|From:||John Cowan <cowan@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, September 28, 1999, 14:21|
> I will have to read it, of course. But it would not be acceptable
> for the U.S.A. to declare linguistic indepence. There is a perennial
> (-iel??) debate between the fonetik and orthographic camps. I've
> just recently switched sides.
Az for fonetic independence, we in the U.S. aulreddy hav it, but
unfortunately mostly in places where it duz no wun enny good at aul.
Wijk's system is essentially orthografic; he has discovered the most
common use of each stressed vowel (or vowel group) and consonant
(or consonant group) and sudgests chainging oenly the wuns that
conflict. Unstressed vowels aar left aloen, and their can be up to
8 spellings for a sound (e.g. /ej/ can be spelled "a", "ai", "ei", "aigh",
"eigh", and several more).
But useless and unnecessary irregularities are remooved. For example,
"ou" and "ow" aulways hav the sound /au/ as in "house", so "slow"
iz respelled "sloe". (Similarly, "show" becums "shoe", whereas
"shoe" becums "shoo".)
He uses "dh" for the voiced sound /D/ except initially; this iz a point
in which I disagree with him, and I am not using it in this post.
The vowel /a/ or /A/ is spelled "aa", so this represents wun difference
between British and American spelling that is actually useful ---
"calf" becomes either "caaf" or "caff", reflecting a genuinely fonemic
difference between the dialect groops.
A few symbols represent more than wun sound: notably, "oo" can be
eether /u/ or /U/, a distinction of low fonemic load in Inglish.
The digraf "ie" means /ai/ finally, but /i/ elsewhare.
Wijk thinks "ph" iz unnecessary, chainging it to "f" everywhare;
I suspect this iz excessiv. Likewise, the traditional alternation
between /g/ and /dZ/ for "g", and /k/ and /s/ for "c", depending on
the folloeing vauel, is basically preserved. On the uther hand,
"s" pronounced /z/ is chainged to "z" except in the plural and
third person singular endings, which aar left entirely alone.
In general, wurds of French or Latin origin tend to be left alone,
whereaz Germanic wurds are more offen changed.
I am writing this without Wijk's book in front of me, and will probably
hav made some mistakes.
John Cowan email@example.com
I am a member of a civilization. --David Brin