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
> 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> => /pi.at/.
> 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.