English Orthography Reform

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Aleks
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Aleks » Wed 19 Oct 2016, 18:40

With my American English accent I say all as [ɔl]. Here is what I purpose which would be a small change to words.

all ball call fall hall mall tall wall
oll boll coll foll holl moll toll woll

Also the following words
alright always
olright olways

toll would need to be changed to tole though.
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OTʜᴇB
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by OTʜᴇB » Wed 19 Oct 2016, 20:55

Aleks wrote:With my American English accent I say all as [ɔl]. Here is what I purpose which would be a small change to words.

all ball call fall hall mall tall wall
oll boll coll foll holl moll toll woll

Also the following words
alright always
olright olways

toll would need to be changed to tole though.
But "hall" has no relation to the name "Holly" what-so-ever. The vowel in those words is far from an [o] found in words like "pot" or "pond".
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by GrandPiano » Thu 20 Oct 2016, 00:12

OTʜᴇB wrote:
Aleks wrote:With my American English accent I say all as [ɔl]. Here is what I purpose which would be a small change to words.

all ball call fall hall mall tall wall
oll boll coll foll holl moll toll woll

Also the following words
alright always
olright olways

toll would need to be changed to tole though.
But "hall" has no relation to the name "Holly" what-so-ever. The vowel in those words is far from an [o] found in words like "pot" or "pond".
[o] is a strange vowel to have it "pot" and "pond". The usual vowel for those words is [ɑ] in the US and [ɒ] in the UK.
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by OTʜᴇB » Thu 20 Oct 2016, 17:19

GrandPiano wrote:
OTʜᴇB wrote:
Aleks wrote:With my American English accent I say all as [ɔl]. Here is what I purpose which would be a small change to words.

all ball call fall hall mall tall wall
oll boll coll foll holl moll toll woll

Also the following words
alright always
olright olways

toll would need to be changed to tole though.
But "hall" has no relation to the name "Holly" what-so-ever. The vowel in those words is far from an [o] found in words like "pot" or "pond".
[o] is a strange vowel to have it "pot" and "pond". The usual vowel for those words is [ɑ] in the US and [ɒ] in the UK.
I'm not good with vowels, but (I'm probably wrong here) [ɒ] seems more like the vowel in "hall" or "port", and my vowels in "pot" and "port" a dramatically different.
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by GrandPiano » Fri 21 Oct 2016, 01:14

OTʜᴇB wrote:
GrandPiano wrote:
OTʜᴇB wrote:
Aleks wrote:With my American English accent I say all as [ɔl]. Here is what I purpose which would be a small change to words.

all ball call fall hall mall tall wall
oll boll coll foll holl moll toll woll

Also the following words
alright always
olright olways

toll would need to be changed to tole though.
But "hall" has no relation to the name "Holly" what-so-ever. The vowel in those words is far from an [o] found in words like "pot" or "pond".
[o] is a strange vowel to have it "pot" and "pond". The usual vowel for those words is [ɑ] in the US and [ɒ] in the UK.
I'm not good with vowels, but (I'm probably wrong here) [ɒ] seems more like the vowel in "hall" or "port", and my vowels in "pot" and "port" a dramatically different.
For me it's:

<hall> /hɒl/
<pot> /pɑt/
<port> /pɔɹt/

(I have the vowel [ɔ] only in the sequence /ɔɹ/, where it contrasts with /ɑɹ/ and could be considered an allophone of /ɒ/, and in the diphthong /ɔɪ̯/)
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Sumelic » Fri 21 Oct 2016, 04:56

OTʜᴇB wrote: I'm not good with vowels, but (I'm probably wrong here) [ɒ] seems more like the vowel in "hall" or "port", and my vowels in "pot" and "port" a dramatically different.
Most people do have different vowels in "pot" and "port," but usually in the opposite direction from what you're indicating.

Roughly, the relative placement of [ɑ] [ɒ] [ɔ] [o] on a vowel chart is like this:

Code: Select all

             close 



front                o  back
                    ɔ
                   ɒ
                  ɑ
             open
Possible vowel phonemes that may be in this space:
GOAT
NORTH/FORCE (this would be "port")
LOT (this would be "pot")
THOUGHT(= NORTH/FORCE or LOT)
SPA (=PALM, FATHER)

In general:
SPA is realized with the openest/frontest vowel phoneme out of these, so it's almost always transcribed /ɑ/ (maybe /a/ or /ɒ/ in some accents)
GOAT is closer than THOUGHT is closer than (or the same as) LOT is closer than (or the same as) SPA
THOUGHT is backer than (or the same as) LOT is backer than (or the same as) SPA
In non-rhotic accents, NORTH/FORCE = THOUGHT; in most rhotic accents, NORTH/FORCE is somewhere around THOUGHT or GOAT.

