Indian here, but it only suddenly struck me now that the abugida systems seem to have no disadvantages at all (except one). I'm only considering what seem like standard measures of "good" : (small) number of symbols, consistency in pronunciation, capacity to express large numbers of sounds, consistency in character combinations.
- 1-1 correspondence between
morphemesletters and phonemessyllables, upto 100% consistent.
- Combinations of consonants and vowels enable learning only a small number of symbols
- Conjuncts allow unlimited combinations of consonant sounds (theoretically ; some sound just awful)
- Extremely difficult to typeset mechanically. This applies to pretty much any writing system other than Alphabetic.
If what I say makes any sense, then until the invention of the printing press, alphabetic systems should have had no great advantages and a disadvantage w.r.t pronunciation. Pictographic/Ideographic/Logographic would lose out on information precision, and syllabaries would lose out in terms of succinctness : each syllable has to be remembered separately. Abjads would lose out in pronunciation as well.
Am I overlooking/overemphasising something? Or is it odd that any writing systems other than Abugida and Alphabetic exist at all?