Simple alphabet, a good thing ??!!
This thread was started before. I thought I'd revive it. It seems that having are 26 letter alphabet is a good thing because it's fair to all dialects because if we extended the alphabet it wouldn't be fair to all dialects.
There are over 18 different ways that ''caramel'' is pronounced by different native speakers. If we were going to have a phonemically accurate orthography we'd have to have over 18 different spellings for that one word.
English could use an updated, totally phonetic alphabet regardless of regional and class differences in pronunciation. The problem you have with a writing system that doesn't reflect the spoken language is that you will eventually arrive at an ideographic system of writing much like Chinese.
>>The problem you have with a writing system that doesn't reflect the spoken language is that you will eventually arrive at an ideographic system of writing much like Chinese.<<
Well, I think English spelling already IS like Chinese in some way now. I mean, you almost have to learn each word separately without too much generalising as to the spelling of similar-sounding words, else you may be in for a bad surprise. But talking about spelling reform: how on earth will you get speakers of a language spoken on five continents (the Americas taken as one) and with the most prestigious status in the world to change their spelling? That would have been realistic before the rise of the British Empire, but no longer.
As I've mentioned on another thread spelling reform is a bad idea for many reasons, here are some of them,
1. It would look really alien and strange.
2. Old books would have to be rewritten to match new spelling.
3.The relationship between words like please/pleasure, nation/national, nature/natural, christian/christianity etc. would be less obvious in a strictly phonemic system.
4.We don't all pronounce certain words the same way.
How can you accommodate different dialects when there's so much variation out there? Here are some of the problems with accommodating different dialects,
1.There are over 18 different pronunciations of ''caramel'' made by Native speakers therefore to represent each dialect phonemically accurately we'd have to have over 18 different spellings for that word.
2.We don't all pronounce certain words the same way.
3.Not all accents make the same phonemic distinctions or have the same phonemes. There are some phonemic distinctions that exist in some accents but not others.
For instance, in the accent of East Anglia (northeast of London), pairs such as moan/mown, sole/soul, nose/knows, doe/dough, no/know, throne/thrown, throe/throw and toe/tow are not pronounced as homophones, as they are in other accents. Instead, they constitute minimal pairs, the contrast being that the first member of each pair is pronounced with a [O] vowel, while the second has [Ou] (Wells 1982 : 337). East Anglian English thus has one more phoneme than RP, etc, in this respect. Do you show a distinction between those two phonemes in your spelling system?
Another example is word pairs like Mary/marry/merry, fairy/ferry, hairy/Harry, carry/Kerry, Barry/berry etc. In my American accent there's no distinction between those words and they're homonyms but in some accents there's a distinction and for them Mary/marry/merry are all distinct.
A British spelling reformer once proposed that ''thought'' should be respelled ''thort''. That spelling would work for that spelling reformer's accent but would look insane for my accent and much worse than the originally spelling.
Here's some other examples of such phonemic distinctions made by some Native speakers but not by others,
can (able to), can (the metal container)
lead (the metal), led
read (past tense of read), red
bleu (cheese), blew
tire, tower, tar
It doesn't end there. For some people ''singer'' and ''finger'' rhyme, for some they don't. For some people ''hurry'' and ''furry'' rhyme, for some they don't. For some people ''owl'' and ''towel'' rhyme, for some they don't. For some people ''dial'' and ''tile'' rhyme, for some they don't.
Other examples of words that rhyme for some but not for others,
For some the ''qu'' sound in ''quick'', and the ''kw'' sound in ''Kwanzaa'' are the same, for some they're different. For some the ''q'' sound in ''Qatar'', and the ''c'' sound in ''cat'' are the same, for some they're different. For some, the ''ai'' sound in ''aisle'' and the ''ei'' sound in ''einstein'' are the same, for others they're different. For some the ''e'' sound in ''re'', and the ''a'' sound in ''name'' are the same, for some they're different.
the ''ou'' in ''thou'' and the ''au'' in ''Krakatau''.
The ''ae'' in ''Gaelic'' and the ''a'' in ''name''.
The ''gh'' in ''laugh'' and the ''f'' in ''if''.
the ''x'' in ''example'' and the ''gs'' in ''dogs''.
The ''a'' in ''bath'' vs. the ''a'' in ''father'' vs. the ''a'' in ''cat''.
The ''x'' in ''xylophone'' and the ''z'' in ''zoo''.
the ''ae'' in ''faeces'' and the ''e'' in ''meter''.
The ''oe'' in ''foetus'' vs. the ''ae'' in ''faeces'' vs. the ''e'' in ''meter''.
The ''o'' in ''cloth'' vs. the ''o'' in ''cot'' vs. the ''au'' in ''caught''.
The ''ch'' in ''chef'' vs. the ''sh'' in ''shine''.
The ''a'' in ''father'' vs. the ''aa'' in ''Saab''.
The ''sch'' in ''schmuck'' vs. the ''ch'' in ''chef'' vs. the ''sh'' in ''shine''.
The ''th'' in ''Thompson'' vs. the ''t'' in ''time''.
The ''ps'' in ''psycho'' vs. the ''s'' in ''sun''.
The ''ll'' in ''Llwyd'' vs. the ''l'' in ''light''.
The ''oo'' in ''book'' vs. the ''oo'' in ''good''.
The ''m'' in ''prism'' vs. the ''om'' in ''blossom''.
There are problems with individual words too. ''often'' can be pronounced with the ''t'' or without. ''route'' can rhyme with ''boot'' or ''spout''. ''herb'' can be pronounced with the ''h'' or without. ''because'' can rhyme with either ''buzz'' or ''pause''. ''literature'' can be pronounce many different ways. ''clothes'' can be pronounced with the ''th'' or without.