For British English speakers, this space is mainly occupied by two phonemes, LOT and THOUGHT/NORTH/FORCE. In general, LOT is opener and a bit fronter than THOUGHT/NORTH/FORCE, so they may be transcribed as /ɒ/ and /ɔː/ or /ɔ/ and /oː/ respectively. (British English speakers do also have /ɑː/ as a distinct vowel, but it's completely unrelated in origin to the various o-like vowels and only used for SPA/PALM and BATH words.) GOAT is diphthongal and the initial element is generally fronted out of this sector of vowel space, but before syllable-final /l/ many speakers have a backer diphthong commonly transcribed as [oʊ].

For American English speakers, GOAT is not usually so fronted, and in some cases it may not be diphthongized in the same way or to the same extent as in British English, so it’s sometimes transcribed as /o/. LOT is merged into SPA for most speakers. For speakers who preserve the distinction between SPA/LOT and THOUGHT, the latter is generally closer or backer or rounder or more sulcalized, so they’re usually transcribed as /ɑ/ and /ɔ/ or /ɑ/ and /ɒ/ respectively. The merged SPA-LOT-THOUGHT phoneme used by speakers with the cot-caught merger is usually transcribed /ɑ/, although I believe I’ve also seen /ɒ/ used by some people. The NORTH/FORCE vowel may be identified with the THOUGHT vowel or with the GOAT vowel, or it may be transcribed differently from both using some system like GOAT = /o/, THOUGHT = /ɒ/, NORTH/FORCE = /ɔr/.
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by OTʜᴇB » Fri 21 Oct 2016, 11:46

Sumelic wrote:
OTʜᴇB wrote: I'm not good with vowels, but (I'm probably wrong here) [ɒ] seems more like the vowel in "hall" or "port", and my vowels in "pot" and "port" a dramatically different.
Most people do have different vowels in "pot" and "port," but usually in the opposite direction from what you're indicating.

Roughly, the relative placement of [ɑ] [ɒ] [ɔ] [o] on a vowel chart is like this:

Code: Select all

             close 



front                o  back
                    ɔ
                   ɒ
                  ɑ
             open
Possible vowel phonemes that may be in this space:
GOAT
NORTH/FORCE (this would be "port")
LOT (this would be "pot")
THOUGHT(= NORTH/FORCE or LOT)
SPA (=PALM, FATHER)

In general:
SPA is realized with the openest/frontest vowel phoneme out of these, so it's almost always transcribed /ɑ/ (maybe /a/ or /ɒ/ in some accents)
GOAT is closer than THOUGHT is closer than (or the same as) LOT is closer than (or the same as) SPA
THOUGHT is backer than (or the same as) LOT is backer than (or the same as) SPA
In non-rhotic accents, NORTH/FORCE = THOUGHT; in most rhotic accents, NORTH/FORCE is somewhere around THOUGHT or GOAT.

For British English speakers, this space is mainly occupied by two phonemes, LOT and THOUGHT/NORTH/FORCE. In general, LOT is opener and a bit fronter than THOUGHT/NORTH/FORCE, so they may be transcribed as /ɒ/ and /ɔː/ or /ɔ/ and /oː/ respectively. (British English speakers do also have /ɑː/ as a distinct vowel, but it's completely unrelated in origin to the various o-like vowels and only used for SPA/PALM and BATH words.) GOAT is diphthongal and the initial element is generally fronted out of this sector of vowel space, but before syllable-final /l/ many speakers have a backer diphthong commonly transcribed as [oʊ].

For American English speakers, GOAT is not usually so fronted, and in some cases it may not be diphthongized in the same way or to the same extent as in British English, so it’s sometimes transcribed as /o/. LOT is merged into SPA for most speakers. For speakers who preserve the distinction between SPA/LOT and THOUGHT, the latter is generally closer or backer or rounder or more sulcalized, so they’re usually transcribed as /ɑ/ and /ɔ/ or /ɑ/ and /ɒ/ respectively. The merged SPA-LOT-THOUGHT phoneme used by speakers with the cot-caught merger is usually transcribed /ɑ/, although I believe I’ve also seen /ɒ/ used by some people. The NORTH/FORCE vowel may be identified with the THOUGHT vowel or with the GOAT vowel, or it may be transcribed differently from both using some system like GOAT = /o/, THOUGHT = /ɒ/, NORTH/FORCE = /ɔr/.
So my "pot" is [pɒt], my "port" is [pɔːt], my "goat" is [gəʊt] (almost - a little towards [ɒʊ]), and my "spa" is [spɑ]?
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Sumelic » Fri 21 Oct 2016, 21:13

