Ўот aбaўт Pьшьн? (What about Russian?)

The place to discuss alphabets and other writing systems.

Ўот aбaўт Pьшьн? (What about Russian?)

Postby choc_pud » Mon 02 Dec 2013 7:02 pm

Since I learnt it several years ago I've been fascinated with the Cyrillic alphabet and its Russian variant in particular, and I've often thought it wouldn't be detrimental for English to be written with it. Obviously the phonemes it represents are suitable for Russian, not English, but with a few tweaks it could be modified passably.

Here is my suggestion as to this idea (for RP) using IPA:

А = /æ/;
AP, AЪ = /a:/
AЎ = /aʊ/
Б = /b/
В = /v/
Г = /g/
Д = /d/
ДЪ = /ð/
Е = /eɪ/
Ë = /ɔɪ/
Ж = /ʒ/
З = /z/
И = /i:/
Й = /j/
К = /k/
Л = /l/
М = /m/
Н = /n/
НГ = /ŋ/
О = /ɒ/
OP, OЪ = /ɔ:/
П = /p/
Р = /r/
С = /s/
Т = /t/
TЪ = /θ/
У = /ʊ/
УЪ = /u:/
Ў = /w/
Ф = /f/
Х = /h/
Ц = /dʒ/
Ч = /tʃ/
Ш = /ʃ/
Ъ = (Silent - only used to modify preceding letter.)
Ы = /ɪ/
Ь = /ə/, /ʌ/
ЬP = /ə:/
ЬЎ = /əʊ/
Э = /e/
ЭЪ = /eə/
Ю = /ju:/
Я = /aɪ/

As you can see, these are the major changes:

The letter ъ is included only as a modifier;

The palatalisation causing vowels are, with the exception of ю, reversed to give the common diphthongs of RP;

The use of both ъ and a following p to lengthen most vowels allows speakers from rhotic accents to use this system also;

The letter ў has been added and the letter щ removed. The letter ц has had its value reassigned.

Aside from this no major differences have been incurred (The digraphs are nothing more than digraphs and wouldn't be considered part of the alphabet). I know that a lot of the pronunciations I've given to various letters could be different and that the letters themselves could easily be changed to suit common Cyrillic policy (for example џ instead of ц), but the one main advantage of my system is that it can be typed on a standard Russian keyboard layout. The letter ў could be replaced with y and no confusion would result; the only reason for which I have included it is because its fellow semivowel, /j/ has its own letter as well, й.

So what do you think? My signature is written using this system (Without the letter ў differentiated) and that should give you some idea of what it would look like. Please comment, all comments are welcome! (So long as they're constructive!)
Dyfal donc a dyr y garreg, ydy?
User avatar
choc_pud
 
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri 21 Sep 2012 12:53 am

Re: Ўот aбaўт Pьшьн? (What about Russian?)

Postby Mikhail » Sun 08 Dec 2013 2:07 pm

Hi, choc_pud

It is good to see that someone non-russian uses Cyrillic for other languages :)
Your system looks good. I wonder still what if you use a little bit different assignment for Е.
Something like:
Е = /ɪ/ instead of /eɪ/ . And for /eɪ/ one can use ЭЙ.
So now Ы will go away (I don't like this letter, it makes the text visually broken)
This alone would make a difference.
By the way what is then "ьдъьруяз" ? I know english and russian but still dont get it ;) suppose its "otherways" ... And you use different letters for transcription of best -> бэст , at -> ат. Does it pronounce different? For me it seems the same.
So you kind of use the letter Ь as a "wildcard" for very short sounds or so? It would be definitely a good idea then to swap Ъ and Ь, since Ъ in Cyrillic is indeed a short neutral Э vowel so it would be definitely easier to learn. As for /ð/ and /θ/ I would use ДГ and ТГ since it just looks better and those DG and TG never come up in English. I also think why not use paired vowels for some long/stressed vowels?

Heres my version of your signature (it could be not 100 accurate) and I can read it almost flawlessly :
Дгес ез енглеш pетън yедг оол дгъ ъннэсъсэри ваулз pемуувъд op pеплэйсъд уедг мор фетенг уонз. Уеч ду ю тгенк ез бэст, op aт лист уеч ду ю тгенк уъд би изиър фор съмуон нот адгъруэйз акуэйнтъд уедг дгъ лангуедж ту лърн?

