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I may have to pick up the Massacre of Mountain Meadows. I know a lot about it (my great great grandfather was out of town at the time or I'm sure he would have participated), but it's mostly through osmosis. Reading an organized account would probably be useful.

On the Pseudoscience Wars, did you pick that up after reading my review or was did you come across it independently?

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Oof. The fit of the syllabary cannot help being oversold. The evidence you cite is not helping, to say the least: this description would fit if every syllable was a morpheme, which is sort-of almost a thing in Chinese and normally used to explain why syllable-correlated ideographics fit Chinese!

What really helps with syllabaries is strong limitations on syllable structure: if you only allow CV (or CV and CVN, like Japanese), syllabaries are a good fit (although allowing onsetless is not a problem), if your syllable structure is more like (C(C(C)))V(C(C)) - as, say, in Russian or English - they are a bad fit. Linear B is a good example of using a syllabary for a language it was a painfully bad fit for, namely, Greek which had, to simplify, (C(C))V(C)(s) structure.

And Cherokee syllabary seems to be a bad fit on this axis: judging from Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherokee_syllabary#Detailed_considerations), the language: does have consonantal clusters; does have several possible consonants in coda, of which only s is reflected; and has tones not reflected in the syllabary.

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