English Orthography Reform

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Birdlang
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Birdlang » 14 Sep 2018 23:04

English (combined RP/American/Australian) a la Pigeonese
/p b t d ʦ ʣ ʧ ʤ k g/ p b t d c ʒ č ǯ k g
/m n ŋ/ m n ŋ
/f v θ ð s z ʃ ʒ (x) h/ f v ŧ đ s z š ž ꝁ h
/l r j w/ l r j ʋ

/i iː ʉː u uː ɪ ʊ e eː oː ə ɛ ɜ ɜː ʌ ɔ ɔː æ ɐ ɐː ɑ ɑː ɒ/ i ī û u ū ì ù é ê ô e è ë ä ö o ō æ â å a ā á
/ʉ̯ ɪ̯ ʊ̯ e̯ o̯ ə̯ ɛ̯ ɔ̯ a̯/ ȗ ĭ ŭ ĕ ŏ ė ȇ ȏ ă
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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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Bryan » 22 Sep 2018 11:54

Apart from the overthrow of the not-really-used-by-the-layman-anyway Runes, there has never been a total overhaul of English spelling. What there has been is norms, precedent, and analogy which evolve and become standardised. Any and all successful "reforms", such as they have been, have really been about bringing rogue spellings into line (e.g. gaol --> jail) with the overall rules/norms. Personally, I support a reform which would leave the essential system in place, but remove those roguish elements. For example, "axe" --> "ax", "trouble" --> "trubble", "doubt" --> "dout", and so on.

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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Zé do Rock » 06 Nov 2018 12:48

Bryan wrote:
22 Sep 2018 11:54
Apart from the overthrow of the not-really-used-by-the-layman-anyway Runes, there has never been a total overhaul of English spelling. What there has been is norms, precedent, and analogy which evolve and become standardised. Any and all successful "reforms", such as they have been, have really been about bringing rogue spellings into line (e.g. gaol --> jail) with the overall rules/norms. Personally, I support a reform which would leave the essential system in place, but remove those roguish elements. For example, "axe" --> "ax", "trouble" --> "trubble", "doubt" --> "dout", and so on.
This is mor or less wat the House Stile dus. Ax, trubble, dout. 1) Cut useless letters (hed), 2) reggularize the 5 basic short vowels (enny), 3) reggularize the 5 basic long vowels (grate, brite, bote), 4) F for F (foto, enuf).

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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by MoonRightRomantic » 16 Nov 2018 17:38

Trying to account for accents and dialects isn't feasible. It makes more sense that English speakers would adopt Cut Spelling. The benefit of Cut Spelling, as the name implies, is that it focuses on cutting unnecessary letters so that the written language more closely reflects how it is spoken (later stages involve regularizing spelling, but it is presented in stages for that reason). It can't account for lexical sets, so it doesn't try to. Of all the spelling reforms I have seen, it is probably the most feasible and helpful at this point in time.

One problem I have had with English, particularly all the Latin loan words, is that every instance of a syllabic liquids /r/ or /l/ includes an unnecessary <e> before or after it. This <e> typically vanishes whenever a suffix is added, such as the difference between <songster> and <songstress>. The former could easily be written as <songstr> without losing any meaning, and you wouldn't have to remember to drop the <e> every time you append the <ess> morpheme. I cannot recall any minimal pairs in English that distinguish syllabic versus non-syllabic liquids, so I doubt this will cause more confusion in comparison.

Trying to add new letters like thorn, eth, esh, ezh, schwa, etc are best reserved for after the heaving lifting of Cut Spelling is made. Replacing <sign> and <signal> with <syn> and <signl> is already difficult enough for English speakers to deal with. They don't need new letters yet.

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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Zé do Rock » 17 Nov 2018 11:42

