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Results of Poll by Email no. 12

From:Peter Clark <peter-clark@...>
Date:Saturday, June 1, 2002, 23:27
        Ah--my lovely wife and I just returned from a stroll in Como Park, St. Paul,
and a trip to Barnes & Nobles (big book store chain here); a lovely way to
spend a Saturday afternoon. But you don't want to hear me talk about the
weather, you want the results! There were fewer respondants this time, only
19 sent in their answer. The breakdown is as follows:
        A. My language has names for letters which mean something (like Hebrew
"aleph" = "ox", "beth" = house") (3 responses, 16%)
        B. My language has names for letters which have no meaning, but look like
"real words" (like Greek "alpha, beta") (2 responses, 11%)
        C. My language has names for letters, but they're fairly simple. However,
there are a variety of methods used to form the names (such as French "cé,
ji, ache, elle") (4 responses, 21%)
        D. My language has names for letters, and they're fairly repetitive -- say,
two main methods of forming names (such as /xe/ and /Ex/ for consonants /x/).
(3 responses, 16%)
        E. My language has very boring names for letters (such as Esperanto "a, bo,
co, cxo, do"). (1 response, 5%)
        F. My language has no names for its letters. (7 responses, 37%)

        Falling in the "Phew! That was close!" category, Matthew Kehrt answered: "As
of a few days ago, I would have said F.  However, the night before last, I
decided to name my letters with actual words.  So now I have letters like
'Cal'/c}l/ (metal) and 'tir' /tIr/ (water).  I try to use short, common words
for my letter names."

        Nik Taylor has an interesting back history to the names of his letters: "A
mixture of A and B.  Historically, the names for all the syllabic characters
had meanings, using words that start with those syllables, but in the
Classical languages, a few of those words were extinct, thus creating names
that, synchronically, are meaningless.  Also, sound changes sometimes obscure
the connection between the name and the syllable in represents (like _diga_
for the character _da_)."

        Roger Mills gave an example for "D": "Each plain Cons. is C plus /a/
The prenasalized stops additionally have initial /a/--
ha ka anga ça ca anja ña ya and so on for s t nd n r l f p mb m v.
The vowels are |vowel| plus /-ni/, the poss. marker, so ani ini eni uni oni
'its a, its i...'etc."

        Wesley Parish gave the typical response for "F": "As yet, my conlang has no
name for any of its letters, inasmuch as I have failed to provide any of them
with workable scripts of any sort."
        Jan van Steenbergen narrowly avoided damnation (thanks to your humble Poll
Provider) when he realized that he had never considered naming the letters in
his conlang: "It's really incredible, but I never even considered the very
possibility of naming the letters of the Hattic alphabet. Such a mortal sin
of omission! Right now, the answer would undoubtedly be F, but thanks to this
poll, by the time the results are published it will probably have changed to
C (the fairly simple names like in French)."
        Just doing my job, Jan, just doing my job. :)
        That's all for this poll, stay tuned for Poll by Email No. 12.9! (The odd
numbering will be explained...)