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Re: Phonetics

From:Abel Chiaro <pchavesjr+conlang@...>
Date:Monday, March 26, 2007, 14:03
Benct Philip Jonsson ziánvalye:

>And I wasn't using my brain. MediaWiki has a 'normalization >feature' for Unicode. It bit me before when I wanted i with >breve/macron and ogonek. Since I wanted the i's to be >undotted I used precomposed i-breve and i-macton with >combining ogonek, which MediaWiki 'normalized' to >precomposed i-ogonek (with dot) + combining breve/macron -- >i.e. exactly what i *didn't* want. I had to put a zero width > joiner, most easily entered with the HTML entity &zwj; > before the combining ogonek. Most irritating!
Thanks for the tip; you're right in that it really isn't exactly elegant, but I'll be sure to try that.
> > By the way, that's exactly why I had to resort to the > > macron for stressed <æ>, since there's no LATIN > > SMALL/CAPITAL LETTER AE WITH BREVE... >:-( If at least > > they had another COMBINING BREVE, suited for uppercase > > letters... Is there a better way around it?
I have just found COMBINING GREEK PERISPOMENI (U+0342)... I'll give it a shot.
>Well, there are fonts and software that do diacritic >stacking right(1), but you can't rely on wiki visitors >having them.
>(1) E.g. The DejaVu fonts (Info:<>, > Download: <>) and Charis Sil > (<> Follow the > download link in the box on the right) seem to do the > right thing with Firefox < > US/firefox/>, at least on Windows XP.
Yes, I like the DejaVu family very much (especially Sans Condensed), and I'm impressed with the SIL guys' job at expanding the latin coverage of their fonts; actually, I use a template in my wiki that chooses among a few (ok, a little more than a few) fonts that have the unicode coverage I need: Segoe UI, DejaVu Sans Condensed, DejaVu Sans, Bitstream Vera Sans, Lucida Sans Unicode, Free Sans, Arial Unicode MS, Gentium, GentiumAlt, Charis SIL, Doulos SIL, Thryomanes, TITUS Cyberbit Basic, Bitstream Cyberbit, Cardo, Junicode, Hiragino Kaku Gothic Pro, Matrix Unicode, Chrysanthi Unicode, and Code2000. For the wiki, I tend to prefer the sans-serif fonts.
>My advice for now is to use the acute accent, which comes >precomposed with &#508;&#509; at \u01FC \u01FD, as a stress mark, >though I must say I'm biassed in favor of the acute to mark >stress or length. (See !)
My mother language (Brazilian Portuguese) uses the acute accent for stressed open vowels (not in all words, though), and so I'm inclined to avoid it... and, as my accenting rule is the same as in Modern Greek (every word with 2+ syllables gets an accent on the stressed syllable), I thought it was too much Greek already. Anyway, I'm considering a number of romanization "modes", one of which will use the accute as the stress mark.
>I guess it's only that back when I started there was a >dominant association between constructed languages and >international auxiliary languages which confused the mind, >and I can assure you my first conlang didn't contain any >phonemes not found in Swedish or German (the two languages I >spoke natively), and one or two only found in Swedish. Also >the only 'exotic' morphological feature it contained was a >morphological plural (exotic from a Germanic POV)! >Admittedly I was very young at the time.
I'll have to admit that the Ályis phoneme inventory is a mix of Brazilian Portuguese and Modern Greek... but that's on purpose; the other languages in my conworld are likely to have some more exotic sounds.
>I'm afraid I cant give you very much structural advice ATM. >I'm in the midst of struggling with an overhaul of the case >and verbal agreement systems of my own conlang Kijeb ><>, so all you would get would >probably be the same ideas as I'm considering for Kijeb >(which might or might not be a good thing! :-) The one big >advice for beginners is not to fall into the trap of >relexifying their native language (see ><>), but you >seem to be safe on that point -- unlike me when I began, I >might add!
Well, I almost ran into that in the beginning, but then I thought, "Nálthea is *not* Earth, so the chances they have of getting to a language so similar to mine are quite small" (not to say they are humans in a planet that is not Earth, but I'll let them be :-)). After that I had to force myself to come up with roots out of nothing... tiring, but it's paying.
