Simple alphabet, a good thing ??!!
How many of you out there are familiar with the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet)? Based on all of the Antimoon posts I've read I suspect that it's quite a lot even though I can't prove it.
If you ever have a chance to look at samples of different English dialects written in the IPA there will, of course, be slight differences in the spelling of words from one English speaking local to another... from London to Liverpool to Los Angeles to Lahore etc. but these differences are not enough to impede reading comprehension for anyone who knows the script (i.e. the IPA).
If English speakers around the world were agree on using something similar to the IPA for writing English it would work wonders. Yes, there would be the laborious task of reprinting a lot of books, documents and signs but you have to always ask yourself which is the lesser evil as you always do in life when confronted with two conflicting choices.
Well, using the IPA is unnecessary since it's PHONETIC writing, and all we need is PHONEMIC writing.
So, a *phonemic* system would have even less differences across dialects than using IPA.
But, as for what dialect I would base it upon, I would base it on a few major dialects. I don't know which ones have the most speakers, but I suspect that General American (what broadcasters use on TV) and Estuary English would be two of the most popular. Or most specifically, I would try to keep all distinctions made by a majority of speakers, and as many distinctions as possible that are kept by a significant minority of speakers.
This means that even if there are Welsh speakers who distinguish between L and LL in native English words (rather than only in Welsh loanwords), they are not a large enough group to justify imposing that distinction on everyone else.
On the other hand, a large group of people distinguish 'a' in "father" from the 'o' in "bother", which is a distinction a lot of Americans don't make. But since the group is large enough, we will keep them distinct in the new system.
So, in my system, "faaðer" and "baðer", which keeps the British vowel distinction, but also keeps the 'r', which is something a lot of Brits don't do.
Why not "boðer"? How do you intend to respell "bladder"?
In fact what we really need (as far as we could be said to need spelling reform in the first place) is morphemic spelling not phonemic or phonetic spelling.
Here's Erimir's argument against morphemic spelling. What do you think about it,
Quote-''I'm pretty sure everyone would be able to realize that:''
''néyshen & náshenel
''fowtegráf & fetagrefí''
''plíz & plézher''
''are related words. Expecially when you realize that similar vowel changes occur in many words beside nation/al and photograph/y, therefore one would be familiar with such patterns.''
''So it's slightly obscured.''
''But other words would become more similar:
''bayt and baytiŋ are more similar than bite and biting
tay and tayiŋ are more similar than tie and tying''
''Also, the things you're complaining about never caused anyone any trouble with the roots not being the same in the words "ordain" and "ordin-ation", "abound" and "abund-ant", "fool" and "folly", "receive" and "reception", etc. Did you ever get confused because you couldn't tell that "deceive" and "deception" were related? Probably not. Just as I imagine you would be rather unfazed by "neyshen"/"nashenel".''
Jim, how about this,
What do you think about that?
Not literally spelled with all that number junk but I'm sure you know what I was trying to type.
Erimir, also wants to respell ''wh'' words as ''hw''. I gave the objection that some use a voiceless ''w'' in ''wh'' words and here is Erimir's argument for using ''hw''.
Quote-''I know that it's a voiceless 'w'. I probably know a lot more linguistics than you. However, 'hw' approximates the sound better than "wh", and it also avoids ambiguity with words like "blowhard" and "nowhere", since when it's spelled "hw" you wouldn't accidentally pronounce it as "blo-whard" or "now-héyr".''
What do you think about that argument?
Quote-''But, as for what dialect I would base it upon, I would base it on a few major dialects. I don't know which ones have the most speakers, but I suspect that General American (what broadcasters use on TV) and Estuary English would be two of the most popular. Or most specifically, I would try to keep all distinctions made by a majority of speakers, and as many distinctions as possible that are kept by a significant minority of speakers.''
''This means that even if there are Welsh speakers who distinguish between L and LL in native English words (rather than only in Welsh loanwords), they are not a large enough group to justify imposing that distinction on everyone else.''
Erimir, That's a really bad idea. That's one of the reasons why I think spelling reform is such a bad idea. I make the distinction between ''l'' and the Welsh ''ll'' sound. For me ''lock'' (the noun) and ''lock'' (the verb) form a minimal pair and so do ''law'' and ''llaw''.
A decent spelling reform should shew all of the distinctions made in all of the dialects not just those made by a few dialects.
Either a spelling reform should include all of the phonemic distinctions made in all accents or it should be unfair to all accents or it shouldn't happen at all.
One of my least favourite spelling reform systems is Truespel. It totally ignores my Scottish accent.
I asked what YOU thought of the argument. Not for you to repeat it and ask what others think of it.
As for "law" and "llaw"...
So you're saying if a spelling reform doesn't show that distinction, you wouldn't want it. Therefore, you would rather stay with the current spelling system which doesn't show that distinction either, but also has tons of silent letters and inconsistent use of almost every spelling pattern.
Yeah, THAT makes sense.
Could you explain to me how it would hurt Welsh English speakers to have to *continue* to spell "lock" and "llock" the same, and how it for someone reason doesn't hurt you to have to remember bunches of silent letters and archaic spelling rules?