By the way, in Ukrainian version of Cyrillic there is a Latin letter "i" so it would look more compact, here is another version (also Э is replaced with Е).
Дгiс iз iнглiш piтън yiдг оол дгъ ъннесъсерi вауълз piмуувъд op piплейсъд уiдг мор фiтiнг уонз. Уiч ду ю тгiнк iз бест, op aт лист уiч ду ю тгiнк уъд би изиър фор съмуон нот адгъруэйз акуейнтъд уiдг дгъ лангуiдж ту лърн?
native: Russian
know good: English, German

my constructed alphabet: Scythian
Mikhail
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed 19 Sep 2012 6:11 am

Re: Ўот aбaўт Pьшьн? (What about Russian?)

Postby choc_pud » Tue 10 Dec 2013 10:36 pm

Hey Mikhail, thanks for posting! And thank you very much for your suggestions, I shall certainly implement some of them, at least. I think it's odd that noöne seems to've come up with this idea before, of writing English with Cyrillic, and it seems to work quite well.

Am I right by thinking your first language wasn't English, maybe Russian? The vowels "a" and "э" are indeed pronounced differently in Standard English; /æ/ and /e/ respectively, but I know that many second-language learners of English often merge those phonemes.

I shall do what you say about swapping "ъ" and "ь", it does make more sense now you mention it. But I shall keep "e" for /eɪ/ as it goes then with the other diphthongs, but I know what you mean about yeru, I've never really liked it either. But what about "є" instead of "e" or "i"? I think it flows better with text than the latter of those.

You're almost right, that word is "otherwise".

The problem with using "дг" and "тг" is that /dg/ does occasionally appear, for example in the Christian name "Edgar". But what about "дx" and "тx"? It does not look quite as good as your suggestion but it does avoid problems with spelling, as /dh/ and /th/ never appear in English except in compound words, when a hyphen could be used to separate the letters.

I notice also that in your transcription of my signature you replaced "ц" with "дж", may I enquire as to why that might be? Also I could use double letters to indicate long vowels, but I don't think they look very nice in Cyrillic. Not sure why!

Here then is my updated version of the signature, what do you think?

Дxєс єз Єнглєш pєтн ўєдx оxл дxъ ъннэсъсэри ваўлз pємуxвъд op pєплесъд ўєдx мор фєтєнг ўонз. Ўєч ду ю тxєнк єз бэст, op aт лист ўєч ду ю тxєнк ўъд би изиър фор съмўон нот ъдxърўяз акўентъд ўєдx дxъ лангўєц ту лърн?

And here's the revised alphabet:

А = /æ/;
AP, AX = /a:/
AЎ = /aʊ/
Б = /b/
В = /v/
Г = /g/
Д = /d/
ДX = /ð/
Е = /eɪ/
Ë = /ɔɪ/
Є = /ɪ/
Ж = /ʒ/
З = /z/
И = /i:/
Й = /j/
К = /k/
КX = /x/, /k/
Л = /l/
М = /m/
Н = /n/
НГ = /ŋ/
О = /ɒ/
OP, OX = /ɔ:/
П = /p/
Р = /r/
С = /s/
Т = /t/
TX = /θ/
У = /ʊ/
УX = /u:/
Ў = /w/
Ф = /f/
Х = /h/
Ц = /dʒ/
Ч = /tʃ/
Ш = /ʃ/
Ъ = /ə/, /ʌ/
ЪP = /ə:/
ЪЎ = /əʊ/
Э = /e/
ЭЪ, ЭP = /eə/
Ю = /ju:/
Я = /aɪ/.

Ўoт ду ю тxєнк ов єт дxэн, Mєкxял?
Dyfal donc a dyr y garreg, ydy?
User avatar
choc_pud
 
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri 21 Sep 2012 12:53 am

Re: Ўот aбaўт Pьшьн? (What about Russian?)

Postby Mikhail » Thu 19 Dec 2013 12:31 am

choc_pud wrote:Hey Mikhail, thanks for posting! And thank you very much for your suggestions, I shall certainly implement some of them, at least. I think it's odd that noöne seems to've come up with this idea before, of writing English with Cyrillic, and it seems to work quite well.

