Discussion:
Complete overhaul vs. Minimal respell reforms
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Steve
2007-01-25 00:38:59 UTC
Permalink
A complete overhaul of English spelling is probably both mechanically
and socially impossible, but that's no reason to give up trying to at
least improve it.

There is a complete overhaul. It is found in the dictionary
pronunciation guide spelling.
There are about 50 different phonemic codes used in published
dictionaries and another 200 or so that have never been used in a
publication.

The problem with most of the published dictionary codes is that they
cannot be easily typed. They often use special characters or accents
that are not part of the ANSI character set.

Discussion groups such as saundspel
(http:/groups.yahoo.com/group/saundspel) include various transcription
challenges that alphabeteers can participate in. There are about 50
active schemes on saundspel. If you want your efforts criticized,
saundspel is a good place to post them. The scheme below is not unlike
some of those posted on saundspel.

It looks like an ae ee ie oe ue scheme with no consistent schwa or
schwi.

----
fone'tik; ie tend too agree' with ue on moest ov uer points.
iz it reelee impo'sibel too doo a komplee't oeverhahl ov english
speling?
----
www.m-w.com would have:
I tend tü &grE with U on mOst &v yur points. iz it rE&lE im'päs&b&l
tü dü a k&mplEt Ov&rhaul?

a closely related ANSI scheme would be. schaw = à è ì ò ù or ø
long v: á é í ó ú

Í tend tu àgré with ú on móst òv yur points. Iz it réàly
im'päsìbl tu du à kòmplét óvèrhaul?
Rules could be added to reduce the number of accents. e.g. terminal
vowels are always free v.

Members of the spelling society (www.spellingsociety.org) tend to
support minimal change systems. Their goal is to get from the present
7% phonemic writing system to a 50% phonemic one. They have achieved
this with a couple of their quasi-schemes.

HS: House Stile (There is a HS converter at www.saaspel.com)
I tend to agree with u on most of your points.
Is it realy impossible to do a compleet overhaul?

3 words are regularized: u realy compleet (the spellings reelee or
reely were rejected)
5 Left unregularized: most your to do a endings: le, y, (unstressed
syllables rarely respelled)
The remaining words are phonemically spelled according to HS rules:

*most would be pronounced /maast/. *your is not pronounced the same in
all dialects otherwise yor or yur would be the spelling.

Advantages of HS:
1. Most of the superfluous letters are removed.

2. The most common or most frequent spelling patterns are endorsed.
Magic e spelling is endorsed for three long vowels: bake, bike,
broke
here and other spellings of /i:/ are respelled: e.g., heer, deer,
feer, ...

3. No conflict between dialects because if the word has more than one
pronunciations it is not respelled. Thus HS spelling can never be any
worse than TS (traditional spelling)

The changes in pronunciation between generations is no greater than the
differences in pronunciation between regions. You can compare the
earliest dictionaries with pronunciation guides from 1780 to present
day dictionaries.

--Steve

______
It's true that pronunciation is always changing, but
it doesn't change so quickly that the spellings can't eventually catch
up. It's also true that pronunciations differ from place to place, but
we live with different US/UK spellings now; there's no reason we can't
have "labratory" in the US and "laboratry" in the UK. That would make
more sense than "color" and "colour."

fone'tik:

ie tend too agree' with ue on moest ov uer points. iz it reelee
impo'sibel too doo a komplee't oeverhahl ov english speling? thats
aktue-alee ahlmoest wuhts needed too bring it intoo a truelee lojikal
sistem. nou, iem juhst a laeperson and not ejuemakaeted in ahl the inz

and outs ov lingwi'stiks, but ie did test with an abuh'v averej iq and
ie think ie kan think at leest az lojiklee iz the nekst person. wie
shud wee hav too put uhp with silee thingz liek the sielent "h" in
"why"(ts) foer instans? wie izent it posibel and uhnderstu'd az
dezierabel too oeverhahl spelingz that maek noe sens? ie kan think ov
lots ov reezonz wie it wud bee difikult too maek a maejer revizhen in
our spelingz, buht konsi'dering hou difikult the kerent staet ov afaerz

maeks it on peepel hoo ahr lerning too spel oer hav difikuhltee speling

the long term benefits miet juhst maek the paen ov revizhen
juhstifie'ebel.
g***@mosquitoe.net
2007-01-25 01:38:42 UTC
Permalink
wie shud wee hav too put uhp with silee thingz liek the sielent "h" in
"why"(ts) foer instans? wie ...
What happened with 'what', 'where', 'which', and 'why' (inter alia) is that the initial hw came to be spelled wh.

To this day, many people pronounce 'why' >hwie<; whereas 'wye' (e.g., the letter after X) does not have the initial aspirant.
Likewise, 'which' >hwitch< is not a true homonym for witch; 'where' >hwaer< is not a true homophone for 'wear' >waer<.

The widespread use of SMS and instant messengers guarantees certain spelling reforms like 'ur' for 'your' will be understood.
Any use of accents will be next to impossible. Typing must be as simplified as possible.
Anything that uses accents isn't going to work out.

How often do you see 'résumé' spelled correctly in English? Most English spellcheckers don't even recognize it!
Most people just type 'resume' which is an entirely different word.

Look at the trends in other languages that "rely" on accents.
Many e-mails and most chat messages are composed without accents and often without capitalizations.
It is pointless to reform English spelling to use more accents in the face of the clear trend toward diminishing use of accents in most languages.
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