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Re: Greek letters ...

From:JJW <arbitrary01@...>
Date:Thursday, April 19, 2001, 0:49
>Only one query- what sort of hellish transliteration is >this? Instead of <ee> or <ei> for eta, he uses /. >Why <y> for theta? They don't even look similar!
And <V> is used for phi! I don't know why! My theory is that his first language was Arabic, and this may have effected his grapheme preferences. "Normal" web transliteration practice for Greek is to use <Q> for theta, <H> for eta, <V> for nu, etc... which at least utilizes some character similarities. But why not just spell it like it sounds... TH, EY, OW, N, PH, etc. Isn't the best way always the simplest way? (I don't see anyone using <p> for rho, after all). Especially considering /h/ can only occur word initially in both coptic and greek, and the phonological effect h has on preceeding stops (ie, making tau into aspirated theta). Of course, what does one do when there are sounds which cant be described with a latin alphabet - but is limited to a 26 character keyboard? Irish, with it's broad/slender distinction makes do with 18 characters and most consonants can represent four phonemes (giving us the irony that words spelled 'bhao' and 'bhi' would actually have the _same_ vowel and different consonants) - i can't believe my ancestors used it! (okay, they were probably illiterate, so nevermind). I've tended to use regular IndoEuro sounds that fit nicely on the IPA chart for my conlangs so far... but i can't help but wonder: what if i wanted to add some wacky egressive stops, and clicks, and murmured vowels, and nasalized versions of all these?... ASCII just doesn't cut it. -jjw