English Orthography Reform

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Xonen
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Xonen » 01 Aug 2016 23:41

MoonRightRomantic wrote:
noah wrote:
OTheB wrote:
qwed117 wrote:
OTheB wrote:Surely the pronunciation to base it on would be received pronunciation. It's basically the understood one across pretty much all dialects of English and is what is used when catering to multiple dialects - most often in news programmes.
Nah, General American is spoken over 300 million, so there's less of a shift required
But we're reforming English, so surely we want to base it on English, and not American English (which, personally, I don't like linking so closely with English)
That's pretty badling-y, though. American English is English, just like RP. And Australian English, and South African English, and so on. All of the major standard dialects are basically universally understood among English speakers.
Modern mass communication ensures that linguistic drift cannot occur regardless of how much English continues to change compared to the past.
That's... far from certain, as qwed117 points out, and in any case, it's way too early to tell. Also, what does that have to do with the question of whether or not General American is English?

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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by MoonRightRomantic » 09 Aug 2016 14:48

Xonen wrote:
MoonRightRomantic wrote:
noah wrote:
OTheB wrote:
qwed117 wrote:
OTheB wrote:Surely the pronunciation to base it on would be received pronunciation. It's basically the understood one across pretty much all dialects of English and is what is used when catering to multiple dialects - most often in news programmes.
Nah, General American is spoken over 300 million, so there's less of a shift required
But we're reforming English, so surely we want to base it on English, and not American English (which, personally, I don't like linking so closely with English)
That's pretty badling-y, though. American English is English, just like RP. And Australian English, and South African English, and so on. All of the major standard dialects are basically universally understood among English speakers.
Modern mass communication ensures that linguistic drift cannot occur regardless of how much English continues to change compared to the past.
That's... far from certain, as qwed117 points out, and in any case, it's way too early to tell. Also, what does that have to do with the question of whether or not General American is English?
I speak General American and I can understand British television just fine, so I would assume yes.

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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by OTʜᴇB » 11 Aug 2016 00:28

I þink ðe best approach to an Engliʃ orþography reform would be to split up the dialects and create an orþography for each individually. You get rid of all ðe cases in which one bit ðat makes plenty of sense to one group will seem strange to anoðer.

Here's mine for RP:
[m n ŋ] m n ŋ
[p b t d k g] p b t d k g
[tʃ dʒ] tʃ dʒ
[f v θ ð s z ʃ ʒ x h] f v þ ð s z ʃ ʒ x h
[ɹ j w] r y w
[l] l

[iː ɪ uː ʊ] ii i uu ur
[e ɜː ə o] e er ė o
[æ ʌ ɑː ɒ] æ u ar or
[eɪ aɪ ɔɪ aʊ əʊ ɪə eə ʊə] ei ai oi au ėu iė eė uė
[eɪə aɪə ɔɪə aʊə əʊə] eiė aiė oiė auė ouė

Ðen ðe alphabet looks like ðis:
A B D Ð E Ė F G H I K L M N Ŋ O P R S Ʃ T Þ U V Ʒ W X Y Z
a b d ð e ė f g h i k l m n ŋ o p r s ʃ t þ u v ʒ w x y z

Example sentence: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog."
"Ðė kwik braun foks dʒumps ouver ðė leizii dog."

I raðer like ðat.
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Sumelic » 12 Aug 2016 03:23

OTʜᴇB wrote:I þink ðe best approach to an Engliʃ orþography reform would be to split up the dialects and create an orþography for each individually. You get rid of all ðe cases in which one bit ðat makes plenty of sense to one group will seem strange to anoðer.

Here's mine for RP:
[m n ŋ] m n ŋ
[p b t d k g] p b t d k g
[tʃ dʒ] tʃ dʒ
[f v θ ð s z ʃ ʒ x h] f v þ ð s z ʃ ʒ x h
[ɹ j w] r y w
[l] l

[iː ɪ uː ʊ] ii i uu ur
[e ɜː ə o] e er ė o
[æ ʌ ɑː ɒ] æ u ar or
[eɪ aɪ ɔɪ aʊ əʊ ɪə eə ʊə] ei ai oi au ėu iė eė uė
[eɪə aɪə ɔɪə aʊə əʊə] eiė aiė oiė auė ouė

Ðen ðe alphabet looks like ðis:
A B D Ð E Ė F G H I K L M N Ŋ O P R S Ʃ T Þ U V Ʒ W X Y Z
a b d ð e ė f g h i k l m n ŋ o p r s ʃ t þ u v ʒ w x y z

Example sentence: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog."
"Ðė kwik braun foks dʒumps ouver ðė leizii dog."

