Re: Phonetics vs. Phonemics (was: apparently bizarre 'A's)
|From:||R A Brown <ray@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, February 26, 2006, 17:42|
Benct Philip Jonsson wrote:
> R A Brown skrev:
>>>> But your scheme is doomed to failure on both sides of the Pond with all
>>>> those 'furrin' diacritics!
> What ìs it with anglophones that they have diacritophobia?
> In fact English and Latin are the only languages written in
> the Roman alphabet that don't use diacritics,
This simply is not true. AFAIK Swahili, Xhosa, Zulu and a whole lot of
other languages do not use diacritics with their Roman alphabet
> Roman alphabet. Think of it, Ray: what would you think of
> Greek or Welsh, or French, without diacritics?
Greek does not use the Roman alphabet! Also of course the ancient
Greeks _did_ write without using any diacritics.
The breathings, accents and other diacritics were the invention of
Alexandrian grammarians of the Hellenistic period and were intended to
help non-Greek speakers pronounce the language properly (much as acutes
are used in Russian texts for learners). The Modern Greeks have
dispensed with all except the acute.
But I never said that *I* was adverse to diacritics - merely making the
observation that their use would simply not catch on in the anglophone
world. Newspapers never print the things on foreign words or names;
they are happy to write 'facade' even tho it's pronounced /f@'sAd/.
I'm merely stating what is a fact - whether you or I like it is
irrelevant. Spelling reforms have been proposed at least since the 19th
century - there's no shortage of proposals. But none have been
successful so far; but IME adding diacritics to such a proposed reform
will only make it more certain it is ignored.
I don't think there's any _phobia_ about the use of diacritics. Ignoring
them is due to laziness or indifference (depending upon your point of
>>> Yeah, diacritics are a no-no. But what got me was the odd choice of
>>> digraph in the basic Roman version of ʒ - cg? gj?
>> Yes - 'cg' denoted a sound similar to [dZ] in Old English IIRC and
>> 'gj' would suggest something similar to me also.
> In fact my ʒ - cg gj *does* denote /dZ/ and not /Z/.
Right - but re-introducing _cg_ from Old English, I think, is not the
best idea. Very few users of modern English have any idea about the
spelling conventions of Old English. _gj_ might work - in fact I have
used it in reform schemes of my own - but writing 'judge' as _gjygj_
seems a tad untidy ;)
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