Non-English Orthography Reform

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Batrachus
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Non-English Orthography Reform

Post by Batrachus » Fri 10 Aug 2012, 21:30

Made as opposite to English Orthography Reform thread. How would you change orthogaphies of world's languages?

Some challenges:
  • French
  • Irish
  • Estonian
Last edited by Batrachus on Sat 18 Aug 2012, 20:33, edited 1 time in total.
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arilando
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Re: Non-English Orthography Reform

Post by arilando » Sun 12 Aug 2012, 13:01

Make them have a simple, one to one corrospondence of letter to phenome based on the most popular and prestigious dialect.
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Re: Non-English Orthography Reform

Post by CMunk » Sun 12 Aug 2012, 13:16

arilando wrote:Make them have a simple, one to one corrospondence of letter to phenome based on the most popular and prestigious dialect.
Give them a fully logographic system with a one-to-one character to morpheme correpondence [;)]
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Re: Non-English Orthography Reform

Post by Ànradh » Sun 12 Aug 2012, 13:29

arilando wrote:Make them have a simple, one to one corrospondence of letter to phenome based on the most popular and prestigious dialect.
That may be a problem with Irish as the two aren't the same. :p
Sin ar Pàrras agus nì sinne mar a thogras sinn. Choisinn sinn e agus ’s urrainn dhuinn ga loisgeadh.
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Re: Non-English Orthography Reform

Post by Xing » Sun 12 Aug 2012, 13:29

arilando wrote:Make them have a simple, one to one corrospondence of letter to phenome based on the most popular and prestigious dialect.
What if there are several presigious dialects, or if the "most popular" and "most prestigious" dialect aren't the same?
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Re: Non-English Orthography Reform

Post by Ear of the Sphinx » Sun 12 Aug 2012, 14:13

Batrachus wrote:Some challenges:
  • French
– An jénéral, k e s k vux fet l dimanc maten?
– Mua, j fex lex kurs. E ma fam prépar lex anfanx e el ju avek ö. U alor on par pur la jurné. E on va suvan a la kampañ.
Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.
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Re: Non-English Orthography Reform

Post by Prinsessa » Sun 12 Aug 2012, 15:17

Ikh habe eine nüwe rekhtskhrijbung für thüwdskh gemakht! Si ist bezzer!
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Re: Non-English Orthography Reform

Post by Thakowsaizmu » Sun 12 Aug 2012, 16:22

Skógvur wrote:Ikh habe eine nüwe rekhtskhrijbung für thüwdskh gemakht! Si ist bezzer!
Deine Rechtschreibung ist sehr häßlich.
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Re: Non-English Orthography Reform

Post by Avo » Sun 12 Aug 2012, 16:58

Skógvur wrote:thüwdskh
Bitte nicht.
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Re: Non-English Orthography Reform

Post by hubris_incalculable » Sun 12 Aug 2012, 18:03

Thakowsaizmu wrote:
Skógvur wrote:Ikh habe eine nüwe rekhtskhrijbung für thüwdskh gemakht! Si ist bezzer!
Deine Rechtschreibung ist sehr häßlich.
Sicher.
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Re: Non-English Orthography Reform

Post by Thakowsaizmu » Sun 12 Aug 2012, 19:13

Һало! Кимэр а тъа сибъ. Тъа бигэн гальиг агам.
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Re: Non-English Orthography Reform

Post by arilando » Sun 12 Aug 2012, 19:38

Xing wrote:
arilando wrote:Make them have a simple, one to one corrospondence of letter to phenome based on the most popular and prestigious dialect.
What if there are several presigious dialects, or if the "most popular" and "most prestigious" dialect aren't the same?
The most popular and most prestigious dialects are almost always the same, exeptions to this are extremely rare.
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Re: Non-English Orthography Reform

Post by MrKrov » Sun 12 Aug 2012, 20:04

Answer his question.
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Re: Non-English Orthography Reform

Post by Ànradh » Sun 12 Aug 2012, 20:20

I would also like to, again, note that Irish is such a language, so handling that circumstance is relevant to your post.

