English Orthography Reform

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Langfangom
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Langfangom » 15 Dec 2014 22:55

Last edited by Langfangom on 04 Jun 2015 22:52, edited 1 time in total.

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Thrice Xandvii
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Thrice Xandvii » 16 Dec 2014 06:35

Xing wrote:(There are apparently dialects in which tense and lax vowels have neutralised before <r> - in which mirror thus would rhyme with nearer - but that's a later, dialect-specific development.)
Indeed there are. In fact, I was really confused when you suggested that mirror was pronounced differently than nearer since, to me, they've always rhymed.

I don't think I've ever heard them not.
Edit: After getting a PM on the matter I thought about it more and have this to say:

Actually, the more I think on it, the more I think I was wrong. I think it depends on speed and level of laziness for me. I believe it's something like [miː.ɚ] and [niː.ɚ] for me in normal speech. But 'mirror' can be reduced to [miɹ] in especially lazy speech. In more careful speech, the 'r' would reappear between the vowels, and 'nearer' would certainly have two syllables (though 'mirror' still may not).
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Birdlang » 01 Jan 2015 23:38

Helō
Hôu är ū ôl?
Ī dēvelëpt ë spelēñ sistëm līk dikšënārē spelēñ.
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

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ol bofosh
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by ol bofosh » 03 Jan 2015 20:15

A bit lait but... Merry Crismas and a Hapy New Yeer!

So, how wer our holidaiz? Dhay arn't oaver heer, thair'z stil dhe Three Kingz in Spain. I shal be spending it widh my girlfrend'z family and eeting fondú. They'r Swis. (Mmm, it's been aigiz sins I'v had fondú. Jusst bifór Crismas we had raclét).

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Xing
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Xing » 16 Jul 2015 18:27

Adarain wrote:So I almost accidentally came up with a spelling reform for English that might just work… Too bad it’s a pointless thing to try :/
Discussing spelling reforms need not be pointless... [;)]
(To sum it up: phonemic spelling for consonants, doesn’t really matter how as long as it’s consistent.
Consonants are not that problematic in English, so I suggest they be kept as they are.
Vowels are split into three groups: All low and central vowels are spelled <a>, all back rounded ones (ɔ and higher) are spelled <u> and all front unrounded vowels (ε and higher) are spelled <i>.
Do you have something like the following in mind?

<a> in trap, bath, start, palm, nurse, choice(?), mouth(?) and optionally in lot, thought(?) and strut(?)
<i> in fleece, kit, dress, near, square, and face(?)
<u> in strut, goose, cure, and goat, and optionally in lot, thought(?), strut(?)

Would strut belong to the <a>- or <u>-group? Would it be dialect-dependent?
It sounds terrible but it works quite well actually. Diphthongs are a bit problematic [I’m thinking write the glide if it precedes the vowel but not if it follows it] and the vowel in God belongs both to the <u> and the <a> group depending on dialect.
I suppose this applies to all words in the LOT set? (And possibly THOUGHT set also, depending on dialect?)

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Adarain
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Adarain » 16 Jul 2015 18:57

How I divided it (again, not final nor perfect but the other guys in the conlangs chat seemed to find it okay that way):

<a> trap, bath, palm, lot, strut, start, comma, letter
<i> kit, fleece, dress, face, nurse, near, square, happy
<u> thought, foot, goose, goat, north, force, cure

Unsure about these:
<a> or <i> price,
<a> or <u> mouth, cloth
<u> or <i> choice

As you can see, the problematic ones are diphthongs which cross the boundaries (ignoring ones with schwa), and cloth, which is ɒ (a) in RP but ɔː (u) in General American.

Oh, and regarding the consonants, I meant more like getting rid of irregular spellings like the k/c/s deal or gh. Possibly fix θ/ð as well, but that’s really not as important, imo.

Btw, the idea came to me in the following steps:

1. You know what? All these spelling reforms try to introduce regularized vowel spellings in ways that jut don’t work for everyone. How about an abjad? (hint: works very badly)
2. How about we just write <e> to denote that there is some vowel there. That should help at least a bit (hint: it works… ish)
3. Maybe we can use two or three groups of vowels, split them in a logical way and have that be it (appears to work… relatively good if you can agree on what set gets what vowel)
At kveldi skal dag lęyfa,
Konu es bręnnd es,
Mæki es ręyndr es,
Męy es gefin es,
Ís es yfir kømr,
Ǫl es drukkit es.