I'm still not seeing it. With regards to "lock" and "llock", it's no worse than the current system.
With regards to bad offenders, words like knight, bough, drought, knee, daughter, chauffeur, accommodate, autumn, their/they're/there, bourgeoise, faux pas, friend, people, quay, debris, feud, buoy, chaos, debt, doubt, receipt, meringue, sceptic, xylophone, Wednesday, come, weird, thief, yacht, blancmange, coxswain, diarrhoea, facetious, lacquer, liquour, yeoman, heifer, schizophrenia, cognac, dachshund, fuchsia, salmon, colonel, foreign, pneumonia, business, awry, myrrh, Czech, laissez-faire, rendezvous, and numerous other words... I'm pretty sure that a respelling would help no matter what the specifics of your pronunciation are, since these spellings are so far off from the pronunciation.
Note that it is people who are just learning to read who have the most benefit.
You'd rather continue to spell all those irregular words that way then simply *continue* to spell "L" and "LL" the same in words of English origin? Words of Welsh origin, esp. those used mostly in Wales can retain the "LL" as far as I'm concerned.
I said it would include all distinctions that large groups of people make. But a large group would have to be AT THE LEAST, 5-10% of all native English speakers. I don't know exactly what criteria I'd want to use, but a distinction made by a couple million people in Wales is not large enough to be represented.
It would be slightly unfair to all speakers, since as I've mentioned before, British speakers (Southern England) would have to write all the 'r's, since there are a sizeable number of people who pronounce almost all their 'r's, but at the same time, Americans would have to write 't's where they pronounce a flap (most Americans pronounce ladder/latter the same), and so forth.
But not to be mean to the Welsh, it just isn't practical to impose the L/LL distinction on the 99% of speakers who don't make it. By comparison, MOST Americans and Canadians use the flap pronunciation in words like "latter" and therefore don't distinguish latter/ladder. That's around 75% of speakers, since the pop. of both countries = ~325 million and total native Eng. speakers = ~400 million. But most of the other 25% of English speakers elsewhere distinguish between latter/ladder, so therefore the spelling system would keep that distinction.
I'm not familiar with the Scottish accent, in the sense that it's fairly Standard English with a Scottish accent, rather than fullblown Scots/Lallans.
As far as I'm concerned, Lallans can be considered a separate language if enough Scots think it is. I personally can only partially make out what the full lyrics of Auld Lang Syne mean (and I only make out a lot of it partly because some of the meanings are given to me, e.g. auld lang syne=old time since), and I imagine I'd have a much harder time if I heard them spoken in Lallans.
I know they flap their 'r's, and are more likely to pronounce IPA 'x' in "loch".
Note that there's room in my particular system to represent the sound of "loch" since I have an extra letter: q (which has the benefit of currently representing a sound articulated in the same place). So, if you want, you could spell "loch" as "loq".
Quote-''I know they flap their 'r's, and are more likely to pronounce IPA 'x' in "loch".''
Erimir, In my Scottish accent (and in the Scouse accent as well) there's a distinction between the ''c'' in ''cabinet'', ''cactus'', ''cat'', ''card'', ''cord'' etc. and the ''ch'' in ''loch'', ''Richter'', ''chord'', ''chrone'', ''technology'', ''chlorine'',
''school'', ''chemical'', ''chemistry'', ''machanic'', ''echo'', ''psycho'' etc. We pronounce the ''ch'' in ''loch'', ''Richter'', ''chord'', ''chrone'', ''technology'', ''chlorine'',
''school'', ''scholar'' , ''chemical'', ''chemistry'', ''machanic'', ''echo'',
''psycho'' etc. with the IPA [x]. This distinction should be shewn in a decent phonemic spelling reform system.
''Could you explain to me how it would hurt Welsh English speakers to have to *continue* to spell "lock" and "llock" the same, and how it for someone reason doesn't hurt you to have to remember bunches of silent letters and archaic spelling rules?''
A spelling reform system that continues to spell ''lock'' and ''llock'' the same because they're already spelt the same should also continue to spell ''close'' (close the ''door'') and ''close'' (close to the door), ''sewer'' (some one that sews) and ''sewer'' (something that collects sewage), ''bow'' (bow and arrow) and ''bow'' (the president's bow) the same.
I don't think you are understnad what he's saying at all.
He's trying to make pronunciation universal. As in we should all say the same sound for the noun "lock" when we mean the noun "lock". Just because a couple million welsh people say a different sound for "lock" does not mean they are referring to a different thing.
"close the door" and "close to the door" is different than what he is arguing. The first "close" is a verb. The second "close" is an adjective. They are two different words. He is instead arguing that we should say the same word the same way - or at least spell it the same AND have look phonetically correct.
When I say "lock" and a welsh person says "llock" we are refering to the SAME thing.
Therefore, your whole argument is senseless. You're comparing apples to oranges. The two "closes" "sewers" and "bows" are all words that are spelled and pronounced the same, but have multiple meanings. "Lock" and "llock" are the same word with ONE meaning.