HOUSE STILE

Chris Upward, the creator of Cut Spelling, rote once a revew about my first book, wich was ritten in ultradoitsh, a sort of foneemic german. And so we became frends. I red his cut spelling book, but eeven if the idea is apeeling, i had a certan trubble with cut spelling, becaus offen i didnt no wether i was alowd to cut or not, so i had to look up in the book. Cut Spelling didnt hav a principle or set of (a few) principles that would guide the user, so i wouldnt no if 'there' can be shortend to 'ther' or not. HS (house stile) has one cutting principle, "Cut wenevver the most likely way to pronounce the resulting word is the way the word is actualy pronounced." So wat would be the most likely pronunciation of 'ther', acording to english spelling patterns? We cant considder the millions of polisilabic words that end with -er, since this final sillable is usualy an unstressd shwa. We can only count monosillables with -er, and i only no two of them, per and her. Since they dont rime with 'there', we couldnt spel 'ther'. But thank God in menny cases we dont hav to chek the most likely pronunciation of a word, becaus of the 2 uther rules that simplify a lot the work of cutting: the rule for streemlining short stressd vowels and the rule for long stressd vowels. So we spel 'thare' for 'there', as we spel bare, dare, thare, pare, prare, tare, care, ware, share, fare, flare, spare, stare, scare, hare, lare, mare, rare. And we dont hav to keep the G in 'sign', becaus we can spel 'sine'. This goes along with the spontaneus reforms that exist alreddy, like 'nite' (overnite), 'lite'. I'v nevver seen a word ware a spontaneus reform changed an 'igh' to 'y', as light to lyt or night to nyt.

The uther problem is in my vew the cutting of shwas, so that cut spelling no longer looks like english, at leest in words like permntly, relvnt (or is it relevnt?). HS only cuts shwas in one specific case, ware the resulting words dont get an "unenglish" look (intresting, seprate). Cutting shwas is also a problem becaus in quite a few cases there is no agreement on wether a letter is shwa or not (is it /in'tElidZ@nt/ or /in'tEl@dZ@nt/?).

In TS (traditional spelling) u hav 50% of the words with a likely spelling, ie if u no all english spelling patterns, u can get 50% of the spellings rite - but u can nevver be sure that the word u'r riting down has a likely spelling. And 50% of the words hav a "rong" spelling. In CS u hav mor or less 75% of likely words and 25% rong words. But u dont hav safe words, ie words that u heer and spel in a way that u'r sure they'r rite. If u heer /bEd/, u no it cant be 'bead' (as head or bread), but u cant be sure that it is not 'baid' as in 'said'. The House Stile has 50% safe words (/bEd/ can only be speld 'bed'), 30% likely words and 20% rong words. And it looks like english. CS has one advantage, it is shorter than HS, but it seems that for most peeple ees of lerning and regularity is mor important than econnomy.



ENGLISH

Chris Upward, the creator of Cut Spelling, wrote once a review about my first book, which was written in ultradoitsh, a sort of phonemic german. And so we became friends. I read his cut spelling book, but even if the idea is appealing, i had a certain trouble with cut spelling, because often i didnt know whether i was allowed to cut or not, so i had to look up in the handbook. Cut Spelling didnt hav a principle or set of (a few) principles that would guide the user, so i wouldnt no if 'there' can be shortend to 'ther' or not. HS (house stile) has one, "Cut wenevver the most likely way to pronounce the resulting word is the way the word is actually pronounced." So what would be the most likely pronunciation of 'ther', according to english spelling patterns? We cant consider the millions of polysyllabic words that end with -er, since this final syllable is usually an unstressed shwa. We can only count monosyllables with -er, and i only know two of them, per and her. Since they dont rhyme with 'there', we couldnt spell 'ther'. But thank God in many cases we dont have to check the most likely pronunciation of a word, because of the 2 other rules that simplify a lot the work of cutting: the rule for streamlining short stressed vowels and the rule for long stressed vowels. So we spell 'thare' for 'there', as we spell bare, dare, thare, pare, prare, tare, care, ware, share, fare, flare, spare, stare, scare, hare, lare, mare, rare. And we dont have to keep the G in 'sign', because we can spell 'sine'. This goes along with the spontaneous reforms that exist already, like 'nite' (overnite), 'lite'. I've never seen a word where a spontaneous reform changed an 'igh' to 'y', as light to lyt or night to nyt.

The other problem is in my view the cutting of shwas, so that cut spelling no longer looks like english, at least in words like permntly, relvnt (or is it relevnt?). HS only cuts shwas in one specific case, where the resulting words dont get an "unenglish" look (intresting, seprate). Cutting shwas is also a problem because in quite a few cases there is no agreement on whether a letter is shwa or not (is it /in'tElidZ@nt/ or /in'tEl@dZ@nt/?).