I'd challenge the idea that it's the exception; I'd have thought it more likely that it was the rule. Was it not also the case with Latin? Isn't it currently true of English (at least in the UK)?
Sin ar Pàrras agus nì sinne mar a thogras sinn. Choisinn sinn e agus ’s urrainn dhuinn ga loisgeadh.
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Re: Non-English Orthography Reform

Post by Prinsessa » Mon 13 Aug 2012, 13:41

arilando wrote:
Xing wrote:
arilando wrote:Make them have a simple, one to one corrospondence of letter to phenome based on the most popular and prestigious dialect.
What if there are several presigious dialects, or if the "most popular" and "most prestigious" dialect aren't the same?
The most popular and most prestigious dialects are almost always the same, exeptions to this are extremely rare.
Not the case in Sweden according to some poll. People voted for Gothenburg dialect as the nicest one and Stockholm didn't do well at all, and Stockholm is obviously closer to standard.
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Re: Non-English Orthography Reform

Post by arilando » Mon 13 Aug 2012, 14:22

Skógvur wrote:
arilando wrote:
Xing wrote:
arilando wrote:Make them have a simple, one to one corrospondence of letter to phenome based on the most popular and prestigious dialect.
What if there are several presigious dialects, or if the "most popular" and "most prestigious" dialect aren't the same?
The most popular and most prestigious dialects are almost always the same, exeptions to this are extremely rare.
Not the case in Sweden according to some poll. People voted for Gothenburg dialect as the nicest one and Stockholm didn't do well at all, and Stockholm is obviously closer to standard.
By popular i meant most speakers.
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Re: Non-English Orthography Reform

Post by Xing » Mon 13 Aug 2012, 16:03

arilando wrote: By popular i meant most speakers.
There is also the problem that many speakers will use two or more varieties of a language. Further, phonemic analyses are not always uncontroversial, even for a single variety.

Often we may nonetheless be able to agree on some phonemic inventory that can be considered standard. Does this mean that a strictly phonemic orthography is preferable? Not necessarily. There may still be other considerations.

Many languages written with the Latin alphabet have more phonemes than there are letters; it may be preferable to let two or more phonemes share spelling. This may be the case if (1) the phonemes are marginally contrastive (there are few mininal pairs, and the occurance of the respective phonemes is often predicable), and (2) it's difficult to find ways of representing both phonemes that are "natural", and do not involve clumsy digraphs or diacritics.

From my study of Hebrew, I can tell that it's quite confortable to have a "defective" orthography, not having to write all the vowel diacritics. Leaving out vowel diacritics leave some words underspecified when it comes to pronunciation. But: (1) it's faster to write (2) gives the text a "cleaner" look (though this might be a subjective judgement), and (3) rarely leads to misunderstanding for those who know Hebrew.

There is also always the trade-off how much of familiarlity one wants to sacrifice for the sake of regularity. It would be one thing if the languages we were dealing with were ideal, theoretical systems, not situated in any historical or cultural context. But natlangs are not such things.

Especially for pluricentric languages, it can be rational to make the written language a compromise between the various varieties. Suppose that a language has two main dialect. In one dialect, the sounds /o/ and /ɔ/ have been merged, but /ɑ/ remains distinct. In the other dialect, /ɑ/ and /ɔ/ have merged, while /o/ remain distinct. Very few speakers contrast all three, /o/, /ɔ/ and /ɑ/. It can still be a good idea to keep /ɑ/, /ɔ/ and /o/ distinct in spelling.

Further, if one phoneme has two very distinct allophones, it can be a good idea to let them be represented by different letters. This would lead to an overspecified writing system, but may still be preferable in some circumstances.