I pronounce ''want'' to rhyme with ''hunt'' but some others say ''wahnt'', ''wawnt'' or ''wont''.
They're are over 18 different pronunciations of ''caramel''.
I hate spelling reform. It's very unnecessary. Why do we need spelling reform. Traditional orthography best represents all dialects of English. Also, if we had a spelling reform all of the old books would have to be rewritten.
Also, hoo wuud wunt u straenj luuking orthogrufee eneewae? Ie shur wuudunt wunt too see such u straenj thing. Wie wuud ue wunt too see sumthing straenj such az xis. In wee reeformd xu Ingglish langgwij it wuud luuk reelee straenj indeed. Ol uv xu oeld buuks wuud haftoo bee reeritun.
Spelling reform is nonsense.
I say it again, keep spelling the way it is. KEEP SPELLING THE WAY IT IS!!!!!!! I hate spelling reform. Truespel is one of the worst examples of a spelling reform system. Truespel won't work for RP, Estuary English, Scouse, Australian accents and as for Scots and Scottish accents, forget it.
Keep spelling the way it is.
Quit f**king repeating that same dumb post over and over and address my arguments.
Or admit that you simply have no rational arguments but your childlike attachment to an illogical system.
Also, don't be fooled by that deceptive list. That list repeats some distinctions (wh/w and r-dropping only need to be covered once each) and includes foreign pronunciations as if they were part of English, such as Q of Qatar and LL of Llwyd, which are Arabic and Welsh pronunciations, respectively.
''Also, don't be fooled by that deceptive list. That list repeats some distinctions (wh/w and r-dropping only need to be covered once each) and includes foreign pronunciations as if they were part of English, such as Q of Qatar and LL of Llwyd, which are Arabic and Welsh pronunciations, respectively.''
The Welsh ''ll'' sound exists in Welsh English dialects as well, so it is part of some English dialects.
Why is my list deceptive and where does it repeat some distinctions?
I don't like the idea of respelling ''wh'' as ''hw''. Not everyone that makes the wh/w distinction says ''hw''. Some say a voiceless ''w'' sound so keeping the diagraph ''wh'' would be much better than using ''hw''.
I hate spelling reform. It would cost too much and all of the old books would have to be rewritten.
Ie haet speling reeform. It wuud kost too much and ol uv xu oeld buuks wuud hafto bee reritun.
Another problem with spelling reform is that some words can sound differently depending on where they are in the sentence.
I have two dollars. Ie hav too dolurz.
I have to have two dollars. I haftoo hav too dolurz
I should have had two dollars. I shuuduv had too dolurz.
That's not a problem, because each word has a single spelling, regardless of where it is in the sentence. Except for "a" and "an" which already have separate spellings.
But your last example... you mean as opposed to:
"I should have had two dollars." -and- "I should've had two dollars."?
Oh wait, you forgot that we already write the equivalent of that in our current system! Oops.
Other than some standard contractions, we don't need to represent running speech, since as long as you know how to spell the word in isolation, you can spell it in the system. Therefore it'll be "supowzd tú" rather than "supowste" for "supposed to", unless, for example, you're writing dialog and you want to make it seem more informal, or more like a dialect (as when in current writing we might write "s'pose").
We don't write spell differently for running speech now (with the exception of some contractions), why do you assume we would in spelling reform? That's one of the silliest objections yet. Not as silly as "It would look weird!", but close.
Are these people also Welsh speakers, or monolingual English speakers from Wales? Why do we NEED to keep the distinction, especially considering that current spelling makes the disinction basically nowhere except in Welsh personal and place names? Will Welsh English speakers be all of a sudden confused by the fact that "LL" is *gasp* still not represented in English orthography?
Can you give me an example of an *ENGLISH derived word*, rather than a *WELSH personal/place name* where a Welsh English speaker makes a distinction between the "LL" and "L"? In other words, can you provide me with a minimal pair? Or do they only pronounce it in words of Welsh origin?
You have "whether" and "weather", "where" and "wear", which is a single distinction that needs no repeating. Same thing for "father" and "farther", "caught" and "court", which are both r-dropping. It might be r-dropping in combination with a vowel change, but you need only mention r-dropping and the vowel change, the combination of the two does not need a separate item.
keep spelling the way it is,
I think you have a little too much time on your hands. Why don't you try taking up a few hobbies that will help get the blood pressure down. May I suggest model making, or maybe you could try tai chi?
On second thought, my last post goes for you too.
''You have "whether" and "weather", "where" and "wear", which is a single distinction that needs no repeating.''
But there different words though. Here are some others,
Come on guys, take a break, for you own sakes, if no one else's. No one needs to blow a gasket here. Take some deep breaths, then step away from the computer. You'll both feel much better, trust me.
Erimir, I was wondering what r-dropping is. I am researching several things for an English project of mine and was curious on the subject.
R-dropping is something that occurs in some dialects of English. Southern England, Australian, New Zealand, Boston etc. are examples. In those accents ''car'' sounds like ''cah'', ''park'' sounds like ''pahk'', ''barber'' sounds like ''bahbuh'' etc.
Oh, that would explain why I wouldn't know what that is. I say car as car and park as park. I don't drop my r's and consider myself to not fit into in specific English dialect. I have moved around the U.S. for the majority of my childhood and have never stayed in any place long enough to develop a singular accent.
I respect your desire for a simple alphabet I'm curious as to which English dialect it would be based off. A more southern, northern, or western pronounciation?