In TS (traditional spelling) you have 50% of the words with a likely spelling, ie if you know all english spelling patterns, you can get 50% of the spellings right - but you can never be sure that the word you're writing has a likely spelling. And 50% of the words have a "wrong" spelling. In CS you have more or less 75% of likely words and 25% wrong words. But you dont have safe words, ie words that you hear and spell in a way that you're sure they're right. If you hear /bEd/, you know it cant be 'bead' (as head or bread), but you cant be sure that it is not 'baid' as in 'said'. The House Stile has 50% safe words (/bEd/ can only be spelled 'bed'), 30% likely words and 20% wrong words. And it looks like english. CS has one advantage, it is shorter than HS, but it seems that for most people ease of learning and regularity is more important than economy.

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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Clio » 17 Nov 2018 19:35

MoonRightRomantic wrote:
16 Nov 2018 17:38
I cannot recall any minimal pairs in English that distinguish syllabic versus non-syllabic liquids, so I doubt this will cause more confusion in comparison.
I'm aware that there are two- and three-syllable pronunciations of "interest." Does anyone distinguish in speech between the financial and emotional kinds of interest, or between the noun and verb? (Probably not.)

Also, regarding sign/syn/sine: I remember that my high-school trigonometry teacher very frequently used spelling to distinguish between "sign" (i.e., positive or negative) and "sine" (the trigonometric function). Otherwise, it would be confusing to ask what the /saɪn/ of -π is, in a way that e.g. "knight" and "night" or "aunt" and "ant" aren't so easily confused. Since a large amount of sentences are equally sensible with either meaning of /saɪn/, I'd say it's not a bad idea to maintain an orthographic distinction between the two terms. "What's the s-i-n-e of negative pi?" is easier to say than "What's the sine-as-in-trigonometric-fuction-sine of negative pi?"
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Zé do Rock » 19 Nov 2018 12:52

Clio wrote:
17 Nov 2018 19:35
MoonRightRomantic wrote:
16 Nov 2018 17:38
I cannot recall any minimal pairs in English that distinguish syllabic versus non-syllabic liquids, so I doubt this will cause more confusion in comparison.
I'm aware that there are two- and three-syllable pronunciations of "interest." Does anyone distinguish in speech between the financial and emotional kinds of interest, or between the noun and verb? (Probably not.)

Also, regarding sign/syn/sine: I remember that my high-school trigonometry teacher very frequently used spelling to distinguish between "sign" (i.e., positive or negative) and "sine" (the trigonometric function). Otherwise, it would be confusing to ask what the /saɪn/ of -π is, in a way that e.g. "knight" and "night" or "aunt" and "ant" aren't so easily confused. Since a large amount of sentences are equally sensible with either meaning of /saɪn/, I'd say it's not a bad idea to maintain an orthographic distinction between the two terms. "What's the s-i-n-e of negative pi?" is easier to say than "What's the sine-as-in-trigonometric-fuction-sine of negative pi?"
EUROPAN

In inglish, as in europano portugalian, ai nepoco shwas dat is pronunsee so cuiclik o so mekli ki mi vou sei lu is a halfe silab. Eniwei in HS oni can spel interest or intrest.

Moust homofones is homografos, la cerebro imdiatli get la corecto senso du context. In tai mesag ai la vord 'that', ki can bin a demonstrativo pronom, a relativo pronom et a conjunccion. In deutsh la pronomes (et el article) is spelee 'das', la conjunccion is spelee 'dass', e wen lis ha trai reforma 'dass' to 'das', hav ai a rebelion ki nu vou ha problemas tu comprende la text. Ma mi pensa no pople ha problemas tu comprende la corecto significu de lu in inglish, meme si lus is spelee na same modo. Yu ha la vord 'kind', ki canau oso ha la significu de 'gud' in a morale sens. Oso la vord 'sign' can signifik a signal, mas oso la verbo 'signa'. O la vord 'ask', ki ha 2 traducciones in otre linguas (demanding e cuestioning). 'Way' can bi la wei mas oso la modo com oni faz alg. La vord 'since' can signifik 'od' o 'coze'. A 'sentence' can bin a gramaticale mas oso a juridico vord. 'To' can signifi direccion mas oso uzee tu form el infinitiv. E meme so, despite ta homofones dat is oso homografos, mi pensa no ki mai cerebro durou plu tempo tu comprende la mesage coze lus.



ENGLISH

In english, as in european portuguese, there are quite a few shwas that are pronounced so quickly or so weakly, i'd say it is half a syllable. Anyway in HS you can spell interest or intrest.