I have worked on a layout of a phrasebook for tourists and those were always made in Cyrillic transliteration. Of course the alphabet is simplified - so 'th' is written just "д" or "з".

choc_pud wrote:But what about "є" instead of "e" or "i"?

That is right, I think "є" is the best candidate for the frequent vowel, but I mean , its kind of same character - "є" is an older variant and "e" is latinesed modern. Russian is my first language and you're right we don't have an /æ/ sound. Similar sound is used for expression of english "hey you" . My idea was excluding those characters which look almost equal and impede the reading. But then I cannot be 100% accurate in phonetical sence.

choc_pud wrote:The problem with using "дг" and "тг" is that /dg/ does occasionally appear, for example in the Christian name "Edgar". But what about "дx" and "тx"?

I chose it for the same readability reasons - "дх" "тх" then appear quite often and makes it really hard to read... That was my first idea, but after some change-replace experiments I noticed that "дг" and "тг" is what makes a good picture.

As said, your post gave me some thoughts about how would I write English on Cyrillic keyboard and I posted here. And I think it is a good idea for example to make a thread writing Cyrillic only, then others probably be interested. By the way, your layout is already out of standard Cyrillic keyboard. Installing Ukrainian layout probably is the solution.
So you say Edgar? Probably some more examples? but I really doubt those are read /dg/, I personally would pronounce Edgar something like /æθ-gar/. So I would write it then Эдггар, or Эд-гар but I am not sure if one should base his decision on this example, it looks like a rare exeption.

choc_pud wrote: you replaced "ц" with "дж", may I enquire as to why that might be?

This letter "ц" stays number 1 in my list of the top ugliest in Cyrillic alphabet, thats why. Should be avoided. Furthermore - I like "ж" letter but you don't use it... why?

choc_pud wrote:Дxєс єз Єнглєш pєтн ўєдx оxл дxъ ъннэсъсэри ваўлз pємуxвъд op pєплесъд ўєдx мор фєтєнг ўонз. Ўєч ду ю тxєнк єз бэст, op aт лист ўєч ду ю тxєнк ўъд би изиър фор съмўон нот ъдxърўяз акўентъд ўєдx дxъ лангўєц ту лърн?

Ўoт ду ю тxєнк ов єт дxэн, Mєкxял?

Ай тxинк, єт лукс definitely a lot more pleasant now. But as said, now the phonemes "є" and "e" are optically sewing together and too much of "x".
I think also a well made font with serifs and bent lines could make also positive achievement. By the way, in Soviet times a very good Cyrillic font was developed, I will try to find examples and post it here later.
native: Russian
know good: English, German

my constructed alphabet: Scythian
Mikhail
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed 19 Sep 2012 6:11 am

Re: Ўот aбaўт Pьшьн? (What about Russian?)

Postby Dan_ad_nauseam » Fri 20 Dec 2013 1:43 am

Mikhail wrote:
. . . .

So you say Edgar? Probably some more examples? but I really doubt those are read /dg/, I personally would pronounce Edgar something like /æθ-gar/. So I would write it then Эдггар, or Эд-гар but I am not sure if one should base his decision on this example, it looks like a rare exeption.

. . . .


No, in English that's definitely pronounced /'ɛd gəɹ/ (with a possible variation of the schwa).
Dan_ad_nauseam
 
Posts: 224
Joined: Sat 18 Apr 2009 5:25 am

Re: Ўот aбaўт Pьшьн? (What about Russian?)

Postby choc_pud » Sat 21 Dec 2013 6:00 pm

Using the same character for both /æ/ and /ɛ/ might seem good for a non-native speaker but it certainly would not work in practice for native English speakers; it is definitely necessary to uphold the distinction. But you're right about є, so maybe i would be better instead after all?

The combinations дг and тг do look good, yes, but as I say the sequence /dg/ does appear in English. And I'm afraid that your judgement, as a non-native speaker of English, is not going to work against mine, and I know for a fact that NO English speaker would ever pronounce the name Edgar as /æθ-gar/, only ever as /'ɛdgə(ɹ)/.

