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More notes on Tech

From:Danny Wier <dawier@...>
Date:Monday, August 30, 1999, 14:59
This morning I've been playing around with Amharic names just to give myself
an idea of what some Tech conventions would be.  Now each Ge'ez character
starts with the basic Sabaean-Ethiopic consonant and then adds some form of
modification (like a rightward short horizontal mark with a downward serif,
or a wider horizontal bar connected to the bottom, or a bend in the main
vertical component of the letter -- I'll get into that later).  The first
column, called _ge"`z_, refers to the basic consonant form and carries the
vowel short a (transliterated as a-umlaut; in Tech it has the value of
[ae-lig] long and [shwa] short).

The other columns, the modified consonants, are named (given with their
vowel transliteration and short/long IPA value in Tech):

2. ka`b /u/ [U]/[u] (` = Arabic _`ayn_, voiced pharyngeal)
3. sals /i/ [I]/[i]
4. rab` /a/ [a]/[A]
5. hams /e/ [E]/[e]
6. sads /e-umlaut/ [zero]/[i-bar]
7. sab` /o/ [O]/[o]
8. diqala ge"`z /w+a-umlaut/ [zero] or [OE-lig]/[oe-lig]
9. diqala ka`b /w/ [w+zero]
10.diqala sals /w+i/ [wI] or [Y]/[wi] or [y]
11.diqala rab` /w+a/ [wa]/[wA]
12.diqala hams /w+e/ [we]/[wE]
13.diqala sads /w+e-umlaut/ [u-bar]/[o-slash]

(I haven't figured how I'm going to mark long vowels yet.)

And this led me to instances with column 6 as zero vowels.  Basically, the
rules of Tech consonants are such:

1) If the second syllable has a vowel, the zero vowel remains a zero:
   ^slase > ['Slase] Shlase, from Amharic Selassie;
   profesa"r > [pro'fes@r] professor
2) If both first and second syllable carry zero vowels, a [i-bar] vowel is
inserted after the first consonant.  In this case, no more than two
consonants can occur in sequence, and a word can only begin with one
consonant if two consonants follow the first vowel.

Now on to abbreviations: Since Tech writing is syllabic (or at least
pseudo-syllabic), proper names can be abbreviated to their first two
syllable, or single words can be reduced to its first and last syllable.
These abbreviations can be pronounced, like SoBe for South Beach, BoSox for
the Boston Red Sox, Dr. for Doctor, etc.  Examples:

nyu york > NyuYo  "New York"
ma"dina 'a :t'exa > Ma":Te _m&tte_  "Tech City"
  (: = two dots above, the gemination mark)
dokta:r _dokt@r) > DoR _dor_  "doctor, Dr."
koka"-kola" > KoKo _koko_ "Coca-Cola, Coke"
  (careful, don't call it _koka_; that's "cocaine"!)

The syllables in abbreviations are separated by a solidus/foreslash or, more
usually, a simple period mark (not the colon-style full stop in modern Tech

In the future, some more .gifs...


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