OTʜᴇB wrote: So my "pot" is [pɒt], my "port" is [pɔːt], my "goat" is [gəʊt] (almost - a little towards [ɒʊ]), and my "spa" is [spɑ]?
That transcription would not surprise me coming from a British English speaker.
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Salmoneus » Fri 21 Oct 2016, 23:41

Sumelic wrote:
OTʜᴇB wrote: So my "pot" is [pɒt], my "port" is [pɔːt], my "goat" is [gəʊt] (almost - a little towards [ɒʊ]), and my "spa" is [spɑ]?
That transcription would not surprise me coming from a British English speaker.
Yes, that's basically what you'd expect from SSBE.
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Squall » Sat 22 Oct 2016, 21:47

Because there are many dialects, the dictionary uses a "received pronunciation". So the spelling should follow the received pronunciation.

My reform:

Stressed
a: /ɜ ʌ/
ae: /æ/
e: /ɛ/
i: /ɪ/
ii: /i/
ao: /ɑ ɒ/
o: /ɔ/
u: /ʊ/
uu: /u/
ai: /aɪ/
au: /aʊ/
ei: /eɪ/
ou: /oʊ/
oi: /ɔɪ/
eu: /ɛʊ/

Unstressed:
e: /ə/
i: /ɪ/
u: /ʊ/

Helóu, duu yuu laik dhis nyuu sistem for speling inglish divelepd for meiking evrithing faor beter?
Dhaet iz rieli wanderful aend meikz dhe raiting imprúuv e laot bikóz it iz fenetik.
Yu mei sarch for iizier igzaempelz.
English is not my native language. Sorry for any mistakes or lack of knowledge when I discuss this language.
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Znex » Sat 22 Oct 2016, 23:16

Squall wrote:Helóu, duu yuu laik dhis nyuu sistem for speling inglish divelepd for meiking evrithing faor beter?
Dhaet iz rieli wanderful aend meikz dhe raiting imprúuv e laot bikóz it iz fenetik.
Yu mei sarch for iizier igzaempelz.
I can't help but read this with a Kiwi accent.
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Sumelic
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Sumelic » Sun 23 Oct 2016, 00:37

Squall wrote: ao: /ɑ ɒ/
o: /ɔ/
Using <ao> for /ɑ ɒ/ seems pretty counterintuitive to me (and merging /ɑ/ and /ɒ/ is not what is normally considered "received pronunciation").
Using the single letter <o> for /ɔ/ alongside this also seems odd, and it leads to some minor ambiguities since <oi> can be disyllabic <ɔ.ɪ>, as in "pawing," or monosyllabic /ɔɪ/, as in "boing".
eu: /ɛʊ/
English doesn't have /ɛʊ/.
Helóu, duu yuu laik dhis nyuu sistem for speling inglish divelepd for meiking evrithing faor beter?
Dhaet iz rieli wanderful aend meikz dhe raiting imprúuv e laot bikóz it iz fenetik.
Yu mei sarch for iizier igzaempelz.
The treatment of reduced vowels seems pretty inconsistent. We have "e" in "the," "a," and "phonetic." But "do," "for" and "and" get transcribed as if with full vowels, even though they would probably be pronounced with reduced vowels in this context.
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Sumelic » Sun 23 Oct 2016, 10:59

Here's a very obvious system that I tried to tweak a bit to make it more pan-dialectal and practical (I don't know how well I succeeded):

Stressed vowels:

Code: Select all

/æ ɒ ʌ ʊ ɪ ɛ/                            <aC oC uC uC/uwk iC eC>
/ɑː(r) ɔː(r) ɜː(r) ʊə(r) ɪə(r) ɛə(r)/    <ar/ar’V or/or’V ur/ur’V uwr iyr eyr>
/ær ɒr ʌr ɪr ɛr/                         <arV orV urV irV erV>
/ɑː ɔː uː oʊ iː eɪ/                      <a#/a’C/âC/alm o#/o’C/ohC/ôC uw ow iy ey>
/aɪ ɔɪ aʊ/                               <ay oy aw> 
Notes:
  • x# means <x> is a spelling of the phoneme word-finally, xC means <x> is a spelling of the phoneme before consonants, etc.
  • Circumflexes and apostrophes are considered optional.
Word-final unstressed vowels:

Code: Select all

/ə oʊ i ər əl ən/       <a w y r l n>            (as in koma folw very letr batl butn)
I have no idea how to represent schwa/reduced vowels in other contexts, so I'll just ignore vowel reduction for the moment. (Maybe with apostrophes? That looks terrible, but I do use them elsewhere in this system.)