I raðer like ðat.
A few comments:
  • I think you accidentally wrote /o/ for /ɒ/, and /ɒ/ for /ɔː/. Also, did you really mean to /ʊ/ with "ur" instead of "u"?
  • Do you distinguish the vowels in "sorry" and "story"? How so?
  • How narrowly do you define dialects? Even within RP, I believe there is variation. You use /iː/ for the "HAPPY" vowel, while traditionally this was transcribed as /ɪ/. Many people now have /ɒ/ in words like "salt," but I don't think /ɔː/ is obsolete here yet. Some people even have /ɒ/ in "scold" or "bald." And the boundaries of the BATH lexical set are well-known to be fuzzy (take a look at the variable words listed here).

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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by pittmirg » 12 Aug 2016 11:02

qwed117 wrote:Here's the thing, that's partially wrong. Let's look at the old English and Middle English cognates

love < love/lufe < lufu [tick]
wonder < wonder/wunder < wundor [tick]
mother <moder < mōdor [cross]
month < month/moneth < monaþ [cross]
other < other < ōþer [cross]
brother < brother < brōþor [cross]
So, out of 6 examples, he's wrong 4 times.
By the way, what happens to these words in the English dialects that still have an [ʊ]-ish vowel for the Middle English short /u/? Is 'other' ever ~[ʊðə] etc.?
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by ol bofosh » 12 Aug 2016 13:37

My oan ydéa iz tu creáit reláitid reeformz for RP and GA, dhen udherz can be derývd from dhair. Dhis reeform iz baist on RP butt I adápt it whair RP and my accent difer - which izn't much tu be onist.

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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by OTʜᴇB » 12 Aug 2016 15:30

Sumelic wrote:A few comments:
  • I think you accidentally wrote /o/ for /ɒ/, and /ɒ/ for /ɔː/. Also, did you really mean to /ʊ/ with "ur" instead of "u"?
  • Do you distinguish the vowels in "sorry" and "story"? How so?
  • How narrowly do you define dialects? Even within RP, I believe there is variation. You use /iː/ for the "HAPPY" vowel, while traditionally this was transcribed as /ɪ/. Many people now have /ɒ/ in words like "salt," but I don't think /ɔː/ is obsolete here yet. Some people even have /ɒ/ in "scold" or "bald." And the boundaries of the BATH lexical set are well-known to be fuzzy (take a look at the variable words listed here).
1: I may have got them mixed up. I took the vowels from the wikiped page on English phonology under the RP table. I swapped /ɔː/ for /o/ though as I thought it was a better fit but it could be left as /ɔː/

2: sorry = /ɔ/ story = /ɔː/. That could be done with a macron for long vowels.

3: "salt" uses /ɔ/ in all the RP I've heard. "scold" is /ɔu/ and "bald" uses /ɔː/. "bath" uses /ɑ/ and "trap" uses /a/ (if my IPA is up to scratch).
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Salmoneus » 12 Aug 2016 18:58

OTʜᴇB wrote: 1: I may have got them mixed up. I took the vowels from the wikiped page on English phonology under the RP table. I swapped /ɔː/ for /o/ though as I thought it was a better fit but it could be left as /ɔː/
You are confused.
Looking at your sample:
Ðė kwik braun foks dʒumps ouver ðė leizii dog."