I do see what you mean as to ц however. Also using it for /dʒ/ is changing its phonological value rather radically, so perhaps the combination дж is better. I was already using the letter ж for the /ʒ/ sound in "beige", as that pronunciation is very similar to its native Russian usage (/ʑ/).

You said "aй тxинк єт лукс", meaning "I think it looks"; why did you use и for the first /ɪ/ but є for the second? Also why aй and not я? I know I've converted the palatalising vowels to their respective falling diphthongs and could very well have used a digraph, but doing it this way saves space.

What defines your definition of "hard to read"? You say that дx and тx are difficult to read and impede the readers' flow, but what factors have influenced your reaching of the aforementioned conclusion? Another example for the /dg/ sequence is "headgear" (/'hɛdɡɪː/, in my own accent and /hɛdɡiə(r)/ in most others); are you saying you would pronounce that as /'hæθgar/?

Джъст аўт ов інчрэст, ўот із ін юр опінюн дхъ ъглиіст лэтъ ін дхъ стандъд латін алфабэт?
Dyfal donc a dyr y garreg, ydy?
User avatar
choc_pud
 
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri 21 Sep 2012 12:53 am

Re: Ўот aбaўт Pьшьн? (What about Russian?)

Postby Mikhail » Sun 22 Dec 2013 2:05 am

choc_pud wrote:But you're right about є, so maybe i would be better instead after all?

I like both variants є and i, also I like a greek "ι", here is an example of my experiments - a mixture of cyrillic/greek-
"while it is true" -- ўаιл ιт ιз трǒ"

I like ǒ letter instead of у - it reminds of a old russian ligature "оу".

choc_pud wrote:the sequence /dg/ does appear in English.

Hmm... Still if we don't count compound words, I can't imagine other words in any languages that I know with this combination /dg/, and for me it is almost physically impossible to pronounce /dg/ together, so it comes out of my mouth as Etgar or when I want both /d/ and /g/ to sound loud I must say it like Edegar (like two separate syllables).
By the way if you use дх тх, here is the list of english words where d comes with h:
http://www.dict.cc/?s=*dh*
But I DO like х as /h/ especially when it stays in the beginning of the word, so please don't change it.
And again, I didn't say дх тх is really bad, but when х appears too often it is confusing me, can't explain why. So I personally wouldn't use it as modifier, but It is your alphabet, anyway ;) .

choc_pud wrote: You said "aй тxинк єт лукс",

Sorry, I was just not attentive enough when I wrote it...

choc_pud wrote: are you saying you would pronounce that as /'hæθgar/?

As said I would pronounce it like two separate words if I want both /d/ and /g/ to sound loud. Otherwise the preceding /d/ turns into /t/ or it smoothens somehow, I think /ð/ is the closest, but definitly for me it is not the same sound as in open syllable, "dome" for example.

choc_pud wrote: Джъст аўт ов інчрэст, ўот із ін юр опінюн дхъ ъглиіст лэтъ ін дхъ стандъд латін алфабэт?

Latin is graphically very well balanced. I'd say only letter "g" falls out of the row a little bit, but it is not ugly at all, just doesn't fit very well. It depends on the font also.
native: Russian
know good: English, German

my constructed alphabet: Scythian
Mikhail
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed 19 Sep 2012 6:11 am

Re: Ўот aбaўт Pьшьн? (What about Russian?)

Postby choc_pud » Sun 22 Dec 2013 8:41 pm

Actually, before I learnt that Cyrillic had a letter i, I had invented one of my own, using the letter ɪ from the International Phonetic Alphabet, and when I did learn about the Cyrillic i I was surprised it had a dot; it didn't seem in keeping with the otherwise simple and uniform letters of the Cyrillic script.

Your suggestion of using iota instead of the Cyrillic version is a good idea, but it would mean having to install a new keyboard layout just for that letter, and things might start to get a bit complicated. So I think that either є and i are the best bet.

The problem with the letter uk (oy) is that it is not widely supported by computers, as it now not used in any Cyrillic using language. Also, as oy morphed into y in later versions of Cyrillic, it would seem odd to resurrect that particular archaism when a more concise style now exists?