>I thought as much. At one point I considered using overdot >on c/s z g e for /S dZ G &/ in my conlang Sohlob on the >model of the 'native' script ><> but decided against >it because I wanted to stick with a Latin-1 clean >Romanization. There is an ASCII clean Romanization too, but >I hardly ever use it any more. The g-dot for /G/ would also >have been inaccurate, since in Sohlob writing /G/ is a-dot!
Now you made a very strong point in favor of the acute accent... and now I'm willing to take it.
> > For the romanization, I did consider using the acute as > > the preferred default, since to me it's much easier to > > input, but then the sample texts gave me the impression > > of shouting... :-) > >Why so? I do agree with those that feel that ALL CAPS is >shouting, but I never had that feeling WRT acute. One Dutch >guy on this list used the acute for emphasis, and I guess >that if you are used to that it might feel like shouting, >but as I have read a lot of Icelandic in my day I'm glad I >don't have that association! :-)
The weirdest part is that I only have that impression with Ályis... E.g., when I see "æl&#277;nim na&#301;le, hi æl&#259;ilim n&amp;#259;nya" and "ælénim naíle, hi æláilim nánya" ("many tell stories, and many are the stories that have been heard of"), the second one doesn't seem to me like normal speech... this effect is passing, though. :-)
> > On the other hand, at least with XWindow and my keyboard > > layout, and in OOo Writer, the breve is entered with > > (behold!) AltGr+Shift+\ and the macron with AltGr+Shift+[, > > so it's not really that much of a trouble to write it... > >Can't you make custom keyboards rather easily on XWindow?
I heard that, too, and I'll search the documentation to learn how.
> > Thus, the final word is: acutes (or graves or carets or > > diaeresis or carons, for that matter, as one just needs to > > mark the stressed vowel) are just fine, but breves are > > more accurate (at least graphically speaking). > > > > In the mean time, I'm working on updating the glyphs for > > the ánvalyis script to my wiki. > >I look forward to it.
I'll try to do that today or tomorrow; for now, I can say that it is, so to day, highly featural: the letters try to illustrate the articulation of each letter (somewhat like Hangul, albeit unintentionally), all the stops have ascenders, all the fricatives have descenders, all sonorants have the same height as the vowels, all voiced consonants have a bow opened to the left while the voiceless ones are open to the right; all lenited consonants have a curl. (Don't be surprised (like I was) if the letters look a little like the new Tai Lue script...)
>Agree. Too bad most capital ENGs look terrible. I prefer the >form looking like an enlarged lowercase eng to the one >looking like an NJ ligature. As for Gentium I can only >agree. I only hope it'll soon get the same upgrading as >Charis SIL got.
Me too; but what I miss the most about Gentium is its lack of bold weight. But I recall reading on the SIL website that they will start working on Gentium Bold once its coverage matches Charis' and Doulos'.
>What about comma below? You have a rather full set for that: > >{snip} > >Alas there is no precomposed Hh with comma below. You could >be radical and use &#540; &#541; U+021C U+021D LATIN ... LETTER YOGH >(which look reasonably like the thing Egyptologists use for >'ayin') for /h\/, or if you feel French, use &#342; &#343; U+0156 >U+0157 LATIN ... LETTER R WITH CEDILLA for /G/ and g with >cedilla for /h\/, or the other way around! :-)
Well, I don't actually *require* that the romanization resembles ánvalyis so closely... but that might be an optional romanization mode. By the way, yogh looks very much like the letter for <b> in ánvalyis... :-)
>Being an Islandophile I have no problem with þ and ð, >although word initial ð does look weird to me too. For some >reason word-internal þ goes down much more easily -- >perhaps because it marginally occurs in compound words in >Icelandic.
I'm still getting used to it, and the thorn by itself does look good... but then the <th> digraph is also pleasant to my eyes... oh, the decisions! :-)
> > Again, thank you for your comments! > >Thanks for listening!
I guess I'll ask you to keep giving me what to listen to, then!
>BTW the key to our CXS phone*ic transcription is at ><>
That link will be most useful... I think I'll print it for quick reference. Cheers, - Abel.