Sunday, April 27, 2008

UPDATE: A Symposium on Kanji Culture and the Future of the Japanese Language/漢字文化と日本語の未来

I have updated the article on the symposium, which will be held on May 17, 2008. For more information, see the symposium's official website.


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Written Language and Literacy, 10(2)

Journal Title/雑誌タイトル:
Written Language and Literacy

Vol. 10, No. 2 (Special issue: Constraints on Spelling Changes)

John Benjamins Publishing Company

Available from the publisher's website.

Click here.

New Book: Analyses of Script

Book Title/書籍タイトル:
Analyses of Script: Properties of Characters and Writing Systems

Series Title/シリーズ・タイトル:
Quantitative Linguistics, 63

Gabriel Altmann & Fan Fengxiang

Mouton de Gruyter

Available from the publisher's website.

This volume presents 12 papers on a new approach to the analysis of writing systems. For the first time, quantitative methods are introduced into this area of research in a systematic way. The individual contributions give an overview about quantitative properties of symbols and of writing systems, introduce methods of analysis, study individual writing systems as used for different languages, set up an explanatory model of phenomena connected to script development/evolution, and give a perspective to a general theory of writing systems. [Quoted from the publisher's website]

[via LINGUIST List]

Friday, April 25, 2008

Correction: Breton Orthographies and Dialects

In yesterday's article on the new book "Breton Orthographies and Dialects", I mistakenly cited Christian Bieri as the author, who had announced the publication on LINGUIST List. The author of this book is Iwan Wmffre. My sincere apologies for the incorrect information.

新刊"Breton Orthographies and Dialects"に関する昨日の記事の中で、誤って著者をChristian Bieri氏とお伝えしてしまいましたが、氏はLINGUIST Listで出版情報を通知された方でした。この本の実際の著者はIwan Wmffre氏です。不正確な情報を掲載してしまい、誠に申し訳ございません。

Thursday, April 24, 2008

New Book: Breton Orthographies and Dialects

Book Title/書籍タイトル:
Breton Orthographies and Dialects: The Twentieth-Century Orthography War in Brittany

Series Title/書籍タイトル:
Contemporary Studies in Descriptive Linguistics, 18 & 19

Wmffre, Iwan

Peter Lang Publishing Group

Available from the publisher's website.


This work is for comparative linguists and celticists who are keen to study Breton but may be too daunted to undertake such a venture by the wide variety of orthographical conventions which exist in Breton.
The chronological development of the Breton orthographical debates during the twentieth century is charted along with an attempt to discern the ideological, political and personal motivations which lay behind those debates. Based on a substantial corpus of hitherto unpublished original documents and personal interviews, the research throws new light on the nature of the political, ideological and linguistic divisions of the Breton movement of that period (not least the events that occurred during the 1939-45 war).
The historical and societal background of the language is succinctly delineated and points of orthographical contention are discussed, each in turn, so that their correlation to the spoken varieties of Breton can be judged by the reader.
The work should dispel once and for all the notion - boosted by the existing orthographical instability and variety - that Breton is too dialectally fragmented to be studied profitably without an inordinate amount of effort. [Quoted from the publisher's website]

[via LINGUIST List]

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Feature Article on the Origin of the Alphabet

The May 2008 issue of the Japanese science magazine Newton has a feature article on the origin of the alphabet. The magazine has an established reputation for the quality of articles on a wide range of scientific topics, written in an accessible langauge and illustrated with rich graphic materials.