Complicated points:

Representation of /ʊ/:
  • Before /k/, it is spelled <uw>.
    tuk buk luk = tuck buck luck
    tuwk buwk luwk = took book look
  • In other contexts, it is spelled <u>.
    put = put, putt
    ful = full
    sut = soot
Representation of /ɑː/ and /ɔː/
  • /ɑː/ is a#, aV, a’C or aC/âC
  • /ɔː/ is o#, oV, o’C, ohC or oC/ôC
(For British English speakers, there are also the representations listed below in the section "Vowels before R".)
Usually they share the same representation as /æ ɒ/, but there is no ambiguity because of the differences in distribution. In a limited number of contexts, <oh> is used to mark /ɔː/ (I’m still thinking through if this is a good idea). Also, <al> is used to mark "palm" etc, which may be realized in various ways in the United states (ɑ, ɑl, ɔ, ɔl). Optionally, apostrophes (before suffixes) and circumflex accents (elsewhere) may be used to mark the long pronunciation.
  • Use <o a>:
    • word-finally (there are no minimal pairs with /æ ɒ/):
      flo po dro klo stro ko jo tho; ba spa bra
    • before vowels (there are no minimal pairs with /æ ɒ/):
      poing droing koing thoing baing
  • Use <o’> and <a’> (apostrophe is optional):
    • before inflectional /d/ (there are minimal pairs: pod vs. po’d, bad vs. ba’d):
      flo’d po’d ba’d < (flo po ba)
    • before inflectional /z/ (only minimal pair I know of is poz, abbreviation for positive, vs. po’z):
      po’z lo’z flo’z bra’z
      klo’z tho’z
  • Use <oh>:
    • before lexical /z/ (only minimal pair I know of is poz, abbreviation for positive, vs. pohz):
      kohz gohz pohz
    • before /t/ (there are mininal pairs: koht vs. kot):
      koht toht broht foht roht < (katj tiytj bring fayt wurk)
    • before /k/ (there are minimal pairs: tjok vs. tjohk):
      wohk chohk stohk
  • Use <al>:
    • before /m/ (minimal pair cam/calm):
      palm kalm balm salm almz
  • Use <o> and <a> before other consonants; especially before <s, th, f, m, n, l, g> followed by a consonant or the end of the word (there is a lot of variation).
    bath klas mas staf gon coldrn (coldr'n?) coliflawr
Circumflex accent (optional to indicate pronunciation, not part of "spelling" per se).
  • Should not be used word-finally, before an apostrophe, or before <r>.
  • Should not be used in any contexts where <oh> is acceptable.
  • Most commonly would occur before <s, th, f, m, n> to indicate specific pronunciation details, especially when these letters come at the end of a word or before another consonant.
  • May occur on <o> before <g, l>, to indicate specific pronunciation details when it comes at the end of a word or before another consonant.
Vowels before R
The long r-colored vowels/centering diphthongs <uwr iyr eyr> get unique spellings; <ar or ur> do not.
The long r-colored vowels/monophthongs <ar or ur> can be spelled in two different ways.
  • Use <ar>, <or> and <ur>:
    • in closed syllables or word-finally (long ar, or, ur are common; iyr eyr are rare (beard, scarce); uwr only occurs in past tense, as far as I know (toured)):
      star, stard; fur, stur, sturd; stor, stord
  • Use <ar’>, <or’> and <ur’> (apostrophe is optional):
    • before a vowel (long or iyr eyr uwr are common; short or- ir- er- ar- ur- also occur):
      star’y, star’ing
      fur’y, stur’ing
      stor’y, stor’ing
I think it's relatively "fair" to different dialects. I may be biased from my perspective as an American English speaker.

British speakers need to learn:
  • three spellings for /ɑ/: ar/ar', a/a', and al
  • three spellings for /ɔ/: or/or', ohC, and o/o'
But on the other hand, American speakers need to learn:
  • two spellings for /ɑ/: oC and a#/a' (and maybe al)
  • two spellings for /ɔ/: ohC and o/o' (and maybe al)
  • two spellings for /ɑr/: ar/ar' and or-
  • three spellings for /er/: eyr, er- and ar-
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Xonen » Sun 23 Oct 2016, 15:01

