LINGUIST List 12.1020

Wed Apr 11 2001

Disc: New: Review: Comp Theory of Writing Systems

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  1. Mark Chamberlin, RE: 12.990, Review: Comp Theory of Writing Systems (2nd review)

Message 1: RE: 12.990, Review: Comp Theory of Writing Systems (2nd review)

Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 01:53:48 -0400 (EDT)
From: Mark Chamberlin <>
Subject: RE: 12.990, Review: Comp Theory of Writing Systems (2nd review)

>From this review it would seem that professor Sproat goes quickly
from the most direct and obvious patterns of orthography to their
computationally relevant import and processing. This raises a few

Are there many instances, other than in Hollywood 'Indian' movies
and 'coming of age' facetiae, of messages which are written in a
spiral and other patterns? These would not have a great impact on
text to speech work but there is an extreme case scenario for the
final outcome of any text to speech representation: How would you
describe the text to a blind person--or one at a distance who
receives only your verbal or written summation of the text being

A more common and relevant model is to be found in short message
forms such as greeting cards, ad copy, short films, news
broadcasts, weather charts and graffiti. How should text to
speech work deal with positional, timing, font, size, texture and
colour issues to which might be added accompanying sound, physical
movements, gestures as well as aromatic components (Scratch and
Sniff)? Efforts to get at some of these complications go back to
Egypt but have modern examples in the Bauhaus, the Beat, and in
Banner Ad applications. Perhaps a form of Markup Language, such
as SMGL, is the answer, but the *Borgensian approach could be the

>From the Committee on Insightful Humour,

Mark L. Chamberlin, M.Ed., M.L.S.
Masters Candidate in Uralic Languages
Tartu University, Estonia

*For an example of his "Phonetic Pronunciation System"

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