You have the vowel in 'fox' and 'dog' as <o>, which according to your table is phonemic /o/. Clearly that's not right! The vowel in question is actually /ɒ/. Phonemic /o/, or /oʊ/, or /əʊ/, is found in 'over', which you notate here with <ou>, which isn't even in your table as a possibility. And in your table you use <or> for a vowel you call /ɒ/, but the rhotic vowel here is /ɔː/, not /ɒ/ (although that's not a certain, since you also bafflingly spell /ʊ/ with an <r> for some reason. So it does seem as though, as Sumelic said, you wrote 'o' where you meant 'ɒ', and 'ɒ' where you meant 'ɔː'.
2: sorry = /ɔ/ story = /ɔː/. That could be done with a macron for long vowels.
What you call /ɔ/ here is normally called /ɒ/, because the location is more important than the length. What you call /ɔː/ is indeed normally /ɔː/ (or very archaically /ɔə/), but you yourself haven't used that symbol in your table! More pressingly, why would you introduce a macron just to make this one vowel distinction, and not any others? And why do you have /ɔ/ here for the vowel you spell with <o> in 'fox' and 'dog'?
3: "salt" uses /ɔ/ in all the RP I've heard.
Unless all the RP you've heard is old tapes of the Queen's father from 1925, then no, it doesn't. "Salt" has /ɒ/, like 'dog'. (Actually, the lateral colours the vowel, so it's phonetically different, but phonemically not differentiated yet).
"scold" is /ɔu/
That's not normally considered an RP phoneme, and indeed you don't use it yourself in your own table. It's traditionally /əʊ/, but over time it's moved toward /oʊ/. [Basically, the posher and more archaic you want to sound, the further forward you push that vowel. /oʊ/ = normal person, /əʊ/ = aristocrat or old TV personality, /ɛʊ/ = WWI RAF pilot who uses the word 'spiffing' a lot, and has one syllable in 'very' and rhymes 'yes' with 'ears' and says 'cat' like 'ket'...
However, as Sumelic says, some people have the 'dog' vowel in this word.
and "bald" uses /ɔː/.
Yes, but some people have the 'dog' vowel instead. Basically there's an ambiguity because the lateral there screws up the vowel sound and there's often something closer to 'cot' than to 'caught'. I don't have that there normally, but even I wouldn't feel quite right happily saying that 'bald' and 'balled' were identical... and I do have it definitely in words like 'alder' and 'alderman' and so on, which are probably closer to 'cot' than to 'caught', though variable and not really either of them. Basically, the distinction between the two vowels is neutralised and the result varies considerably from person to person, word to word, and utterance to utterance. But since it only occurs before coda laterals, it's not a phonemic thing anyway.
"bath" uses /ɑ/ and "trap" uses /a/ (if my IPA is up to scratch).
'Trap' uses /æ/

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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Egerius » 12 Aug 2016 19:48

Salmoneus wrote:It's traditionally /əʊ/, but over time it's moved toward /oʊ/. [Basically, the posher and more archaic you want to sound, the further forward you push that vowel. /oʊ/ = normal person, /əʊ/ = aristocrat or old TV personality, /ɛʊ/ = WWI RAF pilot [...]
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought /oʊ/ is conservative RP (William Hartnell, King George V), /əʊ/ is upper-class RP and /ɜʉ/ is near-RP/high Estuary accent? (for the last one, see an interview with William and Catherine and this blog entry).
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by qwed117 » 12 Aug 2016 20:13

Salmoneus wrote:.
"bath" uses /ɑ/ and "trap" uses /a/ (if my IPA is up to scratch).
'Trap' uses /æ/
Well, this is contextual. In traditional English IPA transcription, we use /æ/, even though the proper vowel would be the cardinal /a/. Since OtheB has been using an IPA table, I think we shouldn't fault him here.
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by OTʜᴇB » 12 Aug 2016 20:48

Salmoneus wrote:
OTʜᴇB wrote: 1: I may have got them mixed up. I took the vowels from the wikiped page on English phonology under the RP table. I swapped /ɔː/ for /o/ though as I thought it was a better fit but it could be left as /ɔː/
You are confused.
Looking at your sample:
Ðė kwik braun foks dʒumps ouver ðė leizii dog."

