Orthographic quirks in natlangs

A forum for discussing linguistics or just languages in general.
Post Reply
opipik
runic
runic
Posts: 2758
Joined: Thu 12 Mar 2015, 19:41

Orthographic quirks in natlangs

Post by opipik » Fri 03 Apr 2015, 20:45

Do you know of some orthographic quirks in natlangs?
To start, let's have /ʑ/ <y> in Hmu and Yi.
User avatar
GrandPiano
runic
runic
Posts: 2662
Joined: Sun 11 Jan 2015, 23:22
Location: Ohio, USA

Re: Orthographic quirks in natlangs

Post by GrandPiano » Fri 03 Apr 2015, 20:59

Well, there's this one natlang with some interesting orthographic quirks. I forget what it's called. It can sometimes have:
  • <e>, <ee> and <ea> for /i/
  • <o> and <oo> for /u/
  • <oo> for /ʊ/
  • <o> for /ɑ/
  • <gh> for /f/
  • <a>, <ai>, <ay> and <ea> for /ɛɪ̯/
  • <i> and <y> for /aɪ̯/
  • <ou> for /aʊ̯/
  • <u> for /ʌ/
Weird, right?
:eng: - Native
:chn: - B2
:esp: - A2
:jpn: - A2
User avatar
qwed117
mongolian
mongolian
Posts: 4400
Joined: Thu 20 Nov 2014, 02:27

Re: Orthographic quirks in natlangs

Post by qwed117 » Fri 03 Apr 2015, 21:30

GrandPiano wrote:Well, there's this one natlang with some interesting orthographic quirks. I forget what it's called. It can sometimes have:
  • <e>, <ee> and <ea> for /i/
  • <o> and <oo> for /u/
  • <oo> for /ʊ/
  • <o> for /ɑ/
  • <gh> for /f/
  • <a>, <ai>, <ay> and <ea> for /ɛɪ̯/
  • <i> and <y> for /aɪ̯/
  • <ou> for /aʊ̯/
  • <u> for /ʌ/
Weird, right?
æŋɫīʃ be it not?
Spoiler:
My minicity is Zyphrazia and Novland
What is made of man will crumble away.
Prinsessa
runic
runic
Posts: 3226
Joined: Mon 07 Nov 2011, 14:42

Re: Orthographic quirks in natlangs

Post by Prinsessa » Fri 03 Apr 2015, 22:23

opipik wrote:Do you know of some orthographic quirks in natlangs?
To start, let's have /ʑ/ <y> in Hmu and Yi.
That's not so weird if you attribute it to something like <y> /j~ʝ/ > /ʝ/ > /ʑ/. Doesn't something similar happen in Spanish?
User avatar
GrandPiano
runic
runic
Posts: 2662
Joined: Sun 11 Jan 2015, 23:22
Location: Ohio, USA

Re: Orthographic quirks in natlangs

Post by GrandPiano » Fri 03 Apr 2015, 22:32

Prinsessa wrote:
opipik wrote:Do you know of some orthographic quirks in natlangs?
To start, let's have /ʑ/ <y> in Hmu and Yi.
That's not so weird if you attribute it to something like <y> /j~ʝ/ > /ʝ/ > /ʑ/. Doesn't something similar happen in Spanish?
Yeah, some Spanish dialects pronounce /ʝ/ as [ʒ] or [dʒ].
:eng: - Native
:chn: - B2
:esp: - A2
:jpn: - A2
User avatar
Xonen
moderator
moderator
Posts: 1461
Joined: Sat 15 May 2010, 23:25

Re: Orthographic quirks in natlangs

Post by Xonen » Fri 03 Apr 2015, 23:03

GrandPiano wrote:Well, there's this one natlang with some interesting orthographic quirks. I forget what it's called. It can sometimes have:
  • <e>, <ee> and <ea> for /i/
  • <o> and <oo> for /u/
  • <oo> for /ʊ/
  • <o> for /ɑ/
  • <gh> for /f/
  • <a>, <ai>, <ay> and <ea> for /ɛɪ̯/
  • <i> and <y> for /aɪ̯/
  • <ou> for /aʊ̯/
  • <u> for /ʌ/
Weird, right?
Not that weird, actually, IMO. I mean, without any historical context, I do suppose <i> and <y> for /aɪ̯/ would seem rather counterintuitive... but the rest of those are mostly not too bad, and very similar values for, say, <o> and <ai> exist in numerous other languages as well. Insofar as quirkiness exists in English orthography, it's mostly in its irregularity.

