Re: CHAT: a conlang of my very own :) (was: Re: unsubscribing)
|From:||Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, June 2, 2002, 19:45|
En réponse à Stephen DeGrace <stevedegrace@...>:
> True true... :P You know, for my English orthography,
> I couldn't get one that satisfied me in enough
> particulars _until_ I started adding deliberately
> perverse or "non-sensible" features :).
Hehe, I remember when I was webifying the grammar of Reman, I found the
orthography much too boring (even more phonemic than Spanish is, except that it
doesn't mark stress :)) ), and decided to twick it up a bit. I just added the
grave accent, which mostly serves to disambiguate homophones (like |ì| the
definite article and |i| meaning "he, him", or |è| meaning "is" and |e|
meaning "she, her") and when used is always put on the stressed vowel of
polysyllables, and added |q|, which unlike other Romance languages that have it
is not always followed by |u| :)) . It is used rarely, mostly with function
words and numbers that had QU in Latin (like |qi|: who :)) ).
> French is interesting to me, tho, in that at least the
> way I was taught to speak it :P, some sounds, like
> plural endings, may or may not be pronounced, but it
> makes better sense to represent them in spelling with
> a rule as to when you do and don't pronounce them than
> to require you to represent them when you're supposed
> to say them and pack them away when you're not, at
> least _I_ think.
Hehe, if you've read my "defense" of the French orthography, you must know that
it's exactly my position on this problem :)) .
> I think there may be a real difference between
> languages in how well suited they are for more
> phonemic representation, and that a conlang could be
> designed to try and explore the point (as no doubt
> many do already, deliberately or otherwise). The
> buggerdly thing about it is that I have the feeling
> that you'd almost really need to have the language
> _first_ and design the orthography _after_ to really
> enjoy the full effect, which is kinda hard to do... :P
I try to do it a bit by first writing the language with the IPA only, but I get
tired very fast and imagine an orthography quite soon :)) .
> Ya, that's what I was thinking. There's nothing
> _invalid_ about these features in a language at all,
> and they don't seem to make people not able to speak
> it :P, but they make, in my opinion, purely phonemic
> representation possible (obviously!!) but less
> desirable in some respects than a system that embodies
> something about the language's "way of thinking about
I agree heartily.
> Well, there's no question in my mind that Gaelic and
> French have hideous orthographies that could be
> improved ::ducks:: ;).
Well, I personally find the Gaelic orthography extremely aesthetic :)) . So in
my opinion any improvement would more likely destroy this aesthetics that it
has found and is not desirable. I personally decided not to write French
according to what the last orthographic reform asks on grounds of aethetics
too: the main result of this reform is to get rid of many circumflex accents, a
point with which I completely disagree!! I find the circumflex accent so nice,
I will never stop using it! :)) .
> Thank you ::bows:: ;) It's interesting you picked up
> on that, because that was exactly what was in my mind
> when I came up with this system. Its predecessor used
> more "latinate"-looking diacriticed letter, and on the
> whole didn't fit my artisitc sense of the language's
> pseudo-logic the way I wanted it to :P. Plus, the
> Scandinavian-lloking letters are cool :).
Yep! Though until now the nicest-looking Latin derived alphabet I found is the
Uncial form used for Gaelic. It's just so nice that I derived the Maggel
alphabet from it, adding features I like from Arabic, i.e. the ligatures and
the fact that some letters connect to the next one, some don't (and some even
forbid a connection when there could be one :)) ).
> > And now it looks like Old Dutch! I like it even more
> :))) .
> Ploes, it haez dhe aedvaentaej oev byying moec yzyyr
> tu toeyp :P. Dhe tu skripts ar aektyuaely kloss
> relaetivs, aldho dhe daygraefikael verzhoen myutaated
> aewaay froem byying ae woen-tu-woen traenzlitoeraaxoen
> oev dhe "manograefikael" vrzhoen :).
Hehe, it's easier to me to read this form than the "manograefikael" one :)) .
Probably the fact that I'm surrounded with Dutch anyway :)) .
> > could I otherwise arrive at such atrocities as
> |ueisbfi| ['eZvI]:
> > beautiful?!! :)))) (and note that it is an example
> of perfectly regular
> > orthography!!!!! :)) Exercise: try to parse this
> example and cut the written
> > word into polygraphs - to help you, note that this
> word is composed only of
> > digraphs and single letters - that correspond to the
> different spoken phones.
> > Note that there is no letter belonging to two
> digraphs at the same time. But
> > there is another trick :)) )
> Huh. Dunno what the ' is - stress on the first
> syllable? what?... I'll pretend that since I don't
> know what it is it can't be important and ignore it.
You were right anyway :)) . I use mostly X-SAMPA, but use the common
modifications: /&/ for ae-ligature, /'/ for primary stress and /,/ for
> ;) Digraphs and single letters, huh... okay, hmm, how
> about that the <is> makes the [Z], the bf makes the
> [v] (those kinda make sense :) ), the terminal <i>
> makes the [I], this leaves <ue> for the ['e] bit,
> which the locals might call a "silent u" - maybe it
> gets pronounced sometimes <g>. Or maybe the u is
> keeping the e from getting pronounced like something
> other than [e], maybe [E] without the u.
> How'd I do? :)
Hehe, I had said there was a trick, and you fell in the trap :)) . But I must
admit the trick is so awful that it was nearly unfair not to give you more
indications :)) . So we have |ueisbfi| for ['eZvI]. You were right for |ue|.
It's a digraph which most often (i.e. unless an irregularity makes things
difficult :)) ) is to be read [e]. |e| alone has a lot of pronunciations, but
none is regularly [e] (it can be [E], [@], [eI], [i], unpronounced at the end
of a word, but not [e]). You were also right for |i| being pronounced [I]. It's
a normal pronunciation of unstressed |i|. But as I expected you stumbled upon
the consonants :)) . OK, let's not make you wait longer. It's actually |sb|
which is [Z] and |if| which is [v]. Now you don't understand anymore. The order
of letters was |isbf|, not *|sbif|! Indeed, and I didn't make a typo. The point
is that |i| in front of a consonant is often used silently as a mark to change
the value of that consonant (it's often a change in voice, like |f|: [f]
becomes |if|: [v], but not always, like |l|: [l] becomes |il|: [r] :)) ). But
the peculiarity of this |i| is that in order not to be read as a full vowel, it
is often put on the front of consonant clusters, even if the letter it actually
modifies is the last one of the cluster!! :)) . So here the digraph |if| was
cut in two to leave place for |sb| :)) . I admit it was tricky, especially
since |is| for [Z] and |bf| for [v] kind of make sense indeed :)) . But |is| is
normally simply [z], and |bf| is not a possible digraph (AFAIK :)) .
Don't be sad of making this mistake. As I told you, the othography of Maggel is
*not* supposed to make sense! :)) (indeed, the bit I told you about |i| being
moved in order not to be mistaken for a full vowel is not even always followed.
For instance |himidu| is pronounced ['CE~mptU], the [t] part being represented
by |id|, which is *not* separated despite the fact that it makes cluster with
the previous |m| - the [p] appearing in the pronunciation is purely phonetic
and due to the meeting between [m] and [t] -. I told you this orthography
elevated irregularity to the rank of an art :)) )
Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else play the leading role.