In short, there are several parameters to take into regard when one is designing a spelling reform. The exact trade-off between them will probably be different for different languages.
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Re: Non-English Orthography Reform

Post by Xonen » Mon 13 Aug 2012, 23:12

Xing wrote:There is also always the trade-off how much of familiarlity one wants to sacrifice for the sake of regularity. It would be one thing if the languages we were dealing with were ideal, theoretical systems, not situated in any historical or cultural context. But natlangs are not such things.
This, of course, is a fundamental decision you need to make when designing your own orthography for a natlang which already has one. Do you attempt to create a "realistic" spelling reform (i.e. one that might even hypothetically have some chance of succeeding if you could somehow manage to get official support for it), or or just design a new system based on other considerations (logicality, efficiency, aesthetics, whatever)? In most of my own reform ideas, I've more or less followed the former approach: I try to make spellings more regular, but also to keep them familiar and easily legible. However, since I'm fairly sure none of us is actually seriously trying to replace the established orthography of a language, this is pretty much a matter of taste.
Especially for pluricentric languages, it can be rational to make the written language a compromise between the various varieties.
Well, if you create a system where the language only has one standard form, then by definition it won't be pluricentric anymore. Problem solved! [:P]

Seriously, though, this is a valid point. Designing a spelling system that favors speakers of one dialect can in some cases lead to dialect leveling, and in others to opposition from speakers of other dialects and even conflict within the language community. All of which are things you want to avoid, especially in the case of endangered minority languages like Irish.
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Re: Íslenska

Post by DrGeoffStandish » Thu 16 Aug 2012, 16:58

I don't care much for the practical use of natlangs so I won't write in Icelandic other than to give examples.

Since I'm interested in orthographies and North Germanic dialectology my main concern with Icelandic is - naturally - its spelling conventions. As you may know the Icelandic orthography was invented by the dane Rasmus C. Rask some 200 years ago and some minor changes have been implemented since then, most notably the replacement of z (from Old Norse assmilated ds, ðs and ts) to the more phonetical s.

My question to y'all: What orthographical changes in Icelandic would you like to see being implemented?
(The question is inspired by, e.g. this thread.)

This is the most important issue in my opinion:

Change y and ý to i and í, respectively; this acknowledgment of the delabialization process is analogous to how Old Norse (ON) ǿ has merged with ON ǽ both in pronounciation and spelling - i.e., æ - in Modern Icelandic.
Examples: styðja v. 'support' and þýða v. 'explain' become stiðja and þíða, respectively. Compare with, e.g., ON bǿn n. 'prayer' which is written bæn in Modern Icelandic.

(Of course, one could alternatively make the orthography more consistent by respecting the distinction between ON ǿ and ǽ. The former could be written ø and the latter æ in Modern Icelandic. Hence, bøn n. 'prayer' but næmur adj. 'quick at learning'.)

Any thoughts?
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Re: Íslenska

Post by Prinsessa » Fri 17 Aug 2012, 11:03

Mixing ‹ø› and ‹ö› would look terrible. Since Icelandic uses accents for historically long vowels, one could possibly have fun with ‹ő› for those. There is a difference between the case ‹æ› versus ‹ö› and ‹y› versus ‹i›, and this is the fact that ‹y› isn't actually used for anything else than etymology and could easily be removed, but to try to respect old œ in a way that would be consistent with the rest of the orthography is a much more difficult thing, as there is still retention of the short version, while in this case both long and short y/ý have merged completely into i/í. I think the issues are not comparable.

Seriously, though, the orthography is fine. I wouldn't like to do anything with it.


… Vänta litet. Oj, då. Nu ha'r jag redan skrivit detta, så jag är för lat för att ändra, men hvar för engelska? Nog för att du ingen isländska här orkar eller kan skriva, men detta är ju än då nordiska delen av brädet, så hvem är du ute efter att blidka med engelskan där, när du hade kunnat hålla dig till svenska? Ingen utan kunskap om något nordiskt mål kikar i denna del i alla fall, og förmodligen än mindre i en tråd med denna titel.

Du kanske glömde bort i hvad för del du var, helt enkelt? Känns tämligen meningslöst med engelska här, i alla fall. Du får givetvis skriva hvad du vill så länge vi fattar, og i synnerhet om du vill kunna nyttja samma text även annorstädes, men jag tänker hålla mig till svenska/isländska i denna tråd, i hvart fall, nu när jag inser hvar jag är.

Skilurðu, og geturðu talað, íslensku?

Jag tycker till og med själv att meddelandet ovan för ser surt ut, så om du missuppfattar det som så vore det inget underligt, men det är jag ej, ser jag då till här att nu tala om. Jag bara undrar hvadan engelskan kom, för den tyckte jag lustig här.
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