You have the vowel in 'fox' and 'dog' as <o>, which according to your table is phonemic /o/. Clearly that's not right! The vowel in question is actually /ɒ/. Phonemic /o/, or /oʊ/, or /əʊ/, is found in 'over', which you notate here with <ou>, which isn't even in your table as a possibility. And in your table you use <or> for a vowel you call /ɒ/, but the rhotic vowel here is /ɔː/, not /ɒ/ (although that's not a certain, since you also bafflingly spell /ʊ/ with an <r> for some reason. So it does seem as though, as Sumelic said, you wrote 'o' where you meant 'ɒ', and 'ɒ' where you meant 'ɔː'.
2: sorry = /ɔ/ story = /ɔː/. That could be done with a macron for long vowels.
What you call /ɔ/ here is normally called /ɒ/, because the location is more important than the length. What you call /ɔː/ is indeed normally /ɔː/ (or very archaically /ɔə/), but you yourself haven't used that symbol in your table! More pressingly, why would you introduce a macron just to make this one vowel distinction, and not any others? And why do you have /ɔ/ here for the vowel you spell with <o> in 'fox' and 'dog'?
3: "salt" uses /ɔ/ in all the RP I've heard.
Unless all the RP you've heard is old tapes of the Queen's father from 1925, then no, it doesn't. "Salt" has /ɒ/, like 'dog'. (Actually, the lateral colours the vowel, so it's phonetically different, but phonemically not differentiated yet).
"scold" is /ɔu/
That's not normally considered an RP phoneme, and indeed you don't use it yourself in your own table. It's traditionally /əʊ/, but over time it's moved toward /oʊ/. [Basically, the posher and more archaic you want to sound, the further forward you push that vowel. /oʊ/ = normal person, /əʊ/ = aristocrat or old TV personality, /ɛʊ/ = WWI RAF pilot who uses the word 'spiffing' a lot, and has one syllable in 'very' and rhymes 'yes' with 'ears' and says 'cat' like 'ket'...
However, as Sumelic says, some people have the 'dog' vowel in this word.
and "bald" uses /ɔː/.
Yes, but some people have the 'dog' vowel instead. Basically there's an ambiguity because the lateral there screws up the vowel sound and there's often something closer to 'cot' than to 'caught'. I don't have that there normally, but even I wouldn't feel quite right happily saying that 'bald' and 'balled' were identical... and I do have it definitely in words like 'alder' and 'alderman' and so on, which are probably closer to 'cot' than to 'caught', though variable and not really either of them. Basically, the distinction between the two vowels is neutralised and the result varies considerably from person to person, word to word, and utterance to utterance. But since it only occurs before coda laterals, it's not a phonemic thing anyway.
"bath" uses /ɑ/ and "trap" uses /a/ (if my IPA is up to scratch).
'Trap' uses /æ/
None of the /ɒ/ corrections you mentioned sound correct at all. Unless I need to relearn my vowels, "dog" with an /ɒ/ sounds like that of a very American English pronunciation, which is completely wrong.

The macron could be used for all distinctions of length. Maybe I wasn't clear on that as I was just using /ɔ/ /ɔː/ as an example, and I did say that it was for long and short vowels.

I would correct "scold" to use /oʊ/ as to rhyme with "old". "scold" most definitely does not share a vowel with "dog".

"bald" would share a vowel with "ball", where "bold" shares one with "scold". As for the "cot" and "caught", "cot" shares a vowel with "dog" and "caught" shares one with "court".

And "trap" has nothing even towards an "e" sound, I am completely certain it is an /a/. /æ/ seems like you're leaning towards a strange version of American English again and comes across as very weird to me.

I'll redo the vowels and the sentence then:
[iː ɪ uː ʊ] ī i ū u
[e ɜː ə ɔ ɔː] e er ė o ō
[æ ʌ ɑː ɒ] æ ụ ar or
[eɪ aɪ ɔɪ aʊ əʊ ɪə eə ʊə] ei ai oi au ėu iė eė uė
[eɪə aɪə ɔɪə aʊə əʊə] eiė aiė oiė auė ėuė

Ðė kwik braun foks dʒụmps ouver ðė leizī dog.
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by qwed117 » 12 Aug 2016 21:02

None of the /ɒ/ corrections you mentioned sound correct at all. Unless I need to relearn my vowels, "dog" with an /ɒ/ sounds like that of a very American English pronunciation, which is completely wrong.
Irony here is that an /o/ or /ɔ/ pronunciation is more American than anything else. American English has no /ɒ/. It has /a/ and /ɑ/, generally merged.
I would correct "scold" to use /oʊ/ as to rhyme with "old". "scold" most definitely does not share a vowel with "dog".
It looks as if l-coloring is confusing you. Behind l, /oʊ/ (or really /əʊ/) is pronounced [skɒʊɫd], which shares a vowel with dog /ɒ/.
"bald" would share a vowel with "ball", where "bold" shares one with "scold". As for the "cot" and "caught", "cot" shares a vowel with "dog" and "caught" shares one with "court".
The only thing that really strikes me as unusual is the caught-court merger. I'm pretty sure one of the two is long (namely caught), but wikipedia says both pronunciations are valid, so I'm not too sure on that issue.
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Xing » 12 Aug 2016 22:00

qwed117 wrote: The only thing that really strikes me as unusual is the caught-court merger. I'm pretty sure one of the two is long (namely caught), but wikipedia says both pronunciations are valid, so I'm not too sure on that issue.
Isn't "caught" and "court" homophones in most forms of RP/SSBE, as well as in most non-rhotic accents?? To me it would seems strange is you could find an SSBE speaker who pronounced them differently...