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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Xing » 16 Jul 2015 20:16

Adarain wrote: Btw, the idea came to me in the following steps:

1. You know what? All these spelling reforms try to introduce regularized vowel spellings in ways that jut don’t work for everyone. How about an abjad? (hint: works very badly)
2. How about we just write <e> to denote that there is some vowel there. That should help at least a bit (hint: it works… ish)
3. Maybe we can use two or three groups of vowels, split them in a logical way and have that be it (appears to work… relatively good if you can agree on what set gets what vowel)
The idea isn't that bad:)

However, I think I would:
(1) Group THOUGHT with the <a>-words. I think the stretch of vowels /æ ɑː ɒ ɔː/ is the most problematic one when it comes to English vowels - with dialects disagreeing wildly which words take which vowels. Between /ɔː/ and the higher vowels, there is a sharper demarcation - There is no large set of words that have /ɔː/ in one major dialect, and /uː/ in another.
(2) Group STRUT with the <u>-words. In those dialects that distinguish the STRUT vowel from the FOOT vowel, their distributions is somewhat (though not perfectly) predictable. (An argument for keeping STRUT with the <a>-words could be, that for some L2 speakers, and in some non-standard dialects, /ʌ/ is barely distinct from /ɑː/.)

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Znex
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Znex » 16 Jul 2015 20:37

Xing wrote:However, I think I would:
(1) Group THOUGHT with the <a>-words. I think the stretch of vowels /æ ɑː ɒ ɔː/ is the most problematic one when it comes to English vowels - with dialects disagreeing wildly which words take which vowels. Between /ɔː/ and the higher vowels, there is a sharper demarcation - There is no large set of words that have /ɔː/ in one major dialect, and /uː/ in another.
(2) Group STRUT with the <u>-words. In those dialects that distinguish the STRUT vowel from the FOOT vowel, their distributions is somewhat (though not perfectly) predictable. (An argument for keeping STRUT with the <a>-words could be, that for some L2 speakers, and in some non-standard dialects, /ʌ/ is barely distinct from /ɑː/.)
Cool, but neither choice agrees with my idiolect. THOUGHT words for me actually have /o:~u:/ vowels, while BOOT words have /ʉ:/ vowels. STRUT words have /ɐ/ vowels, which are basically the short counterpart of CARD vowels: /ɐ:/.
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Adarain
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Adarain » 16 Jul 2015 20:50

Znex wrote: THOUGHT words for me actually have /o:~u:/ vowels, while BOOT words have /ʉ:/ vowels. STRUT words have /ɐ/ vowels, which are basically the short counterpart of CARD vowels: /ɐ:/.
So for you, thought <u>, boot also <u> (since rounding) and strut /a/ (relatively low). I did place strut under <a> with the assumption of an /ɐ/ pronunciation (which essentially everyone in the skype group agrees with, but most are L2 speakers)
At kveldi skal dag lęyfa,
Konu es bręnnd es,
Mæki es ręyndr es,
Męy es gefin es,
Ís es yfir kømr,
Ǫl es drukkit es.

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Xing
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Xing » 16 Jul 2015 21:06

Znex wrote: Cool, but neither choice agrees with my idiolect. THOUGHT words for me actually have /o:~u:/ vowels, while BOOT words have /ʉ:/ vowels. STRUT words have /ɐ/ vowels, which are basically the short counterpart of CARD vowels: /ɐ:/.
Those seem to be phonetic realisations. Or is there be any large set of words that's phonemically different, as compared to other English 'lects? (Say, that has /u:/ in your 'lect, but /ɔː/ in others, or vice versa?)
Adarain wrote:
Znex wrote: THOUGHT words for me actually have /o:~u:/ vowels, while BOOT words have /ʉ:/ vowels. STRUT words have /ɐ/ vowels, which are basically the short counterpart of CARD vowels: /ɐ:/.
So for you, thought <u>, boot also <u> (since rounding) and strut /a/ (relatively low). I did place strut under <a> with the assumption of an /ɐ/ pronunciation (which essentially everyone in the skype group agrees with, but most are L2 speakers)
For me, the phonetic realisation of a certain phoneme is not that important. (Unless you are aiming for a truly phonetic - as opposed to a phonemic - orthography.) The STRUT vowel may be phonetically closer to many open unrounded vowels - but I suspect grouping it together with the FOOT vowel may cause less confusion.

