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Shavian rhotics (was: Optimum number of symbols)

From:Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Saturday, May 25, 2002, 17:26
At 9:54 pm +0200 24/5/02, Philip Newton wrote:
>Which is probably one reason why Shavian makes a rhotic/non-rhotic >distinction in vowels, even though it comes from England.
..and why not. Rhotic vowels are the norm in rural dialects throughout the south of England & the Midlands, and are the norm in both rural and urban speech of all classes in the south west. In not sure of the details in nortern dialects - I think And is better informed on this. If you take the whole of Britain into account, and not just England, then we even have truly consonantal post vocalic /r/ in several regions. It's mainly the urban south-east which is non-rhotic and even there most linguistically naive people think they pronounce an 'r' and that that is why, e.g. 'cart' and 'cat' are not homophones. In this respect, the Shavian alphabet reflects the speech habits of much of England and what most of the rest perceive to be their speech habit (even if it ain't :)
>(Though it >omits the w/wh distinction that some people make, or the horse/hoarse >one.)
One pf the problems with trying to achieve a phonemically written form of a global language like English. If we try to encode all the phonemic differentiations of every variety of English, the result would probably be confusing. Tho the w/wh might be worth keeping, I think most English would probably wonder what the difference between 'hoarse' and 'horse' is. Ray. ======================================================= Speech is _poiesis_ and human linguistic articulation is centrally creative. GEORGE STEINER. =======================================================


Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
And Rosta <a-rosta@...>
Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>