You say it is almost impossible for you to pronounce /dg/, and yet you presumably manage with /gd/, in words like где? But I see your point; I personally pronounce the word "headgear" closer to /'ɛgːɪː/, with a geminated /g/ (and loss of /h/ and various other factors).

Thanks for the list, I hadn't realised there were quite so many words with the combination dh in! And yet many of those are compound words, and many more have the h unpronounced. But I can see how certain ambiguities could arise, so maybe we should reintroduce the letter ь as a modifier for т and д? Or mayhap they could be doubled? Ддъ ттінг із, іт лукс xopiд!

When I first thought about designing this script for English I was hoping to have to introduce as few new letters as possible, but it is rather difficult! If you were given the task, say by the British Government, to design a new version of the Cyrillic alphabet which the people of Great Britain would then use instead of the current system, how would go about it?

Тьaнкю фор юр комплімнт туўордс дьъ Латін скріпт; я съртнли агри ўідь ю абаўт дьъ лэтьр g.

On a different note, do you know anything about Irish? It also has many palatalised consonants, so maybe the Cyrillic script could be modified to suit it?
Dyfal donc a dyr y garreg, ydy?
User avatar
choc_pud
 
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri 21 Sep 2012 12:53 am

Re: Ўот aбaўт Pьшьн? (What about Russian?)

Postby choc_pud » Mon 23 Dec 2013 9:06 pm

Earlier today I came up with the following system of spelling English using the Cyrillic alphabet; it is simpler and has fewer letters than the previous one. Which do you think is better?

А = /æ/
AP, AA = /a:/
AУ = /aʊ/
Б = /b/
В = /v/
Г = /g/
Д = /d/
ДГ = /ð/
ДЖ = /dʒ/
Е = /ε/
Ж = /ʒ/
З = /z/
И = /ɪ/
ИИ = /i:/
Й = /j/
К = /k/
Л = /l/
М = /m/
Н = /n/
НГ = /ŋ/
О = /ɒ/
OP, OA = /ɔ:/
П = /p/
Р = /r/
С = /s/
Т = /t/
TГ = /θ/
У = /ʊ/, /w/
УУ = /u:/
Ф = /f/
Х = /h/
Ч = /tʃ/
Ш = /ʃ/
Ъ = /ə/, /ʌ/
ЪP = /ə:/
ЪУ = /əʊ/

The actual alphabet runs as follows: а, б, в, г, д, е, ж, з, и, й, к, л, м, н, о, п, р, с, т, у, ф, х, ч, ш and ъ; that is twenty five letters. As you can see I've decided to take on board your suggestion as to the дг and тг digraphs; after careful consideration I've come to the same conclusion in that they're better than using дx and тx.

Two of the main advantages of this system are that it only needs twenty-five letters (so it'd be quicker to learn) and it is only using letters from the standard Russian alphabet (so it'd be supported by most computer platforms).

Уот ду йу тгинк?
Dyfal donc a dyr y garreg, ydy?
User avatar
choc_pud
 
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri 21 Sep 2012 12:53 am

Re: Ўот aбaўт Pьшьн? (What about Russian?)

Postby Mikhail » Sun 29 Dec 2013 12:54 am

choc_pud wrote:When I first thought about designing this script for English I was hoping to have to introduce as few new letters as possible, but it is rather difficult! If you were given the task, say by the British Government, to design a new version of the Cyrillic alphabet which the people of Great Britain would then use instead of the current system, how would go about it?

I think there are too many ways to solve this task, and in this case I would ask why do so? Latin is way more advanced in practical sense and modern Cyrillic I think has medium practical efficiency and even less calligraphical beauty. Still if there would be such a task, I'd start removing a good part of characters, then introducing some new and refining them to fit together somehow... then start experimenting with real text examples. But then It would not be much "Cyrillic-based" probably on the end.
choc_pud wrote:On a different note, do you know anything about Irish? It also has many palatalised consonants, so maybe the Cyrillic script could be modified to suit it?

Im afraid I know nothing. And I am afraid I would support only reducing the number of characters in a writing system for certain language. So in my alphabet there would be around 20 characters or even less.
native: Russian
know good: English, German

my constructed alphabet: Scythian
Mikhail
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed 19 Sep 2012 6:11 am

Next

Return to Writing systems

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron