Modified Latin Alphabet for the Persian Language

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Modified Latin Alphabet for the Persian Language

Postby Elsmere » Fri 26 Apr 2013 3:14 am

(Second attempt at posting: first time was erased when the site logged me out … still pretty angry.)

Due to the ambiguity of the Arabic abjad (among other problems), I feel that the official script of the Persian language should be switched over to Latin. The Latin alphabet serves Persian quite well, as Persian phonology is very Indo-European and evolved so. In addition, Persian is actually related to Latin, whereas it shares no such relation with Arabic—a Semitic language. A few proposed romanizations already exist—the most popular being UniPers, and also the one I drew the most inspiration from. Without further ado, I present the most recent draft of the new Persian alphabet for Iranian, Afghan, and Tajik dialects. Feedback is greatly appreciated.

Alphabet

1. Aa [æ]: as [æ] is more common than [ɒː]—as well as being closer to the central [a] sound (or something similar) commonly associated with the letter A—it clearly deserved the A without a diacritic.

2. Åå [ɒː], [ɔː], [ɔ]: With A being reserved for the near-open front unrounded vowel, I went fishing for diacritics for the second vowel. UniPers uses Â, but there is no strong reason behind this use, so I eliminated it because it did not interact well with the other diacritic in the alphabet—the caron (âš, Šâh, žâkat). Almost ready to give up, I finally found the perfect fit—the Scandinavian Å. Not only does it represent a similar sound ([ɔ]), but it is aesthetically appealing and interacts well with the other characters of the alphabet, unlike the circumflex. I understand that some languages use O for this vowel, but an O with diacritic would be inappropriate for Persian as the sound did not originate from an [o] sound.

3. Bb [b]

4. Cc [tʃ]: as C served really no other purpose in the alphabet, it was best devoted to the voiceless palato-alveolar affricate, as in Italian.

5. Dd [d]

6. Ee [e], [eː]

7. Ff [f]

8. Gg [g]

9. Ǧǧ [ɣ], [ʁ]: since Ƣ isn’t well supported and breves are ugly, I chose G with caron, staying consistent with the other two letters that have carons.

10. Hh [h]

11. Ii [iː]

12. Jj [dʒ]: following English’s example on representing this affricate, as the sound has common Indo-European roots in the two languages.

13. Kk [k]

14. Ll [l]

15. Mm [m]

16. Nn [n]

17. Oo [o]

18. Pp [p]

19. Qq [q], [ɢ]: following mainly IPA on this one.

20. Rr [r], [ɾ]

21. Ss [s]

22. Šš [ʃ]: following Slavic languages.

23. Tt [t]

24. Uu [uː]

25. Ɵɵ [ɵ], [ɵː]: mainly in Tajik; couldn’t think of what else to represent this vowel so I used the most appropriate fit—the barred O, as it is used in IPA.

26. Vv [v]

27. Ww [w]

28. Xx [x]

30. Yy [j]

31. Zz [z]

32. Žž [ʒ]: again, following Slavic languages.

33. ’ [ʔ]: apostrophe—preferably typographically correct—for glottal stops only found in some Arabic loanwords.

Dipthongs and Allophones

1. ay [æj]

2. åy [ɒːj]

3. ey [ej], [eːj]

4. oy [oj]

5. uy [uːj]

6. ow [ow]

7. aw [aw]

8. ng [ŋ]
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Re: Modified Latin Alphabet for the Persian Language

Postby linguoboy » Fri 26 Apr 2013 5:23 pm

It seems odd to me to use ž for /ʒ/ but j for /ʤ/. would be both more consistent and less ambiguous. (The part about /ʤ/ having "common Indo-European roots" in English and Persian is a complete non sequitur, as is the part about the relationship between Indo-European and the Latin alphabet given that both the Latin alphabet and the Arabic abjad are ultimately adapted from the Phoenician abjad.)

Aren't [q], [ɢ], [ɣ], and [ʁ] all allophones of the same phoneme? What's the rationale of having two separate symbols?
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Re: Modified Latin Alphabet for the Persian Language

Postby Elsmere » Sat 27 Apr 2013 1:16 am

I only gave two of the Persian affricates their own letter because they each evolved from a single consonants whereas if they were simply positional they would be written out with their separate sounds (so Dž and not J). This is also why [tʃ] is represented by C and not Tš.

[dʒ] evolved similarly in both English and Persian, and English represents the sound with a J, so I opted for the same letter in Persian. Look at a cognate that they share: “juvenile” in English and “javån” in Persian—same [dʒ] sound and similar meaning. This shows that the sounds evolved similarly and so warrant their own letter. It is relevant to the matter at hand as it justifies the decision to implement J for the voiced palato-alveolar affricate.

If one really wanted to, they could trace back the scripts to a common source, but that doesn’t mean their functionality is the same. The Arabic abjad was specifically designed for Arabic (Semitic) phonology and the Latin alphabet was designed for Latin (Indo-European) phonology. Persian phonology more closely represents Indo-European phonology rather than Semitic. This only enforces the rationale for using the Latin alphabet in the first place—fully relevant to the topic being discussed.

[q], [ɢ], [ɣ], and [ʁ] were not all originally allophones of the same phoneme. Historically, [q] has been one phoneme and [ɣ]/[ʁ] allophones of another. In the Iranian dialect, most likely under Azerbaijani and Turkmen influences, [ɣ]/[ʁ] merged with [q] in many words to form [ɢ]. However, the distinction is still clear in some words as well as in Afghan and Tajik dialects, which was I felt it necessary to preserve the distinction.
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Re: Modified Latin Alphabet for the Persian Language

Postby linguoboy » Mon 06 May 2013 5:44 pm

Elsmere wrote:[dʒ] evolved similarly in both English and Persian, and English represents the sound with a J, so I opted for the same letter in Persian. Look at a cognate that they share: “juvenile” in English and “javån” in Persian—same [dʒ] sound and similar meaning.

Juvenile is a borrowing of Latin iuvenilis, not a native English word. The English cognate of javân is young.

Elsmere wrote:If one really wanted to, they could trace back the scripts to a common source, but that doesn’t mean their functionality is the same. The Arabic abjad was specifically designed for Arabic (Semitic) phonology and the Latin alphabet was designed for Latin (Indo-European) phonology.

Not really; the Latins just borrowed the Etruscan alphabet, which was a version of a Semitic alphabet which had been adapted to write Greek. That's why it has such peculiarities as three different symbols (C, K, Q) to represent the phoneme /k/.
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Re: Modified Latin Alphabet for the Persian Language

Postby Reza » Mon 06 May 2013 6:37 pm

It's good somehow but Persians use pinglish its persian-english! mostly in sms or emails and chat and every where we can't type persian :
a for both â and a = like cat , talk آ الف
b ب
p پ
t ت ط
s س ث ص
j for jam ج
ch چ
h ح هـ
kh خ
d د
z ز ذ ظ ض
r ر
zh ژ
sh ش
' for ʔ glottal ع
gh glottal غ
f ف
q ق
k ک
g گ
L ل
m م
n ن
v و
y for start a word like yek(one) ی
i for middle i like fil(elephant) ی
e بِ
o بً

but i should say that latin alphabet is NOT suited to use for persian because persian uses very simple vowels which in latin there are one letter for them,persian uses some letters which there isn't any compatible in latin.
and the big reason : persian uses many loan words from arabic which has been persianized!
for separating and understanding these words it should be written in it;s own form.these persianized arabic words are not useful in arabic! I arabic speakers don't use these words as persians use them, for example a word like motalebat( مطالبات) persians pronounce the ط as t not as arabs. but if you write it in other forms and if someone see this word for the first time won't understand it but with the correct dictation reader will understand that this word comes from طلب and it may mean "demands".
this structure is very useful in persian and you can't simply change it.
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Re: Modified Latin Alphabet for the Persian Language

Postby telal » Sat 11 May 2013 9:35 pm

linguoboy wrote:It seems odd to me to use ž for /ʒ/ but j for /ʤ/. would be both more consistent and less ambiguous. (The part about /ʤ/ having "common Indo-European roots" in English and Persian is a complete non sequitur, as is the part about the relationship between Indo-European and the Latin alphabet given that both the Latin alphabet and the Arabic abjad are ultimately adapted from the Phoenician abjad.)

Aren't [q], [ɢ], [ɣ], and [ʁ] all allophones of the same phoneme? What's the rationale of having two separate symbols?


well said...i agree completely w/ this post
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Re: Modified Latin Alphabet for the Persian Language

Postby Elsmere » Sun 26 May 2013 7:53 pm

The Perso-Arabic abjad already gives the affricates their own letters; do you believe that this system is wrong?

As for Persian vowels’ incompatibility with the Latin alphabet, what vowels are you referring to? I have all seven listed here and they all have their own letter.

If Persian was a language based off of Arabic, then maybe I would consider adapting the Arabic writing system, but Arabic simply has a lexical influence influence on the Persian language, which does not warrant using their writing system.

I am already considering making a few changes with the alphabet, especially in regards to the affricates.
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