1. bookVolume 72 (2021): Issue 3 (December 2021)
Journal Details
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Format
Journal
eISSN
1338-4287
First Published
05 Mar 2010
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2 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

What do modern languages with Scriptio Continua have in common?

Published Online: 27 Feb 2022
Volume & Issue: Volume 72 (2021) - Issue 3 (December 2021)
Page range: 821 - 838
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1338-4287
First Published
05 Mar 2010
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

Theoretically, it is possible for any language to practice scriptio continua (a style of writing without spaces or any markers between the words/sentences) due to the very nature of language: a system of arbitrary and discrete elements. Two universal functions of sound: distinctive and delimitative, ensure that any language has boundary markers for meaning-bearing units that facilitate both language production and comprehension. We argue that some languages are more adaptive to this writing style than others. The languages that have predominantly isolating/analytic or agglutinative constructions with tones and limited combinatory rules (restricted phonotactic constraints) are more suitable to have scriptio continua than inflectional languages with complex phonotactic rules and free stress. This correlation is examined in three modern languages that to this day practice scriptio continua: Burmese, Thai, and Lhasa Tibetan.

Keywords

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