Most homophones are homographs, the brain immediately gets the right sense from the context. In your message there is the word 'that', which can be a demonstrative pronoun, a relative pronoun and a conjunction. In german the pronouns (and the article) are spelled 'das', the conjunction is spelled 'dass', and when they tried to reform 'dass' to 'das', there was an outcry that we'd have problems to understand the text. But i dont think anyone has problems getting the right meaning of it in english, even if they're all spelled the same way. You have the word 'kind', which could also have the sense of good in a moral sense. Also the word 'sign' can mean a board where something is written or the act of writing down the own signature. Or the word 'ask', which has 2 translations in other languages (asking a question is one verb, asking a favor is another). 'Way' can be a path, a street, but can also be the way how you do something. The word 'since' can mean the time in which something was started (I've been in Chicago since last year), but in your sentence it is a word with the same sense as 'because'. A sentence can be used for a grammatical term the way you used it, but can also be a term in law. 'To' can be a direction but can also be used to form the infinitive. And still, despite of all these homophones that are homographs too, i dont think my brain took any longer to understand the message because of them.

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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Clio » 19 Nov 2018 16:50

@Zé: I'm aware that English has homophones which are also homographs, and I agree that context usually clears up any ambiguity between two meanings (especially when the two meanings belong to different parts of speech, like your examples of "kind" and "to"). I'm saying that in the (relatively rare) case when two homophones with different spellings are used in the exact same context, literate speakers can and do use spelling for disambiguation.
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Zé do Rock » 20 Nov 2018 09:06

Clio wrote:
19 Nov 2018 16:50
@Zé: I'm aware that English has homophones which are also homographs, and I agree that context usually clears up any ambiguity between two meanings (especially when the two meanings belong to different parts of speech, like your examples of "kind" and "to"). I'm saying that in the (relatively rare) case when two homophones with different spellings are used in the exact same context, literate speakers can and do use spelling for disambiguation.
REFORMD

Yeah, sure, in sum cases it mite be handy, but as u say, thay'r rare. Kelke palavras podai haver la meme gramaticale clas, mas è raro ki homofones prezenta dificilitees meme co context, porkee asie lus etai a problema pra la comunicacion parlee. Mas la context a veses è bene "peken". Einmal hab a froind fon mir mich gefragt wo ain par froinde fon uns gegangen waren, un ich saget, si waren ins kino gegangen um den film 'the knight' zu sen. And sinse i didnt no if the frend had herd about the film, and the context was neer nuthing, i had tu say, "i meen 'knight' with k". Si lus etai omografos osie, yo havai dizee, "yo vole di la tipo co la caval".

ENGLISH

Yeah, sure, in some cases it might be handy, but as you say, they're rare. Some words might have the same grammatical class, but it is rare that homophones present difficulties even if there is a context, because then they would be a problem for spoken communication. But the context is sometimes very "small". Once a friend of mine asked what other friends of us had gone, and i said they went to wach the film 'the knight'. And since i didnt know if the friend had heard about the film, and the context was near nothing, i had to say, "i mean 'knight' with k". If they were homographs too, i'd have said, "i mean, the guy on the horse".

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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Birdlang » 20 Nov 2018 21:06

2 orthographies for General American
I like the first one the best. The second one is close though.
/m n ŋ/ m n ng/m n ŋ
/p b t d k g/ p b t d k g/p b t d k g
/ʧ ʤ/ tc dj/č ǰ
/f v θ ð s z ʃ ʒ h/ f v th dh s z c j h/f v þ ð s z š ž h
/l ɹ j (ʍ) w/ l r y q w/l r j (ŵ) w

/i u ɪ ʊ ə ɛ (ɜ) ʌ ɔ æ ɑ/ ii uu i u eu e (ue) eo o a aa/í ú i u e è (â) o ò æ a
/eɪ oʊ ɔɪ aɪ aʊ/ ee oo oi ai au/é ó oĭ aĭ aŭ

The first one can use any English keyboard. The second one would need a special one due to diacritics. I’m not thinking of using an entirely different alphabet based on it would be extremely difficult for native English-speakers who aren’t into other languages or linguistics to read Devanagari/Arabic/Greek/Cyrillic/etc.
I think the first alphabet is good, but it would need some adjusting to one-on-one phonemic spelling.
In the first, words that would be the same pronunciation but not the same word would be a little hard to differentiate but it would be clear by context.
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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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by MoonRightRomantic » 27 Nov 2018 21:11

Clio wrote:
17 Nov 2018 19:35
MoonRightRomantic wrote:
16 Nov 2018 17:38
I cannot recall any minimal pairs in English that distinguish syllabic versus non-syllabic liquids, so I doubt this will cause more confusion in comparison.
I'm aware that there are two- and three-syllable pronunciations of "interest." Does anyone distinguish in speech between the financial and emotional kinds of interest, or between the noun and verb? (Probably not.)

