Is English a logographic writing system?

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Re: Is English a logographic writing system?

Post by MoonRightRomantic » Sun 10 Apr 2016, 21:32

clawgrip wrote:Modern English isn't logographic, and won't be until the semantic indicators outweigh the phonetic ones, which currently they do not. Please show me examples of the Chinese-style radicals in action.

Unless your post is describing some sort of future English. Even then, go ahead and show some samples of how it might work.
Sorry, I accidentally confused phonograms and logograms. English is composed of phonograms loaned from numerous different languages with different pronunciation rules. Source: https://readaboutreading.wordpress.com/ ... am-sounds/

Different sounding phonograms often look identical. So the true number of phonograms is a couple hundred, even though English only has ~44 distinct phonemes.
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Re: Is English a logographic writing system?

Post by GrandPiano » Sun 10 Apr 2016, 22:06

What that blog post calls "phonograms" appears to be what linguists call "multigraphs", or more specifically digraphs, trigraphs, tetragraphs, etc. They're a pretty common feature of alphabets, and can have multiple sound values.
:eng: - Native
:chn: - B2
:esp: - A2
:jpn: - A2
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Re: Is English a logographic writing system?

Post by MoonRightRomantic » Mon 11 Apr 2016, 14:00

English phonics programs refers to monograms and multigrams generically as phonograms. It's extremely difficult to teach literacy in English due to being the most irregular orthography ever, so teachers HAVE to mangle linguistics jargon in order to teach people to read.
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Re: Is English a logographic writing system?

Post by clawgrip » Mon 11 Apr 2016, 14:44

MoonRightRomantic wrote:English phonics programs refers to monograms and multigrams generically as phonograms. It's extremely difficult to teach literacy in English due to being the most irregular orthography ever
The most irregular orthography ever? Are you sure about that? Have you ever seen Khmer? Tibetan?
, so teachers HAVE to mangle linguistics jargon in order to teach people to read.
I learned a lot of spelling through rote memorization and basic phonics explanations like long and short vowels, silent e, and pointless spelling tips like i before e etc. None of my English teachers talked about phonograms and whatnot. Do they actually use these terms while teaching phonics? Because no one who can't read is going to have any idea what a phonogram is. Throwing around unfamiliar terms like that would do nothing but confuse learners.
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Re: Is English a logographic writing system?

Post by MoonRightRomantic » Mon 11 Apr 2016, 16:16

Every 5-10 years those abominable English phonic textbooks are replaced by the latest and greatest teaching fad. This decade the fad is phonograms. Logic of English publishes such books and even has an app.

https://www.logicofenglish.com/resources/phonogram-list
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Re: Is English a logographic writing system?

Post by qwed117 » Mon 11 Apr 2016, 16:45

Spoiler:
MoonRightRomantic wrote:Every 5-10 years those abominable English phonic textbooks are replaced by the latest and greatest teaching fad. This decade the fad is phonograms. Logic of English publishes such books and even has an app.

https://www.logicofenglish.com/resources/phonogram-list
Dear god, so much is wrong. Ci, si, and ti occur in latin loans where they are followed by a vowel (especially o).
excision
Even though it isn't the first syllable, the c avoids further palatization, because there is no vowel following i.
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Re: Is English a logographic writing system?

Post by MoonRightRomantic » Mon 11 Apr 2016, 17:51

qwed117 wrote:
Spoiler:
MoonRightRomantic wrote:Every 5-10 years those abominable English phonic textbooks are replaced by the latest and greatest teaching fad. This decade the fad is phonograms. Logic of English publishes such books and even has an app.

https://www.logicofenglish.com/resources/phonogram-list
Dear god, so much is wrong. Ci, si, and ti occur in latin loans where they are followed by a vowel (especially o).
excision
Even though it isn't the first syllable, the c avoids further palatization, because there is no vowel following i.
You don't expect children to know the history of the English language and why loans were never changed to fit English phonetics. It takes a few months to learn to read Spanish or Polish, and a decade and a half to learn to read English. There's a reason why sheer boneheadedness is the only barrier to spelling reform.
Edit: Click on the icon and a pop-up will explain the rule. It doesn't refer to every instance of that digraph, only the times it is a phonogram. http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/phonograms
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Re: Is English a logographic writing system?