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Znex
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Znex » 17 Jul 2015 07:01

I dunno, can't we just have dialectal realisations of the orthography?
:eng: : [tick] | :grc: :wls: : [:|] | :chn: :isr: : [:S] | :nor: :deu: :rom: :ind: :con: : [:x]
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by ol bofosh » 17 Jul 2015 18:43

I thik so. Dhis reform haz RP and GA verzhonz, butt I adápt it tu my pronounceáishon, which haz a lot of oaverlap widh RP, butt duzz difer in sum aspects. I think it cud be adáptid tu eny accent.

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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Adarain » 17 Jul 2015 18:46

Well, the point was to try and transcribe the vowels to broadly that the system would be "roughly okay" for all dialects. But since I have no experience with other dialects and really don't feel like doing proper research on this topic...

What I mean is that if this requires dialectal versions, it's not succeding.
At kveldi skal dag lęyfa,
Konu es bręnnd es,
Mæki es ręyndr es,
Męy es gefin es,
Ís es yfir kømr,
Ǫl es drukkit es.

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ol bofosh
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by ol bofosh » 18 Jul 2015 00:03

If yu wont tu du it thurroly, maibe dhis wud help: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interna ... h_dialects

Butt I recon euzing GA and RP az standardz for an orthógrafy, sepratly or combýnd, wud be eezeer, at leest if yu wont sumthing a bit eunivérsal.

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Znex
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Znex » 18 Jul 2015 07:59

I don't really know if a truly universal reform would be possible. If anything, we'd only get to a reform that GA and RP speakers would agree on, and very few people actually speak GA or RP in their everyday lives.

The universal reform idea to me is like the IAL idea: it's a nice idea, but not really practical. If we want universal, we kinda already have an orthography that works like that and is generally accepted.
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by ol bofosh » 18 Jul 2015 09:27

Ixacly, I agrée. It's eeven eezeer tu start widh a loacal dialect dhan sumthing euniversal. Butt if we did wont sumthing euniversal (eunivésaly recognyzd, not spoaken) dhen it wud be eezeer tu go with an RP+GA option, instéd ov trying tu inclóod lots ov dialects.

Implemènting a reeform is sumthing els, ov cors. I've seen dhe speling reeform coméunity at wurk, and they caan't eeven agrée amúngst themsélvz wot shud be dun and how dhay shud du it. Thair seemz tu be too much "my reeform iz best". Too much squobling.

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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Sumelic » 18 Jul 2015 10:20

Znex wrote:The universal reform idea to me is like the IAL idea: it's a nice idea, but not really practical. If we want universal, we kinda already have an orthography that works like that and is generally accepted.
Not practical? How so? A universal speling reform absolutely seems practical to me; in fact, as you point out, the curent speling sistem is already fairly good at representing al dialects. It would be easy to create a universal speling reform by simply adjusting parts of the curent orthography that have no consistent distinction in any dialect. Of course, it's imposible to create a purely phonemic speling sistem that is universal/pan-dialectical. But there are several elements of Modern English speling that cause a large proportion of speling mistakes for speakers of al dialects: two examples are the distinction between soft c and s at the start of words, and doubled consonant leters (especialy in Latinate words).

Does a reform only qualify as such in your view if it completely reworks the entire orthography?

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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Znex » 18 Jul 2015 10:27

Sumelic wrote:
Znex wrote:The universal reform idea to me is like the IAL idea: it's a nice idea, but not really practical. If we want universal, we kinda already have an orthography that works like that and is generally accepted.
Not practical? How so? A universal speling reform absolutely seems practical to me; in fact, as you point out, the curent speling sistem is already fairly good at representing al dialects. It would be easy to create a universal speling reform by simply adjusting parts of the curent orthography that have no consistent distinction in any dialect. Of course, it's imposible to create a purely phonemic speling sistem that is universal/pan-dialectical. But there are several elements of Modern English speling that cause a large proportion of speling mistakes for speakers of al dialects: two examples are the distinction between soft c and s at the start of words, and doubled consonant leters (especialy in Latinate words).

