ease of deaf children learning sign language vs. normal people
> and spoken language is something I should read up on, I suppose.
> Writing comes second. It therefore makes it easier to learn the writing
> system if it corresponds well to the spoken language...

I agree that ideographs take longer to learn than alphabets. I
thought, therefore, it might make more sense to base the ideographic
writing system on the gestural language. That way, the deaf would
not have the tremendous handicap of learning a writing system that
to them is complete nonsense (of course, they're stuck with the
alphabet for things like foreign names), and even hearing students
have a built-in memory aid for the ideographs.

I think it's criminal that children today are not /all/ taught
sign language from birth. It has many marvellous uses even to the
hearing (such as talking to someone across a noisy room or quiet
restaurant), and the lack of universality makes the deaf people's
handicap even worse.