Favourite writing system

The place to discuss alphabets and other writing systems.

Re: Favourite writing system

Postby Sobekhotep » Sun 04 Oct 2009 6:32 am

Talib wrote:
dtp883 wrote:Are Finnish or Azeri as varied as English where a phonetic orthographic re-haul would underhand dialects?
As I understand it both have a number of dialects which probably diverge more than the three main varieties of English.

That may be true. But Azerbaijani & Finnish are primarily spoken in one country each, Azerbaijan & Finland respectively. English is spoken in several countries with many countries having their own prestige dialect.
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Re: Favourite writing system

Postby Aeetlrcreejl » Sun 04 Oct 2009 4:17 pm

There's a whole region of Iran called Azerbaijan, where primarily Azeri is spoken.
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Re: Favourite writing system

Postby Talib » Sun 04 Oct 2009 6:50 pm

Sobekhotep wrote:That may be true. But Azerbaijani & Finnish are primarily spoken in one country each, Azerbaijan & Finland respectively. English is spoken in several countries with many countries having their own prestige dialect.
As I understand it, there are three main prestige accents - Received Pronunciation, General American and General Australian - and accomodating each of them wouldn't be terribly difficult. They differ mainly in vowel quality, and Anglophone countries already have some spelling differences between them. If these dialects are mutually intelligible when spoken, why not in writing?
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Re: Favourite writing system

Postby Sobekhotep » Mon 05 Oct 2009 3:32 am

Talib wrote:
Sobekhotep wrote:That may be true. But Azerbaijani & Finnish are primarily spoken in one country each, Azerbaijan & Finland respectively. English is spoken in several countries with many countries having their own prestige dialect.
As I understand it, there are three main prestige accents - Received Pronunciation, General American and General Australian

That's true for the United Kingdom, United States, & Australia respectively. But what about New Zealand? They have their own prestige dialect. As does South Africa, Ireland, Jamaica & several other nations.
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Re: Favourite writing system

Postby Talib » Mon 05 Oct 2009 3:38 am

What's wrong with using the prestige dialect that is closest to your own (Australian for New Zealanders, for example). The differences aren't really that great, compared to Arabic or Chinese diglossia, or even Finnish or German.

It would still be a vast improvement on a system which isn't particularly representative of anyone's speech.
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Re: Favourite writing system

Postby Serali » Mon 05 Oct 2009 4:49 am

Another one of my favorite writing systems are the ones used for Hmong ( not the Latin Alphabet ).

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Languages I'm Interested In: Korean
Favorite Writing Systems: Too many to name

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Re: Favourite writing system

Postby Remd » Mon 05 Oct 2009 5:15 pm

I think the main problem when thinking about a new writing system for English is that native speakers are too sensitive to vowel variations and the people who usually think about those revisions of the writing system are native speakers, so the debate is about the representation of the English vowels. And it is obvious that English vowels are very difficult but if you ask a native speaker of other languages (at least that is what happens with Spanish speakers) when learning English we tend to simplify vowels saying that some vowel is "a" but a little bit more like "e" and some other is "o" but pronounced more like "u"... So I think that if there was a writing system which represents vowels as easily as they can be represented and each particular person pronounce them depending on his/her dialect, it could work. Otherwise, maybe the current system is not so bad.
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Re: Favourite writing system

Postby sokuban » Mon 05 Oct 2009 10:57 pm

I'm kinda butting in to this discussion now, but I will say that I love English orthography.

No, I'm not nuts.

Everyone wants to change English orthography for some reason, and while I don't contest that it can be changed for the better; everyone tries to make the new orthography phonetic, which is IMO where it fails.

The morphemic orthography is English's strong point. It makes it a lot easier to read, as you can recognize the morphemes right there.
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Re: Favourite writing system

Postby Talib » Tue 06 Oct 2009 12:57 am

This is the same argument for Chinese, but I don't think anyone can deny that language's orthography is nightmarish for learners.

I would venture that English spelling is most haphazard in words of foreign origin, where the morphophonemic principle isn't as important.
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Re: Favourite writing system

Postby sokuban » Mon 12 Oct 2009 12:44 am

Talib wrote:I would venture that English spelling is most haphazard in words of foreign origin, where the morphophonemic principle isn't as important.


That's all part of the fun.

Would be a boring world if languages actually made sense.
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