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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?
You're generalizing. [snip]
> 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 orthographies.
> 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 view). [snip]
>>> 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 ;) -- Ray ================================== ================================== MAKE POVERTY HISTORY