Anyway, my personal pet peeve is Turkish <c> for /dʒ/. And that one, AFAIK, doesn't even have any historical justification, it was simply someone's terrible, terrible decision. [D;]
User avatar
sangi39
moderator
moderator
Posts: 3116
Joined: Thu 12 Aug 2010, 00:53
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Re: Orthographic quirks in natlangs

Post by sangi39 » Fri 03 Apr 2015, 23:22

GrandPiano wrote:
Prinsessa wrote:
opipik wrote:Do you know of some orthographic quirks in natlangs?
To start, let's have /ʑ/ <y> in Hmu and Yi.
That's not so weird if you attribute it to something like <y> /j~ʝ/ > /ʝ/ > /ʑ/. Doesn't something similar happen in Spanish?
Yeah, some Spanish dialects pronounce /ʝ/ as [ʒ] or [dʒ].
And, IIRC, some dialects have the same pronunciation for <ll>, so that could be seen as pretty "quirky" [:)]
You can tell the same lie a thousand times,
But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
Just one time.
User avatar
GrandPiano
runic
runic
Posts: 2662
Joined: Sun 11 Jan 2015, 23:22
Location: Ohio, USA

Re: Orthographic quirks in natlangs

Post by GrandPiano » Fri 03 Apr 2015, 23:25

sangi39 wrote:
GrandPiano wrote:
Prinsessa wrote:
opipik wrote:Do you know of some orthographic quirks in natlangs?
To start, let's have /ʑ/ <y> in Hmu and Yi.
That's not so weird if you attribute it to something like <y> /j~ʝ/ > /ʝ/ > /ʑ/. Doesn't something similar happen in Spanish?
Yeah, some Spanish dialects pronounce /ʝ/ as [ʒ] or [dʒ].
And, IIRC, some dialects have the same pronunciation for <ll>, so that could be seen as pretty "quirky" [:)]
I think it's pretty uncommon for a Spanish dialect to not merge /ʎ/ with /ʝ/.
:eng: - Native
:chn: - B2
:esp: - A2
:jpn: - A2
User avatar
Xing
MVP
MVP
Posts: 5311
Joined: Sun 22 Aug 2010, 17:46

Re: Orthographic quirks in natlangs

Post by Xing » Fri 03 Apr 2015, 23:52

GrandPiano wrote:Well, there's this one natlang with some interesting orthographic quirks. I forget what it's called. It can sometimes have:
  • <e>, <ee> and <ea> for /i/
  • <o> and <oo> for /u/
  • <oo> for /ʊ/
  • <o> for /ɑ/
  • <gh> for /f/
  • <a>, <ai>, <ay> and <ea> for /ɛɪ̯/
  • <i> and <y> for /aɪ̯/
  • <ou> for /aʊ̯/
  • <u> for /ʌ/
Weird, right?
Everybody here is familiar with English spelling, and its pros and cons have been discussed 100000 times before. I'd therefore prefer that we dedicate this thread to spellings in other languages than English that may appear strange or counterintuitive.
User avatar
Creyeditor
mongolian
mongolian
Posts: 4467
Joined: Tue 14 Aug 2012, 18:32

Re: Orthographic quirks in natlangs

Post by Creyeditor » Sat 04 Apr 2015, 00:51

Doubling consonants after short vowels1, marking long vowels by an <h>. Writing <sch> for the voiceless postalveolar fricative, <tsch>2 for the voiceless postalveolar affrictate and <dsch>2 for both, the voiced postalveolar affricate and the voiced postalveolar fricative.



