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Re: Graeca sine flexione

From:Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
Date:Sunday, May 6, 2007, 13:29
On 5/6/07, Henrik Theiling <theiling@...> wrote:
> Ah, the problem of representing /C/ -- I think I also encountered that > one. :-) I think I never found the perfect letter. What do natlangs > use?
The only languages I know that have [C] are German, which uses "ch" after front vowels, and Greek, which uses "χ" before front vowels. (Interesting that in German, it's the vowel *before* the |ch| which decides whether it's [C] or [X], while in Greek, it's the vowel *after* the |χ| which decides whether it's [C] or [x]. Compare German "lachen" with [X] and archaicising Greek έλαχεν "he met by chance" with [C] in the same environment.)
> > Possibly chuck the cedilla entirely and then use Latin > > |c| in Latin and Cyrillic |с| in Greek. Hmm, decisions, decisions.)
FWIW, I decided to go that route. So Greek now has Cyrillic j and c. Today, I got my next problem :) I decided to recognise diphthongs, but wanted to show whether two vowels were separate or not. I didn't want to use |j| (e.g. as |aj| for [aj]), since that stands for [j\], not [j] -- and I didn't want to make diphthongs the default, either, since I envisioned lots of diaereses in that case. Latin would have given me i-breve and u-breve, which was tempting -- but font support for iota-breve and upsilon-breve in Greek is not that great. So I'm tentatively going with diaeresis now, even though that sign usually has the exact opposite meaning (i.e. *no* diphthong)! Plus I'm using i-breve for forced palatalisation in Latin already. (Not the best, but since the orthography I use more is the Greek-based one, that doesn't matter so much. I really like the Cyrillic soft sign there that you suggested -- and added a little inside joke about its name: officially "iperoio simio" = palatal sign, but colloquially, "mĭahķi znak", a phrase "of unknown origin and meaning" :D.) I also think I'm going to embrace the origin of GSF in Modern, rather than Ancient, Greek, and replace some of the AG words I put in with MG ones, since they're really only a token attempt to make it more AG-like, and also to use a bit more palatalisation, MG-like.
> You really seem to have considered many good alternatives. I'm as > torn as you are. This is a typical stage of conlanging I find myself > in often... :-)
Glad to know I'm not the only one! This is a first time for me. Cheers, -- Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>