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The romamization of a complex tone system

From:Jesse Raccio <jraja0722@...>
Date:Tuesday, February 19, 2002, 0:13
Hi all,

I'm a new member here so I will start with an
Languages are somewhat of a hobby for me, and in
another life I would
love to be a linguist.  My real career is in music,
composition.  Throughout my life, mostly due to
Tolkien and SciFi, I
have been interested in con-langs, so I've decided to
give it a try.

Naturally, given my training in music, I am interested
in pitch and
tonality in language.  As I have begun to tackle this,
creating the
phonology, alphabet and considering how pitch will be
used and what
it will express, I have been stuck on the problem of
representing a
relatively complex tonal system in roman characters.
I have a
general knowledge of Chinese and an understanding of
the pinyin
system, which works fine for 4 tones and short words.
However if the
number of tones exceeds this, say 12 tones in a
variety of
combinations, I start to run out of meaningful roman
there are only so many a's!  Using numerals would
become excessive,
especially if I decide to mark every, or every other,
syllable.  I
don't think I would like to read a word like:
I would think that the above would simply get annoying
and confusing.
I am creating an alphabet with the Hebrew torah trope
system in
mind.  But for someone checking the lang out casually,
I cannot
expect them to care about an alphabet system too much.

So if anyone has any suggestions, or could point out
something I've
missed, thanks.

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Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>