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an "i" for an /i/ was: Heyas all!

From:Mathew Willoughby <sidonian@...>
Date:Sunday, March 28, 1999, 19:29
Trace Erin Kern wrote:

> On Sat, 27 Mar 1999 16:36:50 -0300 FFlores <fflores@...> writes: > <snip> > >Don't use English or English-based spellings. It can work on some > >words, but not on really alien-looking ones. Try to use one symbol > >(or combination of symbols) for each sound. This way you can spell > >anything without having to transform it into English spelling, > >which is difficult and misleading to say the least. > >For example, <Hah'Rooqh> could be _ahruk_, <Tah'Khrine> _takre:n_, > >etc. > > However, using English style spelling helps when you're doing a conlang > for writing stories. After all, you don't want to make it too difficult > for the reader to pronounce "Zahkran's" name.
I agree. As an English writer who is marketing his work to a predominantly English market, I've made the decision to keep most of my conlang spelling systems English-based. English spelling is, of course, utter chaos but there are some basic "kindergarten" level conventions that most English speakers (even non-native) will understand. I'd rather have someone mispronounce Ambaron as /'&m b@ ,ran/ instead of the more correct /,&m ba 'ro~/ rather than being distracted from the story by having to memorize an array of diacritical markings. And if a native Spanish of Italian speaker pronounces it /'a:m b@ ,ro:n/ that's *fine* with me. I'd be flattered if anyone got far enough in my book to even try pronouncing it. A Latin-based spelling system is, IMO, the second best candidate for the transcription of conlangs in fiction. Most people are familiar with at least one Romance language and English spelling is rather anomalous for not having an "i" for /i/. Then again, to paraphrase Umberto Eco in _Faucault's Pendulum_, 'The English have to be different in everything.' I actually use a Latin-based spelling system for those conlangs with a Latinesque (sorry, Brian ;-) phonology. What do most of you on this list use? I've gotten the impression that a Latin-based spelling, modified by the creator's own conventions for non-Latin sounds, seems to be prevalent. For purposes of this list and in my Alevain tutorial I've employed the Kirshenbaum IPA to ASCII system so as to clear up any confusion that may arise from English-style spelling. I do agree that an English-based spelling system is essentially hopeless for those who are creating a conlang as a work of art in its own right or as a centerpiece for a work of fiction, gaming, etc. Ai bili:v thaet Inglish spelling iz insein. It draivz mi: aebsolutli: waild samtaimz. Tu: baed thaet no wan wud ta:lireit mi: spelling laik this. O: well, so: matsh for an "ai" for an "ai." Ai'd bettir sta:p bifor mai spell tshekir bi:ts mi: ouvir tha hed with Anabridzhd Webstir'z. smw