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Re: Prevli phonology

From:Dirk Elzinga <dirk.elzinga@...>
Date:Wednesday, January 16, 2008, 14:01
On Jan 15, 2008 9:37 PM, Roger Mills <rfmilly@...> wrote:

> Dirk Elzinga wrote: > > > > Roger: > > > > I hesitated posting these comments because I'm leaving in the morning > for > > a > > conference in NYC, and I may or may not be able to read email while I'm > > gone. ....> > > I've been reading (and re-reading) your short description of Prevli > > phonology. It is very interesting, and to this Americanist, very > strange. > > I > > recognize (I think) some things from Austronesian (no surprise there!), > > and > > I find them refreshing. I had a few comments; take them or leave them, > as > > they are useful to you. > > Very trenchant comments; many thanks. You've hit upon exactly the areas > that > bothered me..... One of my problems is how to come up with a spelling > system > that either reveals as many of the allophonic/morphophonemic alternations > as > possible-- or whether to use a more phonemic system, give the rules, and > let > the reader figure it out. (That's how a native speaker might view it, but > not fair to us outlanders, I think). I'll wait a few days before > answering > more fully. > > (snip the rest) >
About spelling. I know there are others who have thought about this much more than I have, but it seems to me that a successful orthography is designed for (and by) its users, not its learners. So I think that many of these alternations could remain unmarked in the spelling system. I guess that means that I'm in favor of basing the orthography on a phonemicization and then providing the interested reader (me!) with the rules. Personally, I tend to sidestep the whole issue since I generally prefer to work with transcriptions. The issue of spelling doesn't come up with Miapimoquitch, being the language of a preliterate society, and the orthography for Shemspreg is essentially a transcription. I'm having some trouble with my third project (which right now has the unfortunate name Ustekkli), because I am trying to design the orthography in tandem with the phonology. It's turning out to be a lot more difficult than it ought to be. Dirk