Also, regarding sign/syn/sine: I remember that my high-school trigonometry teacher very frequently used spelling to distinguish between "sign" (i.e., positive or negative) and "sine" (the trigonometric function). Otherwise, it would be confusing to ask what the /saɪn/ of -π is, in a way that e.g. "knight" and "night" or "aunt" and "ant" aren't so easily confused. Since a large amount of sentences are equally sensible with either meaning of /saɪn/, I'd say it's not a bad idea to maintain an orthographic distinction between the two terms. "What's the s-i-n-e of negative pi?" is easier to say than "What's the sine-as-in-trigonometric-fuction-sine of negative pi?"
That's why the Cut Spelling reform doesn't change the spelling of <sine>. The <e> at the end already indicates that the preceding <i> is pronounced as /ai/ rather than /i/.

As laid out in the book I linked to, the <y> is only substituted in situations like <igh>, <ig> and <ie> that all denote /ai/.

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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Clio » 27 Nov 2018 23:38

MoonRightRomantic wrote:
27 Nov 2018 21:11
That's why the Cut Spelling reform doesn't change the spelling of <sine>. The <e> at the end already indicates that the preceding <i> is pronounced as /ai/ rather than /i/.

As laid out in the book I linked to, the <y> is only substituted in situations like <igh>, <ig> and <ie> that all denote /ai/.
Yes, my point was that it could be useful to keep the spellings of "sign" and "sine" distinct (whether as they are or as "syn" and "sine"), which is a point in favor of Cut Spelling as opposed to certain other proposed reforms.
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Omzinesý » 28 Nov 2018 09:09

Clio wrote:
27 Nov 2018 23:38
MoonRightRomantic wrote:
27 Nov 2018 21:11
That's why the Cut Spelling reform doesn't change the spelling of <sine>. The <e> at the end already indicates that the preceding <i> is pronounced as /ai/ rather than /i/.

As laid out in the book I linked to, the <y> is only substituted in situations like <igh>, <ig> and <ie> that all denote /ai/.
Yes, my point was that it could be useful to keep the spellings of "sign" and "sine" distinct (whether as they are or as "syn" and "sine"), which is a point in favor of Cut Spelling as opposed to certain other proposed reforms.
I don't think avoiding homographs is that important. Spoken language does very well with homophones.

If they are distinguished, I would prefer diachritics <síne>, <sìne>, <sîne> etc. They are clearly something extra while the pronunciation is marked similarly.

Diachritics could even be optional. If you see distinguishing two meanings important and remember what diachronic is used for that word, you can write it. coordinate vs. coördinate Of course using them would become a socialect marker, but spelling such anyway.

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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by MoonRightRomantic » 28 Nov 2018 15:14

I doubt English speakers will accept diacritics any more than any other spelling reform. It might be easier if the diacritics don't change existing spelling, but it would still be unwieldy as English currently is, as shown by the Accented Reading Alphabet proposal.

I find all this resistance to reform very strange considering that English speakers accept the ~74 phonograms that compose modern English writing. Many of these phonograms, especially the vowels, may be read as one of multiple different phonemes depending on context. Very little of which is predictable. There are noticeable vowel and consonant mutations when you inflect certain classes of words, such as <south> and <southern> being pronounced /sauθ/ and /səðɹn/ respectively, and these mutations aren't necessarily phonemic either. Trying to reform English spelling to reflect the diaphonemes would definitely obscure the relationship between many roots and their inflected forms, similar to the problem faced by modern Celtic languages when looking up words in the dictionary although obviously far less pronounced since English rarely displays initial consonant mutations.

Speaking of diacritics, I don't understand why English speakers wouldn't accept using American Heritage Dictionary spelling either, since that accounts for all the phonemes present in Received Pronunciation, General American, and General Australian. There's only about three or four diacritics: breve to indicate "short" vowels, macron to indicate "long" vowels, circumflex to indicate rhotic vowels, and an umlaut to indicate other remnants of the Great Vowel Shift (only <ä> is used by AHD, but Logic of English proposed <ö> and <ü> to replace <o͞o> and <o͝o>; meaning that words like <to> and <too>, pronounced /tu/, would be spelled <tö> or maybe <tö> and <to͞o> respectively).

