A simplified alphabet for Enlgish

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A simplified alphabet for Enlgish

Postby choc_pud » Fri 14 Dec 2012 11:12 am

If you were to try shortening the English-Latin alphabet to as fewer letters as possible, how many d'you think one would need; if you can have a few digraphs, and maybe two or three diacritical-marks? I made it twenty-three, with two vowels with diacritics and eleven digraphs.

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Re: A simplified alphabet for Enlgish

Postby linguoboy » Fri 14 Dec 2012 5:06 pm

Just make all vowels into diacritics, as they are in many other scripts. Right there, you're already down to just 21 letters.
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Re: A simplified alphabet for Enlgish

Postby Anoran » Sat 15 Dec 2012 7:31 am

Turn voiced/unvoiced differentiation into a diacritic and you reduce the alphabet further.

The following letters can also be removed:
C - This letter can be replaced with K or S.
Q - This can be replaced with K or KW.
X - This can be replaced with SK or KS.

This brings us down to 13 letters and six diacritics.

Technically though I think turning the vowels into diacritics would make this alphabet an abugida.
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Re: A simplified alphabet for Enlgish

Postby shenafu » Sun 23 Dec 2012 7:49 am

I can reduce consonants to 10 and vowels to 4, with 2 diacritics marks and 2 digraphs..

These consonants maintain the same sounds: M, N, F, H, L, W, Y, S.

Some letters remain but represent different sounds:
G = ng
X = sh

Many consonants are removed, including B, C, D, J, K, P, Q, R, T, V, Z. Some of these are represented by a diacritic tacked onto another letter. For lack of proper graphs, assume that 'c' and 'k' after a letter represent different diacritics. Thus
B = Mk
P = Mc
D = Nk
T = Nc
G = Gk (G now sounds like 'ng' , see above)
K = Gc
R = Lc
V = Fc
zh (as in vision) = Xc
ch (as in church) = NX (digraph)
J = NXc (digraph)

The four vowels that remain are A, I, O, U. With two diacritics each, each letter can represent up to three sounds. Altogether, that covers the 12 basic vowel sounds in English (for certain dialects.)
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Re: A simplified alphabet for Enlgish

Postby choc_pud » Sun 23 Dec 2012 8:16 pm

Would you care to write a few sentences in your spelling system? It looks... interesting!

Here is a new one of mine, which has a seperate letter for every phoneme (including three diacritics). One may view some of the choices I have used as being odd, but I have tried to make sure that it won't look too uncouth!
IPA: Grapheme:
/æ/ Aa
/a/ Āā
/aı/ Àà
/aʊ/ Ââ
/b/ Bb
/tʃ/ Qq
/dʒ/ Jj
/d/ Dd
/ð/ Ðð
/ɛ/ Ee
/ɛː/ Ēē
/eı/ Èè
/əʊ/ Êê
/f/ Ff
/g/ Gg
/h/ Hh
/ı/ Iı
/ıː/ Īī
/iː/ Ìì
/j/ Yy
/k/ Kk
/x/ Ȝȝ
/l/, /ɬ/ Ll
/m/ Mm
/n/ Nn
/ŋ/ Ŋŋ
/ɒ/ Oo
/ɔː/ Ōō
/ɔı/ Òò
/p/ Pp
/r/, /ɹ/ Rr
/s/ Cc
/ʃ/ Xx
/t/ Tt
/θ/ Þþ
/ə/, /ʌ/ Uu
/ɜː/ Ūū
/ʊ/ Ùù
/uː/ Ûû
/v/ Vv
/w/, /ʍ/ Ww
/z/ Ss
/ʒ/ Ʒʒ
/ts/ Zz

The similarity bewtwixt Ȝ and Ʒ won't cause any difficulties, as the /x/ phoneme appears in so few words, and /lɒʒ/ is not a word, whereas /lɒx/ is.

Ðu cimilaritī bitwikct Ȝ and Ʒ wênt kōs enī difikùltis, as ðu /x/ fênìm apīs in cê fyû wūds, and /lɒʒ/ is not a wūd, wēas /lɒx/ is.