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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Salmoneus » 13 Aug 2016 00:23

OTʜᴇB wrote: None of the /ɒ/ corrections you mentioned sound correct at all. Unless I need to relearn my vowels, "dog" with an /ɒ/ sounds like that of a very American English pronunciation, which is completely wrong.
No, Americans pronounce 'dog' with unrounded /A/, which is to say /ɑ/. /ɒ/ is the rounded vowel found in RP/SSBE.
[Actually, SSBE typically uses an unrounded vowel, but heavily sulcalised, which acoustically produces something more or less the same as rounding, and speakers vary in how much of each they use, so they stick with just calling it /ɒ/, which is /Q/ in sampa].

The macron could be used for all distinctions of length. Maybe I wasn't clear on that as I was just using /ɔ/ /ɔː/ as an example, and I did say that it was for long and short vowels.
But the other short/long pairs you give separate symbols for, so I don't see where else the macron would be used!

I would correct "scold" to use /oʊ/ as to rhyme with "old". "scold" most definitely does not share a vowel with "dog".
It does for some RP speakers. [it can be homophonous, or near-homophonous, with 'scald', if that also uses the shortened vowel]
"bald" would share a vowel with "ball", where "bold" shares one with "scold". As for the "cot" and "caught", "cot" shares a vowel with "dog" and "caught" shares one with "court".
Yes, pretty much. [For most of use, 'bald' and 'ball' have different vowels, but the difference isn't phonemic and not always noticed]
And "trap" has nothing even towards an "e" sound, I am completely certain it is an /a/.
You may be certain, but you are also wrong. It doesn't have an 'e' sound (except in those RAF pilots) but it does have a flat a-sound. We call this /æ/. In some dialects this is distinguished from /a/, a fronted version of the vowel typically called /A/ (although it's actually normally in the middle of those two). For /a/, imagine for example an Irishman saying "father".
/æ/ seems like you're leaning towards a strange version of American English again and comes across as very weird to me.
It's true that some American accents raise this vowel further toward /E/. But in SSBE/RP, it's still distinctly raised above /a/.

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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by OTʜᴇB » 13 Aug 2016 13:26

Salmoneus wrote:
OTʜᴇB wrote: None of the /ɒ/ corrections you mentioned sound correct at all. Unless I need to relearn my vowels, "dog" with an /ɒ/ sounds like that of a very American English pronunciation, which is completely wrong.
No, Americans pronounce 'dog' with unrounded /A/, which is to say /ɑ/. /ɒ/ is the rounded vowel found in RP/SSBE.
[Actually, SSBE typically uses an unrounded vowel, but heavily sulcalised, which acoustically produces something more or less the same as rounding, and speakers vary in how much of each they use, so they stick with just calling it /ɒ/, which is /Q/ in sampa].

The macron could be used for all distinctions of length. Maybe I wasn't clear on that as I was just using /ɔ/ /ɔː/ as an example, and I did say that it was for long and short vowels.
But the other short/long pairs you give separate symbols for, so I don't see where else the macron would be used!

I would correct "scold" to use /oʊ/ as to rhyme with "old". "scold" most definitely does not share a vowel with "dog".
It does for some RP speakers. [it can be homophonous, or near-homophonous, with 'scald', if that also uses the shortened vowel]
"bald" would share a vowel with "ball", where "bold" shares one with "scold". As for the "cot" and "caught", "cot" shares a vowel with "dog" and "caught" shares one with "court".
Yes, pretty much. [For most of use, 'bald' and 'ball' have different vowels, but the difference isn't phonemic and not always noticed]
And "trap" has nothing even towards an "e" sound, I am completely certain it is an /a/.
You may be certain, but you are also wrong. It doesn't have an 'e' sound (except in those RAF pilots) but it does have a flat a-sound. We call this /æ/. In some dialects this is distinguished from /a/, a fronted version of the vowel typically called /A/ (although it's actually normally in the middle of those two). For /a/, imagine for example an Irishman saying "father".
/æ/ seems like you're leaning towards a strange version of American English again and comes across as very weird to me.
It's true that some American accents raise this vowel further toward /E/. But in SSBE/RP, it's still distinctly raised above /a/.
So I've got some of my vowels wrong. So I need to replace all my /o/s with /ɒ/s over all my conlang work that used that sound.