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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Zé do Rock » 28 Nov 2018 17:49

AXENTUS

In Germany thare wer sum póls that shód that mor or less 50% of the popùlation apröv of a reform, 50% dónt. But 90% didnt think the german reform was a güd wun. To aplí the reform corectly, u hav tö réd 30 pájes, but the imprövment is so litle, it is not réaly werth wíl. If u reform things péple hav dificultys with, especialy if the reform is conforming with existing speling paterns, tha'l lík it. But if u hav duzens of nu röls and péple dónt se it as a réal imprövment, or if u chánj spelings that contradict thare "speling félings", tha wónt. So it is alwàs a mater of WAT KÍND of reform is mád.

I creáted Axentus, wich wüd cuver nérly all problems except shwa (i dónt think that problem is sólvable). But wile the House Stile is a sistem that conforms with current spelling patterns, Axentus isnt, with all its axents. So i dónt think it wüd hav a chanse.

I think that the âtitùd twards reform isnt much difrent in the english spéking werld than it is in the german spéking werld, the ónly languaj ware u wónt dêfinitly fínd a majority for reform is french. In english u mít tauk tö sumwun hö ses she dusnt lík reform, but wen u say "how about geting rid of GH's?", meny wüd sa, "wel, thats sumthing difrent". Sám for cuting redundent leters. The sám in portùgès: if u propós speling U for fínal O, móst wüdnt prôbably agré, becaus éven if final O is pronounsed /u/, it is regùler, so it is not a problem. But if u propós having a single leter for the sound /s/ instêd of s, c, x, móst agré, becaus it is a problem indéd.


ENGLISH

In Germany there were some polls that showed that more or less 50% of the population approve of a reform, 50% dont. But 90% didnt think the german reform was a good one. To apply the reform correctly, you have to read 30 pages, but the improvement is so litle, it is not really worth while. If you reform things people have difficulties with, especially if the reform is conforming with existing spelling patterns, they'll like it. But if you have dozens of new rules and people dont see it as a real improvement, or if you change spellings that contradict their "spelling feelings", they wont. So it is always a matter of WHAT KIND of reform is made.

I created Axentus, which woud cover nearly all problems except shwa (i dont think that problem is solvable). But while the House Stile is a system that conforms with current spelling patterns, Axentus isnt, with all its accents. So i dont think it woud have a chance.

I think that the attitude towards reform isnt much different in the english speaking world than it is in the german speaking world, the only language where you wont definitely find a majority for reform is french. In english you mite talk to someone who says she doesnt like reform, but when you say "how about getting rid of GH's?", many would say, "well, thats something different". Same for cutting redundant letters. The same in portuguese: if you propose spelling U for fínal O, most wouldnt probably agree, because even if final O is pronounsed /u/, it is regular, so it is not a problem. But if you propose having a single letter for the sound /s/ instead of s, c, x, most agree, because it is a problem indeed.

Nortaneous
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Nortaneous » 27 Dec 2018 07:35

MoonRightRomantic wrote:
28 Nov 2018 15:14
Speaking of diacritics, I don't understand why English speakers wouldn't accept using American Heritage Dictionary spelling
- The cot-caught merger in about a third of the population
- Nonrhoticity in maybe 20%: most blacks and some whites in New England and the South
- The merger of /ur/ into /or/ in most but not all GenAm. Sorry, Wells's lexical sets are no good here, because of...
- The merger of /jur/ into either /jor/ or /jər/, where the same speaker can have different reflexes for different words - or even the same word!
- The merger of /ɒr/ into either /or/ or /ar/, which behaves the same way
- Various other mergers: pin-pen in the South, LOT-THOUGHT in New England (vs. LOT-PALM elsewhere)
- The upper Mid-Atlantic bat-bad split (which is phonemic!)

Even normative General American can contain a lot of variation. Ben Bernanke (former chairman of the Fed, from South Carolina) had to get accent training, but I bet most of that was about phonetics rather than phonology proper, and I don't think someone from New Jersey (solidly rhotic, but with different reflexes of /ɒr/ than I'm used to, and the bat-bad split) would have to - and certainly GenAm contains variance in the presence of the cot-caught merger, even though it clearly shouldn't.

