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Re: USAGE: No rants! (USAGE: di"f"thong)

From:Keith Gaughan <kmgaughan@...>
Date:Wednesday, May 31, 2006, 1:39
Hash: SHA1

Michael Adams wrote:

> People who love diacritics and digraphs, I wonder if they ever > do more with the language in question, than type it out?
You mean, like speak it? I thought most of us did that. Diacritics and digraphs exists for various reasons: 1. The alphabet used might not be capable of encompassing the language's whole phonological system, so has to make do with combining letters into digraphs and using diacritics. 2. They can aid in revealing how various words are related cf. German umlaut, Irish Gaelic seimhiu and uru, English's multiple spelling systems in one orthography, &c. 3. Because it's easier to recycle two existing letters than to introduce new ones (languages using Cyrillic being an obvious example to the contrary).
> But then you have examples like Greek and Russian, where the B > sound of Greek, had become a V sound, so you had to recreate > letter for the B sound. > > Why you have a B for V and what looks like a lower case B for B.
Um... because they don't use the Latin alphabet, possibly? Because Cyrillic was inspired primarily by the Greek alphabet and Greek may have already gone through the sound change that changed the sound of beta from [b] to [v]? Because the symbols themselves concur only arbitrarily with the sound? Because phonologies change faster than orthographies? There's nothing mysterious here.
> Me, I still wonder why V is done BH in Irish.
Etymology and morphology. It's a mostly grammatical artifact.
> Irish the Irish Insular from (miniscule) using D with a dot, or > B with a dot for DH and BH (V).
Wuh? This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. <dh> is pronounced [j] or [G], depending on the circumstances. <bh> varies between [b], [B], and [w] depending on where you are and local phonotactics. What exactly did you mean? K. - -- Keith Gaughan | Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. -- Leonardo Da Vinci (attributed) -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: GnuPG v1.4.2 (MingW32) Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - iD8DBQFEfOyJaC1DzM+fZHMRArP8AKCvsY093HVGf3Bnwrxjzz9ut8/XpwCgqH88 Mgu25CaMioUfYJB2qSpsRVM= =MXMd -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----


Michael Adams <abrigon@...>
Isaac Penzev <isaacp@...>