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Re: Romaji as syllabary

From:Damian Yerrick <tepples@...>
Date:Thursday, February 17, 2005, 9:15
Gary Shannon wrote:

> I just woke up with this odd thought running through > my mind for a quick and easy syllabary. Each of the > 26 letters of the Roman alphabet could be treated as a > syllable and pronounced in full within the context of > the word. Thus "STO" would be pronounced "es'tio", > "HAD" would be "aitchay'dee". > > Then maybe the lower case letters could represent an > alternate syllable like "R" = "aar" while "r" = "ro". > Maybe the rule could be vowel before consonant in the > upper case and vowel after consonant in the lower > case. ("M" = "em", "m" = "ma", "P" = "ep", "p" = > "pee", "TO" = "tio", "tO" = "eto", etc. (But what > about "A" vs "a" hmmm. I don't know.))
Have A and a represent the glottal stop, just as they do in Hebrew.
> That would make for an easy-to-remember 52 symbol > syllabary. And it could be easily mapped onto a > custom made font that worked easily with the standard > English keybord.
Syllabary or abugida? Treat it as a pure syllabary, and I see no way to distinguish multiple vowels for a given consonant, unless you take the NW Caucasian approach and determine the vowels based on the surrounding consonants. Treat it as a Brahmi-style abugida, where a vowel replaces an adjacent consonant's intrinsic vowel, and you're one step away from having a full alphabet again. (Your revised proposal tends toward an abugida.) However, determining vowels based on the consonants just might work. For example, voicing might push the vowel from neutral /a/ to a different vowel determined by the place of articulation: <pPbB> => /pa.ap.bu.ub/. Or require dissimilation between adjacent vowels: <p> => /pa/ and <T> => /at/ but <pT> => /
> Is 52 enough? There would be 140,608 valid 3-syllable > words and 7.3 million 4-syllable words. That seems > like enough.
Should be enough, especially if you build the 4-syllable words out of compounds of 2-syllable words, as Japanese likes to do. -- Damian