The establishment of a phonemic English orthography would entail either the complete lack of orthographic standardization, which you don't think is a problem because you don't work for the government or the national media, or the phonemic standardization of English. We'd have to go through every word with EME /jur/ and /ɒr/ and establish whether Official General American should have /jor/ and /or/ or /jər/ and /ar/, and it still wouldn't be phonemic for - just between the cot-caught merger, the pin-pen merger, and nonrhoticity - over half of the country!

Admittedly, that's a one-generation problem, if you take the hit to class mobility or establish programs in every school in America to train the next generation in the One True American Dialect.

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Jackk
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Jackk » 27 Dec 2018 12:00

(tongue-in-cheek) new mandatory Standard Southern British English orthography: [:D]

/a ɛ ɪ ɔ ɜ ɵ/ <a e i o ı u>
trap dress kit lot~cloth strut~commA~lettER foot
/ɑː ɛː ɪː oː ɜː ɵː/ <ar er ir or ır ur>
palm~bath~start square near thought~north~force nurse cure
/ɑj ɛj ɪj oj/ <á é í~y ó>
price face fleece~happY choice
/aw ɜw ɵw/ <à ò ù>
mouth goat goose
/p b t d tʃ dʒ k g ʔ/ <p b t d č j c~k* g '> (*before <e i ı>)
/m n ŋ/ <m n n(g)>
/f v θ ð s z ʃ ʒ h/ <f v þ ð s~ss z~s* š ž h> (*word-finally)
/w r l j/ <w r l y>
Catching weary waterfowl on thin ice gives surly polar bears huge pleasure and ensures they enjoy good meat unharmed.
kačing wirry wortıfàl on þin ás givs sırly pòlı bers hyùj pležı and enšors ðé enjó gud mít ınharmd.

(it's absolutely terrible [:P] )
Eresse anga paris cur neduc, a san teonga.
The only thing more dangerous than doubt is certainty.

Zé do Rock
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Zé do Rock » 27 Dec 2018 12:06

REFORMEE

Pro mi parese sen senso fazer un ortografico sistema speciale pro USA o pro Nord America. Un ves en TESS noi fasou un enkest entre amigis e conecedis, e muy poco personis aprovou ortografies diferente pro standardes diferent. Also make die HS (House Stile) kein enderungen, die nit gud sein für einen der standards, was bedoitet das es rotishe dialekte representirt - nit weil wir si bessa finden, sondan weil wir es so lassen wi es is. O and AU/AW ar considerd as two difrent sounds, éven if menny americans merge them. No parkee USis è minos importante, ma solo parkee la tradicional ortografie vi lus como diferente sones. E noi screve 'your' como 'your', ya ki 'yor' serai un falso representacion du pronunciacion du genti ki di 'yur', e 'yur' serai un falso representacion du pronunciation du genti ki di 'yor'.

Trozdeem gebt es tausende wörte die a fonemish ortografie bekommen könnten.

Bi the way, wat is this bat/bad split?


ENGLISH

To me it seems quite senseless to make a special spelling system for the USA or for North America. In TESS we once made a survey among friends and acquaintances, and very few people approved of different spellings for different standards. So the HS (House Stile) doesnt make any changes that aren't good for one of the standards, which means that it represents rhotic dialects - not because we find them better, we just leave it as it is. O and AU/AW are considered as two different sounds, even if many americans merge them. Not because americans are less important, but just because traditional spelling see them as different sounds. And we spel 'your' as 'your', since 'yor' would misrepresent the pronunciation of the people who say 'yur', and 'yur' would misrepresent the pronunciation of the people who say 'yor'.

Still, there are many thousands of words that can get a phonemic spelling.

By the way, what is this bat/bad split?

