digraphs (was: Rhotics)
|From:||R A Brown <ray@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, July 7, 2007, 11:38|
Benct Philip Jonsson wrote:
> On 6.7.2007 Jeff Rollin wrote:
> > In general, I detest digraphs. The only excuses for them,
> > in my view, are either that they are used in the same or a
> > similar way as those in the language of the conlanger's
> > intended audience (for example, I assume that the audience
> > for most people on this list would consist of English
> > speakers, in the main, so using "ch" for a sound like that
> > in "chutney" is ok),
> I might grudgingly use digraphs for that reason e.g. if I
> used a conlang in a story which was also adressed at a non-
> linguistically inclined audience,
Quite so, I might _grudgingly_ use them in such circumstances. But I am
not over-fond of digraphs. Indeed, there are possibly some on this list
who may recall that a few years back, when on that other list there was
a proposal to reform the auxlang Novial, I made the modest suggestion
that its two digraphs, _ch_ and _sh_, should scrapped.
> > OR the reading is intuitive - thus using "h" for
> > aspirates, etc.
'intuitive'? You mean because an aspirate has an /h/ off glide, I guess.
In other words it can be analyzed as two sounds, hence two letters.
But - and I thought this was obvious - that is *precisely* why I
_suggested_ using two letters for taliesin's sound which he currently
denotes as _H_, i.e. it is, as taliesin himself has confirmed, two
sounds, therefore it seemed reasonable to me that he might consider
using two letters.
I was somewhat taken aback that such a suggestion (and that's all it was
- the decision what to use after all is taliesin's, not mine) should
prompt a bit of soap-box ranting.
> I will in general only use digraphs for aspirates,
> affricates and secondary articulations (e.g. consonant + y
> for palatalized consonants in Kijeb).
Yes, indeed - and taliesin's sound is surely just as composite as an
In short, I am not in principle in favor of using digraphs for _single_
sounds; nor did I suggest this. Nor, on the other hand, am I dogmatic
For example, I certainly would not favor spelling /v/ in a reformed
English spelling as _bh_ on the analogy of _ph_ = /f/. In fact I would
strongly argue in favor of _v_ and _f_ for the two sounds respectively.
But if a conlang has a system of lenition similar to Gaelic, then I
think a very good case can be made out for using digraphs to represent
the single sounds /v/ and /f/. (Note: they are *not* aspirates, they are
It surely depends upon the internal structure of the language and, if it
has one, the conhistory of the language and (just as importantly,
probably) the predilection of the language's author :)
I have stated why I personally do not think r-caron is a good idea for
taliesin's _H_, and what my own preference of the choices are, and I
also _suggested_ a two-letter combo might be considered for a two-sound
combo. But I am certainly not going to get on my soap-box about any of
this. In the end, surely, it's taliesin decision that matters.
Nid rhy hen neb i ddysgu.
There's none too old to learn.