1 With some exceptions: <k>+<k> = <ck>, <z>+<z> = <tz>
2 These are tetragraphs (!)
Creyeditor
"Thoughts are free."
Produce, Analyze, Manipulate
1 :deu: 2 :eng: 3 :idn: 4 :fra: 4 :esp:
:con: Ook & Omlűt & Nautli languages & Sperenjas
[<3] Papuan languages, Morphophonology, Lexical Semantics [<3]
Birdlang
greek
greek
Posts: 632
Joined: Thu 25 Dec 2014, 20:17
Location: Virginia

Re: Orthographic quirks in natlangs

Post by Birdlang » Sat 04 Apr 2015, 01:01

Qiang uses v for the voiceless uvular fricative and doesn't mark long vowels usually. Pirahã has x for the glottal stop, Kensiu probably writes all the e and õ variations weirdly.
Ꭓꭓ Ʝʝ Ɬɬ Ɦɦ Ɡɡ Ɥɥ Ɫɫ Ɽɽ Ɑɑ Ɱɱ Ɐɐ Ɒɒ Ɓɓ Ɔɔ Ɖɖ Ɗɗ Əə Ɛɛ Ɠɠ Ɣɣ Ɯɯ Ɲɲ Ɵɵ Ʀʀ Ʃʃ Ʈʈ Ʊʊ Ʋʋ Ʒʒ Ꞵꞵ Ʉʉ Ʌʌ Ŋŋ Ɂɂ Ɪɪ Ææ Øø Ð𠌜 Ɜɜ Ǝɘ
User avatar
GrandPiano
runic
runic
Posts: 2662
Joined: Sun 11 Jan 2015, 23:22
Location: Ohio, USA

Re: Orthographic quirks in natlangs

Post by GrandPiano » Sat 04 Apr 2015, 02:20

Birdlang wrote:and doesn't mark long vowels usually.
That's not terribly unusual.
:eng: - Native
:chn: - B2
:esp: - A2
:jpn: - A2
Sumelic
greek
greek
Posts: 711
Joined: Tue 18 Jun 2013, 22:01

Re: Orthographic quirks in natlangs

Post by Sumelic » Sat 04 Apr 2015, 05:37

Albanian phonemes*: /t͡s t͡ʃ s ʃ d͡z d͡ʒ z ʒ/ /c ɟ ɲ/ /ɫ ɾ r ð θ/
Bashkimi alphabet: < ts ch s sh z zh x xh > < c gh gn > < ll r rr dh th >
Istanbul alphabet: < c ç s σ x x̦ z z̧ > < q γ ŋ > < λ r ρ δ θ >
Modern alphabet: < c ç s sh x xh z zh > < q gj nj > < ll r rr dh th >

*This isn't a complete list of phonemes

Bashkimi was somewhat Italianate, but I like it best... <xh> = /ʒ/ just feels right to me, while <x> = <d͡z> is kinda bizarre. Istanbul was basically “pull in Greek letters whenever we have two similar sounds we need to differentiate”. The modern orthography is kind of a mishmash of the multiple alphabets that were in use before it. I think Albanian's where Turkish got <ç> = <t͡ʃ> from, also, and then then the Turks just decided to repurpose <c>. Anyway, Albanian's had a lot of weird orthographies used for it in its history, and the modern one is probably better than most.
Prinsessa
runic
runic
Posts: 3226
Joined: Mon 07 Nov 2011, 14:42

Re: Orthographic quirks in natlangs

Post by Prinsessa » Sat 04 Apr 2015, 06:16

It uses so many digraphs with <h> but then doesn't use <ch> for /tS/. That's awful.
opipik
runic
runic
Posts: 2758
Joined: Thu 12 Mar 2015, 19:41

Re: Orthographic quirks in natlangs

Post by opipik » Sat 04 Apr 2015, 11:17

In Jingpho, /pʰ/ is romanized <hp> instead of usual <ph>.
And don't forget Yao, which had <E> for /ŋ/ and <x> for /ɒ/.
Now, Yao has <ng> for /ŋ/ and <or> for /ɒ/.
User avatar
Xonen
moderator
moderator
Posts: 1461
Joined: Sat 15 May 2010, 23:25

