Re: Additional Letters for Enlish
|From:||Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, December 11, 1999, 11:28|
At 5:24 am -0600 11/12/99, Thomas R. Wier wrote:
>> Anyone ever seen Gothic (not the calligraphy style, or the architecture
>> or horror type or modern sub-culture) the people who invaded Europe
>> c.250ad and took over much of the Western Empire c.350ad..
>> They had an alphabet based on Greek, I bet a number of their characters
>> could be used for English, same lingo family and all?
>Well, whether or not two languages are in the same family has
>little to do with whether the script one uses would be appropriate
>in describing the phonemic behavior one sees in the other.
Indeed - French, Spanish & Romanian, e.g. are all Romanclangs, but their
phonologies are each very different. An alphabet specifically designed for
French, e.g., would be no good for either Spanish or Romanian without quite
a bit of modification.
As for the Gothic alphabet, the only useful additions it would give would
be a symbol for /T/ (similar in shape to Greek psi) and one for the 'wh'
sound (symbol like the Greek theta) - but whether the latter is rearly
necessary is a matter of argument. It would also give a single symbol for
/x/ as in the Scots /lox/ 'loch' - but that sound does not occur in most
varieties of English.
It does not give any symbols for /S/, /Z/, /tS/ or /dZ/ or /D/; and as it
also does not have symbol /v/, the usefulness of the adition of /T/ and /W/
is somewhat counterbalanced. And it has only five vowel graphemes.
So I fail to see any advantage of the Gothic over the Roman. Indeed, I
cannot see any significant advantage in Cyrillic. If we're concerned only
with writing English efficiently in a phonetic alphabet, then the so-called
Shavian alphabet already exists and could be used.
A mind which thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language.
[J.G. Hamann 1760]