Sumelic wrote:The treatment of reduced vowels seems pretty inconsistent. We have "e" in "the," "a," and "phonetic." But "do," "for" and "and" get transcribed as if with full vowels, even though they would probably be pronounced with reduced vowels in this context.
Then again, if you try to include every possible context-dependent pronunciation change in your orthography, you get Sanskrit. And even that only works because they had strict rules on how you're supposed to pronounce things in each context; it was never meant to represent actual spoken language (i.e. Prakrit). Essentially, the written standard is always going to deviate to some degree from the spoken form, so you might as well use a single official spelling for each word and base it on the "full" pronunciation. (Of course, in less formal contexts, nobody's forcing you to use the most official spelling.)
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Squall » Sun 23 Oct 2016, 21:06

Sumelic wrote: Using <ao> for /ɑ ɒ/ seems pretty counterintuitive to me (and merging /ɑ/ and /ɒ/ is not what is normally considered "received pronunciation").
Using the single letter <o> for /ɔ/ alongside this also seems odd, and it leads to some minor ambiguities since <oi> can be disyllabic <ɔ.ɪ>, as in "pawing," or monosyllabic /ɔɪ/, as in "boing".
Thank you for the response.

/ɑ ɒ/ aren't distinguished in American English.
/ɑ ɒ/ are between Latin /ä/ and /ɔ/. Similarly, /æ/ is betweem /ä/ and /ɛ/.

My spelling is not perfect, but it keeps affixes.
'cats' is written 'katz', because it is a 'z' that gets devoiced.
The stress is in the penultimate syllable, but it is not marked in compounds and affixes. So the reader must recognize the roots.
wonderful is wonder + ful (the stress would be marked: wónderful)
pawing is paw+ing (a separator would be required: paw'ing)
The treatment of reduced vowels seems pretty inconsistent. We have "e" in "the," "a," and "phonetic." But "do," "for" and "and" get transcribed as if with full vowels, even though they would probably be pronounced with reduced vowels in this context.
Maybe it is my mistake, but the vowel in 'the' and 'a' is /ə/ according to the American dictionary. 'the' is <dhii> before vowels and it is similar to the a/an problem.
As for "phonetic", I have just discovered that the dictionary has two pronunciations /fə'nɛtɪk/ and /foʊ'nɛtɪk/ and I had used the first one. So, I will add a rule to choose the least reduced one (founetic). If both pronunciations weren't reduced, both spellings would be accepted.
English is not my native language. Sorry for any mistakes or lack of knowledge when I discuss this language.
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by OTʜᴇB » Sun 23 Oct 2016, 23:22

Squall wrote:/ɑ ɒ/ aren't distinguished in American English.
Squall wrote:spelling should follow the received pronunciation
If you're following RP, why pay any attention to a different dialect? Isn't that a bit like saying "I'm going to get some blue shoes, but not boots as they're not available in red."?
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Squall » Tue 25 Oct 2016, 01:29

OTʜᴇB wrote:
Squall wrote:/ɑ ɒ/ aren't distinguished in American English.
Squall wrote:spelling should follow the received pronunciation
If you're following RP, why pay any attention to a different dialect? Isn't that a bit like saying "I'm going to get some blue shoes, but not boots as they're not available in red."?
In order to make an English orthography, we need to choose a pronunciation source and create rules based on the source. So I chose an American English dictionary.
English is not my native language. Sorry for any mistakes or lack of knowledge when I discuss this language.
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by GrandPiano » Tue 25 Oct 2016, 02:00

Squall wrote:
OTʜᴇB wrote:
Squall wrote:/ɑ ɒ/ aren't distinguished in American English.
Squall wrote:spelling should follow the received pronunciation
If you're following RP, why pay any attention to a different dialect? Isn't that a bit like saying "I'm going to get some blue shoes, but not boots as they're not available in red."?
In order to make an English orthography, we need to choose a pronunciation source and create rules based on the source. So I chose an American English dictionary.
Why would you choose an American English dictionary if you want the spelling to follow received pronunciation?
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Squall » Tue 25 Oct 2016, 03:13

GrandPiano wrote:Why would you choose an American English dictionary if you want the spelling to follow received pronunciation?
I mean an American dictionary standard equivalent to RP.
English is not my native language. Sorry for any mistakes or lack of knowledge when I discuss this language.
:bra: :mrgreen: | :uk: [:D] | :esp: [:)] | :epo: [:|] | :lat: [:S] | :jpn: [:'(]
MoonRightRomantic
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Joined: Thu 11 Feb 2016, 23:22

Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by MoonRightRomantic » Tue 25 Oct 2016, 13:55

There are already numerous pronunciation respelling systems for English. Making your own is just reinventing the wheel. If you're not adverse to adding new letters to the alphabet, adopt Unifon or IPA.
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