That's not too bad, is it? And it saves space (Ðat's not tû bad, is it? And it cèvs cpèc).

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Re: A simplified alphabet for Enlgish

Postby telal » Tue 01 Jan 2013 11:39 pm

i happen to think that compared to many east asian systems 26 letters and a dozen or so punctuations is very simple
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Re: A simplified alphabet for Enlgish

Postby Anoran » Wed 02 Jan 2013 1:01 am

choc_pud wrote:That's not too bad, is it? And it saves space (Ðat's not tû bad, is it? And it cèvs cpèc).

:ugeek: (Qok_Pùd)

It saves space when writing, sure, but that alphabet is longer than the standard Latin Alphabet :lol:

How about we forget about phonetics for a moment? The Latin alphabet is 26 letters. So we can shorten that down to 13 if we apply two diacritics (15 characters total). Or 9 + 3 diacritics. Or 7 + 4 diacritics. The shortest we can get it using this method is about 11, including diacritics. If we can combine diacritics, and count characters without diacritics as valid letter, and discard letters and Q and X, then we can get as few as 3 letters and 3 diacritics. There; we've reduced the Latin alphabet to a mere six characters. No doubt it would look terrible and make little sense, but hey; it's short. ;)

telal wrote:i happen to think that compared to many east asian systems 26 letters and a dozen or so punctuations is very simple

That would definitely be the case if the alphabet was completely phonetic. However, pronunciation in English has too many exceptions to be considered regular. Still, it probably is easier than memorizing thousands of hanzi.
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Re: A simplified alphabet for Enlgish

Postby Tikolm » Wed 02 Jan 2013 4:53 am

Nit time!
choc_pud, you realize the 'phonemes' you've given are just RP, right? You should also know that you can't stick the rhotic vowel thingies or whatever they are before another vowel in your kind of English; the /r/ bit is realized as a consonant. If I'm wrong please tell me.
choc_pud wrote:/l/, /ɬ/ Ll
First of all, English proper doesn't have /ɬ/. Second, if you spell /l/ and /ɬ/ the same and you think English does have /ɬ/, you get such nonsense as Lûwelin, which is even worse than the other English spelling of Llewellyn. (You will note that neither of them reflect the correct pronunciation or are actually pronounced with /ɬ/ by most English speakers.)
choc_pud wrote:/lɒʒ/ is not a word, whereas /lɒx/ is.

It's news to me that /lɒx/ means anything. If you meant loch, that's /lɔx/.
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Re: A simplified alphabet for Enlgish

Postby choc_pud » Wed 02 Jan 2013 12:28 pm

Hello Tikolm,

I gave RP as the phonemes because that is the nearest standard accent to my own, though it's not perfect. I'm not understanding ye when ye say this:

Tikolm wrote:Choc_pud, you realize the 'phonemes' you've given are just RP, right? You should also know that you can't stick the rhotic vowel thingies or whatever they are before another vowel in your kind of English; the /r/ bit is realized as a consonant.


Please do ye think ye could explain it again for me? Thankyou! The /r/ in IPA is a rolled r, such as used in Welsh and Scottish accents of English, and the RP r is represented by /ɹ/. But one could use the same letter for both of those in my opinion.

When I said /ɬ/ I meant /ɫ/, thankyou for pointing that out. /ɬ/ is spelt ll in normal English, as in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantisiliogoggoch, but most people mispronounce it. I make a special effort to pronounce Welsh place-names as they ought to be spoken!

Tikolm wrote:It's news to me that /lɒx/ means anything. If you meant loch, that's /lɔx/.

In my accent, and in RP, loch is pronounced /lɒx/. Maybe it isn't in your's though (yours or your's?).

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Re: A simplified alphabet for Enlgish

Postby ConnorRobertM » Sun 06 Jan 2013 8:27 pm

Hey guys, you could get rid of the consonant F and use Ph instead. That makes our alphabet 1 letter shorter. Are we down to 12 now?
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