It would be easier to do the vowels if I had an example of all of them as I'm clearly getting confused with a lot of them. I know my consonants but not my vowels. As for where I was using the macrons, take the example of [iː ɪ] ī i. [ɪ] would be interpreted as a short sound and, while the articulation is different, it makes sense for [iː] to be seen as a long "i" and so it gets the macron. This is similar for other vowels. Where there's a dot, that's a "short" sound in the same way - I'm using macrons and dots as I do a lot of music so it makes sense like legato and staccato.

"scald" shares a vowel with "bald".

Again here, I'm getting my vowels confused. So "apple" starts with /æ/?

Other than all this, it's not not working. As to a question asked ages ago, we'd split up the dialects based on the respelling not fitting their dialect well. These could still be subtle differences. Say one hypothetical dialect merges "cot" and "caught", they would use a different spelling to one where they are different, even if the only difference is a different vowel in a few words.
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Sumelic » 14 Aug 2016 05:00

One source of confusion is that phonemic transcriptions don't always correspond to the phonetic situations.

The vowel that Standard British English speakers use in "dog" or "lot" is standardly transcribed /ɒ/. As Salmoneus said, it may be realized with sulcalization rather than rounding, or a mixture of both. I believe I've also read that some speakers raise the quality to around [ɔ] (i.e. open-mid) as outlined in this post by Geoff Lindsay. In any case, it's kept distinct from the "thought" phoneme that is standardly transcribed /ɔː/ because the latter is always longer and closer relatively speaking. I.e. speakers who raise /ɒ/ to [ɔ] also raise /ɔː/ to [oː].

The vowel that most General American English speakers without the cot-caught merger use in "dog" is standardly transcribed /ɔ/ because it belongs to the same vowel class for these speakers as "thought." Phonetically, I believe the vowel quality here is usually closer to [ɒ] and may have sulcalization rather than rounding. So it sounds similar to British English "lot." Other speakers have the American "lot" vowel here, which as Salmoneous mentions is transcribed /ɑ/.

The symbol /o/ is not used by itself in the most common phonemic transcriptions of English. It's used to transcribe the first element of the "goat" diphthong /oʊ/ in General American (in British English, this vowel is usually fronted, so it's transcribed /əʊ/ instead). When transcribing North American English, some people treat the diphthongization of "goat" and "face" as a secondary detail and just transcribe them using /o/ and /e/.

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OTʜᴇB
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by OTʜᴇB » 15 Aug 2016 15:14

Sumelic wrote:One source of confusion is that phonemic transcriptions don't always correspond to the phonetic situations.

The vowel that Standard British English speakers use in "dog" or "lot" is standardly transcribed /ɒ/. As Salmoneus said, it may be realized with sulcalization rather than rounding, or a mixture of both. I believe I've also read that some speakers raise the quality to around [ɔ] (i.e. open-mid) as outlined in this post by Geoff Lindsay. In any case, it's kept distinct from the "thought" phoneme that is standardly transcribed /ɔː/ because the latter is always longer and closer relatively speaking. I.e. speakers who raise /ɒ/ to [ɔ] also raise /ɔː/ to [oː].

The vowel that most General American English speakers without the cot-caught merger use in "dog" is standardly transcribed /ɔ/ because it belongs to the same vowel class for these speakers as "thought." Phonetically, I believe the vowel quality here is usually closer to [ɒ] and may have sulcalization rather than rounding. So it sounds similar to British English "lot." Other speakers have the American "lot" vowel here, which as Salmoneous mentions is transcribed /ɑ/.

The symbol /o/ is not used by itself in the most common phonemic transcriptions of English. It's used to transcribe the first element of the "goat" diphthong /oʊ/ in General American (in British English, this vowel is usually fronted, so it's transcribed /əʊ/ instead). When transcribing North American English, some people treat the diphthongization of "goat" and "face" as a secondary detail and just transcribe them using /o/ and /e/.
Ok that all makes more sense. I think it would be easier to look at all our vowels with an example or two as I am struggling to get the pronunciations of a lot of them right. So /ɒ/ is in "dog" and "cot", /əʊ/ is in "goat" and "coat", /ɔː/ is in "thought" and "court". And the rest? Then it would become extremely easy to decide on them more logically.

