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Adding to my hypothesis: Serif types with contrast (thick verticals, thin horizontals) also allow for a more regular stem interval.
Hrant H. Papazian said:
When the writing system has no effect on reading speed, that strongly indicates non-immersive reading, a very low bar. All of Larson's data has this problem too.
I noticed people are curious about Hangulatin. I like to pick the chance to give some background insights about Hangulatin. Thank you for posting it, Hrant!
~ every syllable (character group) is in itself readable like western style - from top left to lower right corner. Usually latin-reading people recognize that intuitively very fast
~ I‘ve set pages full of text in Hangulatin. Most people (latin used) are able to read it fluently after reading a few lines
~ Like history showed the latin characterset wasn‘t spread to the world because of its high legibility. It was spread because of power and relegion. The christian church thaught people how to read latin so they could read the bible; Hitler decided to not to use blackletter anymore so he could spread his propaganda more widely in latin because countries around were used to read latin. Latin was usually adapted to the languages and people had to learn it. There was no choice. If the characterset didn‘t fit phoenetics of the language, they‘ve put some diacritics on it. That‘s why Vietnamese is so hard to understand for the rest of the latin reading world. It actually didn’t match at all to the latin alphabet.
The Korean King Sejong invented Hangul because he wanted to educate ordinary people to read it. Higher educated people didn‘t want to lose their status, so they kept using sophisticated chinese characters. But in fact Hangul was easier to read and after a time of „fight“ between these two scripts, Hangul won. They still are using some Chinese characters, too. But Hangul is used as main characterset. Hangul is the only script that won a fight of legibility in that huge range. This process took decades to centuries. Even the christian missionaries decided to learn Hangul and spread the word in Hangul as this was easier than teaching latin when there already was an easy to learn script available. Hangul is exceptional in this position. Beeing designed to be a simple script. Most other scripts were spread by force and relegion and people just had to adapt.
~ That also shows that legibility depends mostly on what we are used to read. Children (latin) usually have years to learn to read. (Chinese are learning their whole life as I was told). I learned to read Hangul within two weeks (to read not to understand) and if people are reading Hangulatin fluently after some minutes, that means it is highly adaptable and legible for latin used people. And it is basically possible to use such a script like Hangul in the western world. This is what I wanted to proof with this project.
I am looking forward to your thoughts and opinions. Please be welcome to comment it.
Anita Jürgeleit said:
~ Like history showed the latin characterset wasn‘t spread to the world because of its high legibility. It was spread because of power and relegion.
Thomas Phinney said:
research data gives results that disagree with your theory of reading
Anita Jürgeleit said:That‘s why Vietnamese is so hard to understand for the rest of the latin reading world. It actually didn’t match at all to the latin alphabet.
Anita Jürgeleit said:~ That also shows that legibility depends mostly on what we are used to read.
Christian Thalmann said:Hangul easy to learn because it is an alphabet, not because it is organised into syllables.
Christian Thalmann said:the loss of linear reading direction might present a disadvantage.
John Savard said:So then you're measuring the time it takes to memorize a given text, not the time it takes to read it.
John Savard said:But I wouldn't trust the conclusion you seem to have arrived at, that since Hangul has no such history, it's the only script we can trust to be legible!
Note that I didn't say anything about speed, only about saccade length being relative to linguistic content, so the more dense the semantic encoding the shorter the saccades will be. If I recall correctly, Nadine reported that typical saccade lengths for Chinese readers is three characters, vs 12–15 for English readers.
Anita Jürgeleit said:All the others didn’t have had any choice.
Anita Jürgeleit said:So how can we then compare the readability between two scripts?
John Hudson said:The implication of this is that you can't speed up reading by compressing the linguistic content into less graphical space, as in Chinese or Hangul, because all you end up doing is increasing the frequency of saccades because the brain still needs the same amount of time to process the linguistic content of each fixation.
John Hudson said:
Saccade length seems to be governed by linguistic content, and varies depending on how language is encoded in a writing system. This indicates that fixations are spaced and timed according to how the brain processes the linguistic content of the text, rather than on how much distance the parafovea can take in during the fixation. The implication of this is that you can't speed up reading by compressing the linguistic content into less graphical space, as in Chinese or Hangul, because all you end up doing is increasing the frequency of saccades because the brain still needs the same amount of time to process the linguistic content of each fixation.
Hrant H. Papazian said:
I'm not sure how to interpret all of that as not an attempt to claim that the writing system does not affect reading performance. Essentially, to zealously defend Latin in the face of a claim of imperfection.