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English notation

From:Christian Thalmann <cinga@...>
Date:Thursday, June 28, 2001, 12:29
I realize that proposed alternative notations for the English language
abound.  I agree that English orthography is murderous, and that such a reform
would do good.  However, I'm also aware that the American people wouldn't ever
be willing to change to any other (and thus "unintuitive" ;-) writing system.
Heck, most of them aren't even willing to accept the metric system.  =\

Anyhoo, I've never been quite fond of any of those alternate writing
systems.  They either look weird or make impractical phonetic distinctions.  Here's
my take on the problem.  I humbly call it TONORUNE -- The One 'N' Only Really
Useful Notation for English.

-  Use the letters p, t, k, b, d, g, m, f, v, s, z, l for their IPA values.
-  Use the letters r, j, y for [R], [dZ] and [j] respectively.
-  Use the digraphs th, dh, sh, zh, ch, ng, nk for [T], [D], [S], [Z], [N],
[Nk] respectively.
Comments: [Ng] would be written nng.  The distinction of voiced and unvoiced
[w] could be ignored, or [w_0] could be written as hw, just as [y_0] would
be written hy in the word "huge".  I realize that the letters x, q and c could
have been used for sh, zh and ch, but I wanted to keep those notations

-  "Short" vowels: (view in fixed font if possible)
   [æ] [E] [I] [Q] [V] [U] [@]
    æ   e   i   o   a   u   e
-  "Long" vowels and diphtongs:
   [ej] [i:] [aj] [ow] [A:] [O:] [u:] [ju:]
    ei   ii   ai   ou   aa   oo   uu   yu
-  Rhotacised vowels:
   [AR] [ER] [iR] [oR] [uR] [3R]
    ar   ær   ir   or   ur   er
Comments: Since æ is not stable on the internet, x can be used as an ASCII
version of æ.  In fact, æ looks a look like a cursive x.  The merging of [E]
and [@] is not problematic IMHO, since I can't think of a pair of words that
would become ambiguous.  It seems unnecessarily complicated to introduce a
special symbol for [@].  Alternatively, one could use i for [@], since [I] seems
to appear interchangeably with [@] in many unstressed places.

Æni obzerveishenz or koments?  Das samwan sii æn obvies sursiz of problemz?
Ou, ænd pliiz dount giv mi æni long spiichiz ebaut dhe diiper fenetik
intrikesiz of inglish -- ai daut æni emæriken spiiker short of æ linggwist is ewær
of dhem, ænd wud mis dhem in dhis nouteishen.  Bisaidz, it's not æz if dhe
kerent inglish speling wer dhæt prisais æniwei.

-- Christian Thalmann

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