Post by qwed117 » Mon 11 Apr 2016, 18:17

MoonRightRomantic wrote:
qwed117 wrote:
Spoiler:
MoonRightRomantic wrote:Every 5-10 years those abominable English phonic textbooks are replaced by the latest and greatest teaching fad. This decade the fad is phonograms. Logic of English publishes such books and even has an app.

https://www.logicofenglish.com/resources/phonogram-list
Dear god, so much is wrong. Ci, si, and ti occur in latin loans where they are followed by a vowel (especially o).
excision
Even though it isn't the first syllable, the c avoids further palatization, because there is no vowel following i.
You don't expect children to know the history of the English language and why loans were never changed to fit English phonetics. It takes a few months to learn to read Spanish or Polish, and a decade and a half to learn to read English. There's a reason why sheer boneheadedness is the only barrier to spelling reform.
Edit: Click on the icon and a pop-up will explain the rule. It doesn't refer to every instance of that digraph, only the times it is a phonogram. http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/phonograms
It literally says that it is only not that way in the first syllable, which is wrong.
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Re: Is English a logographic writing system?

Post by MoonRightRomantic » Mon 11 Apr 2016, 19:30

There's a disclaimer somewhere about the "rules" being wrong about 20% of the time or something.
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Re: Is English a logographic writing system?

Post by Salmoneus » Mon 11 Apr 2016, 20:07

It doesn't take a decade and a half to learn to write English. It takes a couple of years. It would probably take less than that if the people doing it weren't very young and often limited in patience.

EDIT: oh, sorry, you said read. In which case it takes even less time to learn to read English. Most of the complication is learning to write it.

[One issue is that sometimes there are words where you won't be 100% on the pronunciation until you've actually heard somebody say it - typically that's a matter of where the stress falls in unusual greek or latinate words (how much has the stress been naturalised?) - but that's a very minor issue.]
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Re: Is English a logographic writing system?

Post by MoonRightRomantic » Mon 11 Apr 2016, 23:02

Salmoneus wrote:It doesn't take a decade and a half to learn to write English. It takes a couple of years. It would probably take less than that if the people doing it weren't very young and often limited in patience.

EDIT: oh, sorry, you said read. In which case it takes even less time to learn to read English. Most of the complication is learning to write it.

[One issue is that sometimes there are words where you won't be 100% on the pronunciation until you've actually heard somebody say it - typically that's a matter of where the stress falls in unusual greek or latinate words (how much has the stress been naturalised?) - but that's a very minor issue.]
To read/write proficiently it does take that long. I've gone over this before. English is the second most time consuming script to learn, after Han characters. One in five native English speaking adults are functionality illiterate. It costs the USA alone $24 billion a year. I am a native English speaker and I consistently mispronounce the vast majority of my vocabulary.
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Re: Is English a logographic writing system?

Post by qwed117 » Tue 12 Apr 2016, 00:35

MoonRightRomantic wrote:
Salmoneus wrote:It doesn't take a decade and a half to learn to write English. It takes a couple of years. It would probably take less than that if the people doing it weren't very young and often limited in patience.

EDIT: oh, sorry, you said read. In which case it takes even less time to learn to read English. Most of the complication is learning to write it.

[One issue is that sometimes there are words where you won't be 100% on the pronunciation until you've actually heard somebody say it - typically that's a matter of where the stress falls in unusual greek or latinate words (how much has the stress been naturalised?) - but that's a very minor issue.]
To read/write proficiently it does take that long. I've gone over this before. English is the second most time consuming script to learn, after Han characters. One in five native English speaking adults are functionality illiterate. It costs the USA alone $24 billion a year. I am a native English speaker and I consistently mispronounce the vast majority of my vocabulary.
Rant
Spoiler:
It costs the USA, 300 million people, $24 billion. That's around $100 per person. Not a lot. If we only include people who would be taught, that's still 20% of the population. Only $500 per person. And remember, a lot of this money is spent on things other than just "pronunciation, reading and writing". It's spent on improving grammar, spreading false "folk linguistics" bs, and much more bs. A teacher makes around $45k a year, and coincidentally, there are just around 100 student per English teacher. $5000 spent on bureaucracy. That's it! Not a lot of money, it's less than 0.5% of our debt ($13~18 trillion). In addition, standardizing "English" naturally leads to discrimination and ethnic nationalism. Think about it this way, in the thing we call "English" there exist maybe a hundred separate dialects, pidgins, creoles, and maybe even completely separate languages. There's a reason they're dialects, the pronunciation is far different in each one. "a" has separate pronunciations and splits, and can be /ɑ~æ~ə/ in completely separate environs for each dialect. Consider the differences between Scots and AAVE. You won't be able to create a standardized orthography able to handle both languages without having some blind space! You'll end up with a situation like Spain, where alternative languilects are/were seen as a national security threats, or like Italy, where actually different languages are seen as "just a dialect". Yeah, because Navajo and Cherokee are just "mispronounced and mispelled" English .Also, there's no such thing as a mispronunciation if most of the people around you do the same! It's called dialectal difference.These English language threads are obnoxious at best and racist and offensive at worse. The existence of phonograms only further suggests that the Latin alphabet, as used to write English is a defective alphabet.
TLDR; Please stop talking. It's obnoxious
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Re: Is English a logographic writing system?

