Sanskrit, Tamil, Sumerian, Hangul – grammars, literacy, the Internet

Clif,
I am looking at the origins of Sumeria. The language is similar to Tamil, and the roots of the early languages include Sanskrit.
An Indian grammarian named Panini studied and formalized a grammar notation for Sanskrit in a way that is considered to be an early context free grammar.  The reliance on “string rewriting rules” is foremost.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backus%E2%80%93Naur_form starts the history with Sanskrit and Panini.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rewriting is not a bad place to start when trying to simplify structured or formal documents including programs, mathematical forms, and many scientific papers that follow fairly strict rules on presentation.  It might also fit poetry, but I did not have time to check.  I think there are forms for poetry, whether that is useful I cannot guess.
I just studied the history of the Korean alphabet. This is a formal system of phonetic symbols, aimed at making it easy for speakers of Korean to write down the sounds so that others can reproduce the same sounds.  That it became a writing system was secondary to its ability to let large groups of mostly illiterate readers and writers – at least talk to each other over distance and time.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hangul King Sejong wrote the phonetic alphabet in 1443.  It was said that a smart person could learn it in half a day, and the dumbest in ten days.  It allowed a whole country to become literate (write on paper, read from paper) in a short time.  But that did not happen until 1949 and the country already spoke one language fairly uniformly.  Breaking with Chinese pictographs allowed everyone the ability to write down their words and thoughts to share with everyone else.  Before that, the Chinese language capable ones held sway and control over everything.  Leaving the illiterate as effectively slaves.
The Chinese language simplification is continuing.  The computer entry now relies on phonetic transcription rules.  People decide what they would say out loud, write those phoneme (not sure if it is efficient or not), select the form they want, and the result is only shown in Chinese symbols.  Stop at the phonetic form, and literacy would be greatly speeded.  Illuminate and share what is known about the symbols and words and terms and identifiers entered – and it becomes sharing and knowledge.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Character_Simplification_Scheme
“Sanskrit computational linguistics” picks up the modern flavor of using a fairly formal human language with a fairly complete grammar as a computational language as well. Whether there are elements of a human language of that sort that could help in organizing computer languages – I think any effort to connect the objects and names inside these sterile computer programs to the real world and real things and real people – is worthwhile.  Human-computer and computer-human origins do not have to preclude human-human or computer-computer users.  Since these all are seen by humans as sequential or partial, then systems can have all HH HC CH CC modules and be complete.  It is most effective to have them all visible and interactive, but no human has built a decent HH HC CH CC system that is complete.
I read your poem, but it was too personal to comment on.  I think it needs another stanza.  Or to be generalized to all people, not just one.
Phil is learning and teaching his boys how to scuba dive.  Hope Marcus is doing well.
Richard
Richard K Collins

About: Richard K Collins

Director, The Internet Foundation Studying formation and optimized collaboration of global communities. Applying the Internet to solve global problems and build sustainable communities. Internet policies, standards and best practices.


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