Re: Orthographic quirks in natlangs

Post by Xonen » Sat 04 Apr 2015, 11:51

Creyeditor wrote:Doubling consonants after short vowels
I personally find that a rather nifty way of marking vowel length in languages that don't distinguish consonant length. And again, used in several languages.
<tsch>2 for the voiceless postalveolar affrictate and <dsch>2 for both, the voiced postalveolar affricate and the voiced postalveolar fricative.
Assuming we're talking about German, these sounds could perhaps be called marginally phonemic, and that's being rather generous. It would seem unnecessary to assign a separate letter to an affricate that the language, by and large, doesn't have, so writing it as a combination of the corresponding stop and fricative makes sense. Of course, using a trigraph for a common sound (especially since it's only used in some positions, with the simple grapheme <s> being used in others) might, I suppose, be called a bit quirky.
User avatar
Creyeditor
mongolian
mongolian
Posts: 4467
Joined: Tue 14 Aug 2012, 18:32

Re: Orthographic quirks in natlangs

Post by Creyeditor » Sat 04 Apr 2015, 12:13

I would say the sound that is written <tsch> is phonemic in German as in <Quatsch>, although it doesn't occur word initially that often. You are right about the voiced affricate and fricative though.
Creyeditor
"Thoughts are free."
Produce, Analyze, Manipulate
1 :deu: 2 :eng: 3 :idn: 4 :fra: 4 :esp:
:con: Ook & Omlűt & Nautli languages & Sperenjas
[<3] Papuan languages, Morphophonology, Lexical Semantics [<3]
User avatar
CMunk
metal
metal
Posts: 871
Joined: Thu 12 Aug 2010, 14:47
Location: Denmark
Contact:

Re: Orthographic quirks in natlangs

Post by CMunk » Sat 04 Apr 2015, 13:14

Danish has some quirky digraphs <nd> and <ld> (and <mb> in the place name <Vemb>) for the plain phonemes /n/ and /l/ (And /m/). It sometimes cooccurs with stød but not always. And then there's the word <bold> "ball" pronounced [bʌlʔd] although there was no /d/ historiɕally.(I'll leave that typo)

Final <jr> in Danish is irritating, because <lejr> "camp" is pronounced [ˈlɑjʔɐ], but <vejr> "weather" is pronounced [væɐ̯ʔ]. Luckily it is not very common.

(I've written stød as a glottal stop though it should be a superscript glottal stop, but my phone can't do that)
Native: :dan: | Fluent: :uk: | Less than fluent: :deu:, :jpn:, :epo: | Beginner: Image, :fao:, :non:
Creating: :con:Jwar Nong, :con:Mhmmz
Prinsessa
runic
runic
Posts: 3226
Joined: Mon 07 Nov 2011, 14:42

Re: Orthographic quirks in natlangs

Post by Prinsessa » Sat 04 Apr 2015, 14:04

I don't think vejr has ever had a diphthong historically, so it's a funny spelling. And it's weird they didn't just keep the historically correct spelling <bolt> which I think would represent the pronunciation perfectly.

The <nd ld> rule is really regular and well enforced, tho. Swedish and Norwegian (especially Swedish, as always) don't do so well with those. <_>
User avatar
GrandPiano
runic
runic
Posts: 2662
Joined: Sun 11 Jan 2015, 23:22
Location: Ohio, USA

Re: Orthographic quirks in natlangs

Post by GrandPiano » Sat 04 Apr 2015, 16:15

CMunk wrote:(I've written stød as a glottal stop though it should be a superscript glottal stop, but my phone can't do that)
Can your phone use this keyboard?

Also, does <y> for /ʑ/ really count as an orthographic quirk? The <y> is part of the standard romanization; the actual orthography is a syllabary (well, that's the new orthography; the old orthography is logographic, and I think it's still used in some areas).
:eng: - Native
:chn: - B2
:esp: - A2
:jpn: - A2
Post Reply