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 Why is alphabetical writing very hard to create? (2)

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Impirum(156) pic



Why is alphabetical writing very hard to create?

Consonants appeared earlier than vowels and in many written languages vowels are only appendices and Greek alphabet, Latin alphabet, Cyrillic alphabet are very rare full-phoneme alphabets. And I've heard that syllabic writing appeared earlier than alphabetical writing and the latter was derived from the former. It means that ancient people don't have concepts of phonemes. But a syllable is a composition of phonemes, and any change of a phoneme in a syllable makes the syllable mean completely different (like "monkey" and "donkey"(changing one consonant) and "money"(losing one consonant) or "simulate" and "stimulate" or "complememt" and "compliment"(changing one vowel)). To able to distinguish them requires having the concept of phoneme. So why it's said "Ancient people don't have the concept of phoneme"?
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Once one has a spoken language, the concept of phonemes, and somehow makes the jump to associating symbols with the phonemes, alphabetical writing is not hard to create.

HOWEVER, those first three steps are pretty big ones.

-1- First, someone has to develop a consistent lexicon of words associated with actions and objects. Then, one has to get others to adopt that lexicon.

-2- Next one has to identify distinctions between the different sounds in the language. Consider that the vast majority of oral/face-to-face communication is nonverbal. This means that the invention of a phonetic alphabet depends on a counterintuitive mental leap that focuses on the verbal communication.

-3- Then one has to come up with the COMPLETELY NEW idea to associate sounds with symbols in a consistent way.

It is amazing that it happened.

Impirum(156) Clarified
1 point

When people listen to receive speech, they are just listening and receiving sounds, and then they match meanings to the sounds. When people speak (emitting speech), they match sounds to meanings and then give out sounds. They should and must be able to distinguish sounds to do these. They should have the concept of phoneme.

marcusmoon(578) Clarified
1 point

They should and must be able to distinguish sounds to do these. They should have the concept of phoneme.

I don't think so.

Consider, hearing sound does not automatically imply recognizing notes at the distinct intervals that define them. I do not hear somebody whistling, and think that series of notes was a progression of minor thirds (or whatever.) I just hear the sounds undifferentiated by any understanding of the construction. The concept of notes had to be invented.

For exactly the same reason, having experience of the reality of sound is not the same as categorizing them into phonemes.

Do you think a parrot has the concept of phoneme when it imitates someone saying "Polly wants a cracker"?

Impirum(156) Clarified
1 point

When people listen to receive speech, they are just listening and receiving sounds, and then they match meanings to the sounds. When people speak (emitting speech), they match sounds to meanings and then give out sounds. They should and must be able to distinguish sounds to do these. They should have the concept of phoneme.