Post by clawgrip » Tue 12 Apr 2016, 00:45

What are you arguing about now?
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Re: Is English a logographic writing system?

Post by qwed117 » Tue 12 Apr 2016, 00:47

clawgrip wrote:What are you arguing about now?
Let's admit, this is a variation on a typical "I HAVE AN AMAZING IDEA ON HOW WE SHOULD WRITE ENGLISH AND EVERYONE MUST DO IT NOW". Just the general obnoxiousness (Obnoxiety?) of these threads
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Re: Is English a logographic writing system?

Post by Ælfwine » Tue 12 Apr 2016, 02:35

Let us not spend any more money making minor adjustments to perfectly reasonable natlangs, no matter how stupid the orthography is, it works. Originally, all the Germanic languages were written in runes that had largely corresponding phonemes, and those varied a lot as well.
The worst thing you can do to an idea is forget about it.
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Re: Is English a logographic writing system?

Post by cntrational » Tue 12 Apr 2016, 03:08

What's your native language, Moon?
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Re: Is English a logographic writing system?

Post by clawgrip » Tue 12 Apr 2016, 04:52

cntrational wrote:What's your native language, Moon?
MoonRightRomantic wrote:I am a native English speaker and I consistently mispronounce the vast majority of my vocabulary.
On this subject, unless you're talking about non-core vocabulary (which seems weird if you are "consistently" mispronouncing it), I don't think this has that much to do with reading and writing skills.
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Re: Is English a logographic writing system?

Post by MoonRightRomantic » Tue 12 Apr 2016, 13:48

qwed117 wrote:
clawgrip wrote:What are you arguing about now?
Let's admit, this is a variation on a typical "I HAVE AN AMAZING IDEA ON HOW WE SHOULD WRITE ENGLISH AND EVERYONE MUST DO IT NOW". Just the general obnoxiousness (Obnoxiety?) of these threads
Lol. English spelling reform is impossible. Regardless of the many benefits, most people are lazy and don't want to change how they write. I rely on spellcheck and google dictionary for everything. Also, the myth about accents is the first thing that spelling reform proposals have debunked: phonemic orthography, not phonetic.

But I do think that it would be a fun exercise to devise a conscript for English where the multigraphs are written as their own characters. A "what if" for an alternate universe where English spelling was never changed after thousands of years and the spoken language(s) is unrecognizable from the written form like modern Arabic languages.
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Re: Is English a logographic writing system?

Post by Salmoneus » Tue 12 Apr 2016, 15:46

There cannot be a phonemic orthography for English, because different dialects have different phonemes.

And no, becoming proficient at reading English still only takes a couple of years, and no, only a couple of percent of people are functionally illiterate in the 'not being able to read or write' sense. [The larger figures are when you look at things like actually regularly reading, or being able to decipher complex syntax and logic, none of which has anything to do with spelling]

And if you think you 'mispronounce' your own language, then you don't understand how language works.
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Re: Is English a logographic writing system?

Post by MoonRightRomantic » Wed 13 Apr 2016, 02:23

Salmoneus wrote:There cannot be a phonemic orthography for English, because different dialects have different phonemes.

And no, becoming proficient at reading English still only takes a couple of years, and no, only a couple of percent of people are functionally illiterate in the 'not being able to read or write' sense. [The larger figures are when you look at things like actually regularly reading, or being able to decipher complex syntax and logic, none of which has anything to do with spelling]

And if you think you 'mispronounce' your own language, then you don't understand how language works.
Morphemic, my mistake. In any case different "dialects" (don't you mean accents? globalization is slowly killing both off anyway...) are not an insurmountable barrier to spelling reform.

I usually learn new words through reading. Everyone around me constantly corrects my pronunciation. Since English pronunciation is usually unrelated to spelling, I default to pronouncing every new word phonetically and thus usually wrong.
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