But as I've been thinking about the orthography reform, it also occurred to me that the reform could be based around roots than pronunciation. So this would mean only one set of spellings is needed, but they have very little relation to pronunciation as it's all in conveying meaning.
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by alynnidalar » 15 Aug 2016 21:17

qwed117 wrote:
None of the /ɒ/ corrections you mentioned sound correct at all. Unless I need to relearn my vowels, "dog" with an /ɒ/ sounds like that of a very American English pronunciation, which is completely wrong.
Irony here is that an /o/ or /ɔ/ pronunciation is more American than anything else. American English has no /ɒ/. It has /a/ and /ɑ/, generally merged.
Perhaps not General American, but there are American English dialects that do indeed have /ɒ/; I speak one of them. (Inland North American English, with the Northern Cities Vowel Shift. My CLOTH and THOUGHT vowels are /ɒ/ (and yes, I pronounce "dog" with /ɒ/). This contrasts with /a/, which is my LOT and PALM vowel. As far as I know, I don't have /ɑ/ at all.)

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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by GrandPiano » 18 Aug 2016 02:11

My thoughts as a speaker of General American English from the Midwest:
OTʜᴇB wrote:And "trap" has nothing even towards an "e" sound, I am completely certain it is an /a/. /æ/ seems like you're leaning towards a strange version of American English again and comes across as very weird to me.
Why strange? A dialect of American English that doesn't use [æ] for "trap" would come across as somewhat weird to me (although such dialects do exist).
qwed117 wrote:
None of the /ɒ/ corrections you mentioned sound correct at all. Unless I need to relearn my vowels, "dog" with an /ɒ/ sounds like that of a very American English pronunciation, which is completely wrong.
Irony here is that an /o/ or /ɔ/ pronunciation is more American than anything else. American English has no /ɒ/. It has /a/ and /ɑ/, generally merged.
Are you sure about that? I have /ɑ/ and /ɒ/, usually (but not always) /ɑ/ where RP has /ɒ/ and /ɒ/ where RP has /ɔ/, which I'm pretty sure is fairly common among American English dialects. As far as I'm aware, the only dialects of American English that contrast /a/ and /ɑ/ are those that have /a/ in place of standard GA /aɪ̯/, and I don't think any of them merge that phoneme with /ɑ/.
Salmoneus wrote:
OTʜᴇB wrote: None of the /ɒ/ corrections you mentioned sound correct at all. Unless I need to relearn my vowels, "dog" with an /ɒ/ sounds like that of a very American English pronunciation, which is completely wrong.
No, Americans pronounce 'dog' with unrounded /A/, which is to say /ɑ/. /ɒ/ is the rounded vowel found in RP/SSBE.
I pronounce it /dɒg/, and I'm pretty sure most GA speakers without the cot-caught merger pronounce it that way.
Salmoneus wrote:[Actually, SSBE typically uses an unrounded vowel, but heavily sulcalised, which acoustically produces something more or less the same as rounding, and speakers vary in how much of each they use, so they stick with just calling it /ɒ/, which is /Q/ in sampa].
As a GA speaker, I think I do the same. My /ɒ/ is only very slightly rounded if at all, but it seems to be very sulcalized.
Sumelic wrote:The vowel that most General American English speakers without the cot-caught merger use in "dog" is standardly transcribed /ɔ/ because it belongs to the same vowel class for these speakers as "thought." Phonetically, I believe the vowel quality here is usually closer to [ɒ] and may have sulcalization rather than rounding.
As I said above, this is the situation for me. [ɔ] sounds very British.
OTʜᴇB wrote:But as I've been thinking about the orthography reform, it also occurred to me that the reform could be based around roots than pronunciation. So this would mean only one set of spellings is needed, but they have very little relation to pronunciation as it's all in conveying meaning.
So, a logographic system?
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:chn: - B2
:esp: - A2
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by OTʜᴇB » 18 Aug 2016 16:01

GrandPiano wrote:
OTʜᴇB wrote:But as I've been thinking about the orthography reform, it also occurred to me that the reform could be based around roots than pronunciation. So this would mean only one set of spellings is needed, but they have very little relation to pronunciation as it's all in conveying meaning.
So, a logographic system?
Somewhat. I'll create a fake word to demonstrate. Let's start with "happy", we could add "anti" to flip the meaning, then we could add "ism" to make it a noun (like "Buddhism"). So it would be spelled as "antihappyism", but might be read like "anti-happ-ism" as it's easier to say.
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