Does a reform only qualify as such in your view if it completely reworks the entire orthography?
Well yoo coud doo that I gess, onely I'm just not shore if fer wun it solvs eny significant problems, and too it woud probebly bee better in that case to just make modificashens of the alreddy existing sistem then making a hole new sistem.

If making a hole new sistem, yoo just run intoo the truble of wot diealekt to edapt it to.
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Xing » 18 Jul 2015 14:50

Sumelic wrote:
Not practical? How so? A universal speling reform absolutely seems practical to me; in fact, as you point out, the curent speling sistem is already fairly good at representing al dialects. It would be easy to create a universal speling reform by simply adjusting parts of the curent orthography that have no consistent distinction in any dialect. Of course, it's imposible to create a purely phonemic speling sistem that is universal/pan-dialectical. But there are several elements of Modern English speling that cause a large proportion of speling mistakes for speakers of al dialects: two examples are the distinction between soft c and s at the start of words, and doubled consonant leters (especialy in Latinate words).
As for doubled letters, its most obvious function is to distinguish checked and unchecked letters. (Though its not necessary everywhere, I'd be tempted to pronounce <leter> as /liːtə/ and <curent> as /kjurənt/...)

However, there are some oddities that are common to at least most major dialects of English - such as the inconsistent use of certain vowel digraphs, notably <ea>, <ie> and <ei>/<ey>.

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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Sumelic » 18 Jul 2015 23:19

Znex wrote: Well yoo coud doo that I gess, onely I'm just not shore if fer wun it solvs eny significant problems, and too it woud probebly bee better in that case to just make modificashens of the alreddy existing sistem then making a hole new sistem.

If making a hole new sistem, yoo just run intoo the truble of wot diealekt to edapt it to.
Looks like we mostly agree (but I do think a modest reform would be able to solve significant problems). There is apparently a terminological diference between us, as I suspected:
Sumelic wrote: Does a reform only qualify as such in your view if it completely reworks the entire orthography?
It sounds like your answer would be "yes." But in my opinion, "spelling reform" covers the whole gamut, from simple adjustments to complete replacement (though in fact, the later sounds more like "revolution" than "reform" to me).
Xing wrote: As for doubled letters, its most obvious function is to distinguish checked and unchecked letters. (Though its not necessary everywhere, I'd be tempted to pronounce <leter> as /liːtə/ and <curent> as /kjurənt/...)
Sertinly, but in moddern Inglish dubbld letters ar not uezd consistently at all. Thae'r quite loe-hanging fruet for any regulariezing reform. One possibl rowt is to keep dubbld letters and reggulariez their uce, and menny reform proponents hav owtliend how thiss cood be don (for exampl: Alan Beale’s IRM, wich I am uezing as the baesis for the spelling in this parragraf).

However, in my opinion, even a regularized sistem of dubbled letters is unnesesarrily complex, for basically the same reasons that Beale states led to him considering IRM a failure:
Alan Beale wrote:I believe the use of double consonants, which was the main motivation for the system, to be a dismal failure.  It is inconsistent, and obscures the relationships between related words, such as je'ollojy and je'olodjikl.  As a result, I have stopped developing, evangelizing and writing in IRM.
I'll note that the use of alternating doubled and single letters in verb forms, like "confer" vs. "conferring," appears to be a tricky part of the current spelling system for many English writers despite the relatively simple principles that can be used to predict the spelling in most cases (word stress placement and the use of some letters, like "l").
Xing wrote: However, there are some oddities that are common to at least most major dialects of English - such as the inconsistent use of certain vowel digraphs, notably <ea>, <ie> and <ei>/<ey>.
Ha, I'm too afraid to even make a proposal for the representation of front high vowel diaphonemes! There's so many mergers that occurred in the standard dialects, like MEAT=MEET=KEY, that I have no idea if the current spelling is actually "inconsistent" here or just a faithful representation of the complicated history of these sounds in English. It's sort of a Chesterton's fence problem: if I don't understand the reason why "conceive" isn't spelled "conceve," how do I know there isn't a good reason after all?

But digraphs that I'm close to certain are redundant in all dialects are oa (=long o in every word but "broad"), ue/ew/eu (choose whichever you prefer), and ey/ei in the specific circumstances where it represents the VEIN lexical set (VEIN-VAIN merger is complete for all living speakers).

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