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Re: more English orthography

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Tuesday, May 16, 2000, 12:58
Muke Tever wrote:
> But in most cases you _wouldn't_ have to, as most dialects (IME...) have the > same phonemic distinctions within themselves as each other, even if the > phonetic realizations differ.
Well, not entirely, there are cases like wh, and differences between /u/ and /U/. Admittedly, I exaggerated the problem, and it does depend on how phonemic you need it. But still, the major problem remains - re-educating all the people who learned the old spelling. Not to mention that any spelling reform is an impossible dream, and so, unless its just for personal purposes, I don't see the point of speculating about anyhow.
> That's rubbish. ANY spelling reform will require people to know two > different spelling systems, even if it's only the people contemporaneous > with the change.
> Not if the new spelling system is based on the _regularities_ of the old!
Still harder than learning one. Even if the new is based on the old, you still have to learn old and new. There are going to be differences in homonyms and the like.
> "igh" as /Igh/ (/I/ is English "short i", isn't it?) > bighorn (sheep), bighearted, bighead
Okay, granted. However, those are compound words, simply a final -ig that happens to be followed by an initial h-. Any system using digraphs is going to have that problem.
> "igh" as /Ig/: > Bordighera (place name)
Names don't count, as they (especially personal names) often violate even the most regular orthographies.
> "igh" as /i/ (English "long e") > Brighid (person)
Eh? I've never seen that spelled with an h.
> But not in this context, not long _I_... it'd be long _E_ if anything, as in > "Somaliland".
But, that's a compound word, with final -i (regularly pronounced /i/) followed by land (which, at least for me, is pronounced /l&nd/, not /lAnd/)
> Other words with -iland- in them have short I: "philanderer"
An irregularity. If I didn't know the pronunciation, I'd say /faj/ for the first syllable. Of course, that's composed of phil- plus -andr-.
> With just -ila-, you have short i words like _annihilate_,
Short? I say /@'naj(@)lejt/.
> _assimilate_
Schwa or zero for me, /@'sim(@)lejt/
> _Attila_
Proper name
> _cartilage_
> _cilantro_, _compilation_, _dilapidated_, _enchilada_...
Never heard the first, would guess /i/ if I had to. Schwa for the second, in "dilapidated", the first i is either /I/ or /@/, I can't tell which one sounds right (possibly free variation), and the second i is definitely schwa, and a schwa in the last.
> The 's' in 'viscount' is silent? Oops! > *Muke runs to his dictionary* > And it's a _long I_ too! Oh deario me!
Hmm, I've always read that as /vIskaunt/, too.
> Does that include stress?
Stress is conditioned.
> except for a lot of work on the alphabet). It had eight, p e t a k u sh i.
Take out the spaces, and that looks like it could be a Japanese word. :-)
> When I'm done, whichever I like best will go to my Future English > conlang (hey, I really need one).
Terra Novan is written in an orthography derived from ours. For several centuries, spelling was pretty lax, so various regions developed different spelling systems, generally coming closer to phonemic than our orthography.
> Is there a standard function of most > diacritics in European languages, like tilde for nasal vowels, acute accent > for stress, etc? Or do individual languages make them up as they go along?
There's some patterns, like acute or grave is often used for stress, but nothing "standard". E.g., French uses acute to represent differences in vowel quality, and some langs use acute for long vowels.
> I don't understand H1 H2 H3 either. One website gives them as /h/, /x/, and > /xw/, respectively. But MHO they might be "farther back" than that.
You can't get any further back than /h/! But my question is: what evidence is there for any specific realization? I know the evidence that they existed, but what evidence do we have for calling them /h/ or whatever?
> Make them stubbornly continue to write in 20th-century English spellings. > ;)
No, but they are (as all people) fairly conservative. Spelling has changed, but not by anyone decreeing a new orthography, just by gradual changes, generally making it more phonemic. The details are still up in the air.
> As examples, the numbers (so far) are: > obo, ûbo, suri, cubore, pecu, sê, sefsem, ozô, noîn, êgem.
Could you describe the sound changes and orthography? Like, is <c> /k/? And how'd you get words like _ubo_? -- "If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God!" - Ralph Waldo Emerson "Glassín wafilái pigasyúv táv pifyániivav nadusakyáavav sussyáiyatantu wawailáv ku suslawayástantu ku usfunufilpyasváditanva wafpatilikániv wafluwáiv suttakíi wakinakatáli tiDikáufli!" - nLáf mÁldu nÍmasun ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-Name: NikTailor