Salmoneus
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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Salmoneus » 27 Dec 2018 19:56

Zé do Rock wrote:
27 Dec 2018 12:06



ENGLISH

To me it seems quite senseless to make a special spelling system for the USA or for North America. In TESS we once made a survey among friends and acquaintances, and very few people approved of different spellings for different standards. So the HS (House Stile) doesnt make any changes that aren't good for one of the standards, which means that it represents rhotic dialects - not because we find them better, we just leave it as it is. O and AU/AW are considered as two different sounds, even if many americans merge them. Not because americans are less important, but just because traditional spelling see them as different sounds. And we spel 'your' as 'your', since 'yor' would misrepresent the pronunciation of the people who say 'yur', and 'yur' would misrepresent the pronunciation of the people who say 'yor'.
I agree that this diaphonemic approach is better than a phonemic approach. But of course, diaphonemic spelling has the disadvantage of making spelling reform largely pointless, in that it takes away the main selling point of reform - making words easy to spell. Diaphonemic spelling means that speakers of many if not most dialects must memorise spellings by heart, and cannot rely on their knowledge of their own pronunciations to guide their spelling - spelling ceases to be phonemic. So, just as today most of us have to learn by heart whether to spell a word 'hoarse' or 'horse' (or for people around here maybe 'hauce' or 'hawce'), so under diaphonemic spelling huge numbers would have to learn by heart whether to spell a word 'marry', 'Mary' or 'merry', whether to spell it 'caut' or 'cot', and so on. Since this is a much bigger problem in practice than the opposite (working out how to pronounce a word from its spelling), a spelling reform that leaves this problem untouched doesn't really have any attractive features for most people.
By the way, what is this bat/bad split?
Many (most?) English dialects, including most US dialects, show phonemic splitting of the TRAP vowel, but different dialects split it differently.

Essentially, southern English (i.e. the ancestor of modern southern british as well as north american and australian) underwent two rounds of, let's say, "tensing" of TRAP vowels. In the US, tense TRAP vowels usually end up raised; in Australia, they usually end up lengthened, but a few end up backed; in England, first-wave tensing ends up as phonemic backing, but second-wave tensing ended up as subphonemic lengthening. This subphonemic lengthening was at first irregular, and different dialects have dealt with it differently - in Australia, it's led to a phonemic split (the 'bad-lad split'), in England it's been mostly but not entirely levelled in favour of the lax vowel, and in the inland north dialects of the US it's been levelled in favour of the tense vowel.

AIUI, there are at least four outcomes in the US: GA has pre-nasal tensing; NCVS has tensing everywhere; Philadelphia and some other nearby areas have pre-nasal tensing, tensing before voiceless fricatives, and tensing in the words 'bad', 'glad' and 'mad'; NY has tensing where Philadelphia does, but also tensing in most cases before any voiced stop, and sometimes before voiced fricatives. Different people and dialects may also have phonemic splits depending on original syllable or morpheme boundaries, or between content and subtance word - tense "can" (noun) vs lax "can" (modal verb) is common, for example. [a common subphonemic difference is found in the UK, similarly, between "adder" (snake) and "adder" (one who adds)]. Iirc some dialects also show tensing before velars, though that may be a different phenomenon. Oh, and most Americans also have tensing followed by backing before a rhotic.

So I assume Nort's "bat-bad split" refers to the way that some northeastern dialects have tensing (usually realised as raising) in the word 'bad' but not in the word 'bat'.

[Some north american speakers may also have a broader split developing in the words "batter" and "badder", developing out of the general allophonic lengthening before voiced consonants paired with neutralisation of voicing in intervocalic alveolar stops in the process of lenition to flaps - paralleling the ai-raising splits - and this probably for some speakers may be backformed into a bat/bad vowel split. But I don't think this is, so far, widespread.]

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Re: English Orthography Reform

Post by Xonen » 27 Dec 2018 23:17

Salmoneus wrote:
27 Dec 2018 19:56
So, just as today most of us have to learn by heart whether to spell a word 'hoarse' or 'horse' (or for people around here maybe 'hauce' or 'hawce'), so under diaphonemic spelling huge numbers would have to learn by heart whether to spell a word 'marry', 'Mary' or 'merry', whether to spell it 'caut' or 'cot', and so on. Since this is a much bigger problem in practice than the opposite (working out how to pronounce a word from its spelling), a spelling reform that leaves this problem untouched doesn't really have any attractive features for most people.
Speak for yourself, native. [¬.¬]

Also, I'm not quite convinced it wouldn't at least somewhat help native speakers as well... Most European languages are apparently easier than English for native-speaking children to learn to read; yet none, as far as I'm aware, have fully phonemic orthographies.

(Interestingly enough, that article mentions Greek as an example of an "easy" language, even though it has like a dozen spellings for /i/. Granted, it's a pretty old article, and science reporting in mainstream media always needs to be taken with a grain of salt... But I'm pretty sure I've seen this information elsewhere as well, and this was the first source for it that Google deigned to cough up for me right now.)

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