Why is English spelling not simplified?

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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#81  Postby katja z » Dec 05, 2010 9:38 am

gleniedee wrote:
Teria wrote:
Fallible wrote:Best start a new language from scratch then and teach it to everyone at the same time,


Even if you did that, this generic language would rapidly evolve into different languages again.



Change,yes,how quickly is debatable.

Three of the major drivers for linguistic variation are isolation, illiteracy and limited communication.

You are forgetting the effects of geographical dispersal and social stratification.

Pidgins are natural languages that are relatively simple, but that is because they are vehicular languages serving limited communication purposes between different-language groups. In the process of vernacularisation (= when they a vehicular language is adopted as the first language of a group of speakers and becomes used in a wider variety of communication situations), they become considerably more complex very fast.
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#82  Postby RaspK » Dec 05, 2010 10:59 am

Delvo wrote:
RaspK wrote:I'm sorry, but both systems are hideously ridiculous to just lump on anybody; if the shift comes naturally, then it will.

It reely can't. The language is too widespred for a singl coherent system to just catch on bi itself all over that area now. Changing the system overall wuld require that varius institutions in education and the media agree to switch from the old system to a new won as a deliberate decision.

RaspK wrote:For starters, you clearly show here how you are not accustomed to such uses of diphthongs as Germans and Greeks are: by making them obsolete, you now have to resort to using "tri," which would have no consistent value ("tip", "type", "tire"). "Little" is clunky, because the ee there denotes that the sound is lightly accented (you would know the difference if you did come across a Greek pronouncing the written form "Λιττλ" — that is, without the accented ee; the same is true of "relativly" — "Ρελατίβλυ"). Finally, why is "dun" not an example of how "doon" (Heavens!) or "dune" would be written? How would you work around that?

I can't make any sens out ov that paragraph other than bi postulating that yu think mi changes wer intended for a wide assortment of languages, not just English. English is the only won we'r talking about here. What phonetic rules ar or shuld be used in any other language, especially won with a different alphabet, hav nothing tu du with anything here.

I clearly intended this to be a display of how clunky your suggestions are; "won" is how we write won nowadays, and it has a significant difference in pronunciation from one, which is what you suggest it's also used for; the same is true of a number of examples you've given, and which I parallelized with Greek phonetic transcriptions and clunky pronunciation of the current English norm, which is exactly how the words would sound under your suggestion.

For starters, as I said, "tri" can be easily shown to be problematic with the similar "to be transcribed" words tip and type. Both, in your system, should be written "tip."
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#83  Postby Loren Michael » Dec 06, 2010 4:27 pm

katja z wrote:
Loren Michael wrote:
Fallible wrote:IMO we should just leave English alone to evolve in the mouths and hands of speakers and writers, as it has always done. If it turns out to be just too difficult to use, it will change.


Children tend to be able to learn pretty much any language pretty easily, but I don't think an evolved tongue is very helpful for foreigners. I'm interested in getting as many people into English as possible, and the language itself makes that a somewhat difficult task.


Uh, people have always learned evolved tongues. It's how we have always communicated across cultures. I fail to see the problem.


The problem is that it's very difficult and could be easier. You fail to address my point.
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#84  Postby katja z » Dec 06, 2010 4:44 pm

Loren Michael wrote:
katja z wrote:
Loren Michael wrote:

Children tend to be able to learn pretty much any language pretty easily, but I don't think an evolved tongue is very helpful for foreigners. I'm interested in getting as many people into English as possible, and the language itself makes that a somewhat difficult task.


Uh, people have always learned evolved tongues. It's how we have always communicated across cultures. I fail to see the problem.


The problem is that it's very difficult and could be easier. You fail to address my point.

1) "Very difficult" is your subjective evaluation. A vast proportion of people on the planet, the majority according to some, live in situations of diglossia or multilingualism, and have done so historically. Monolinguism is not the default position on a global scale. See this excellent treatment of the question.

2) There are, and have always been, relatively simple vehicular languages that are easier to learn. The problem is, in that simple form they are only good for limited purposes. As soon as you start using them for everything, they start evolving and acquire complexities and irregularities of their own, ending up as no easier to learn than any other natural language. The same would happen to an artificial language as soon as the community of those using it as a first language got big enough, and got going. You can only have a fully-fledged language as a logical, completely regular system if you abstract the constant processes of change it's subjected to when in active use by a language community, but that is not a realistic suggestion if the language is to be widely used in international communication ...a
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#85  Postby Delvo » Dec 08, 2010 5:19 am

RaspK wrote:you now have to resort to using "tri," which would have no consistent value
RaspK wrote:...as I said, "tri" can be easily shown to be problematic with the similar "to be transcribed" words tip and type. Both, in your system, should be written "tip."
Those aren't similar. You added a consonant to both, and then a silent final E to one of them, so neither has the same last letter as the word you started off talking about. English already has rules for what sounds are usually represented by the last letter(s) of a word. (I'll finish that bit below.)

RaspK wrote:why is "dun" not an example of how "doon" (Heavens!) or "dune" would be written?
Same as above. English already has conventions/rules for what sounds are represented by the final few letters of a word, and your suggested alternative pronunciations of that spelling don't follow them. I didn't create them and don't propose changing them. It's just a matter of following them. Vowel followed by final consonant (other than pluralizing S): short. Vowel alone as last letter: E silent with preceding vowel being long; long sound represented by EE or Y; others long except for A, which is short or schwa-like; long sound represented by AY or EY. (And the other vowels' short sounds don't happen at the end of a word anyway.)

It's not "my" system; it's just the way English already is. (Maybe not other languages, especially those with other alphabets or none at all, but they don't matter to this subject.) I've done nothing to the rules of English phonetics. I've just obeyed them. You seem to object on the basis that the words that broke the rules before get their spellings changed to do this, but that's the whole point in a thread about making English phonetics phonetic again, and the way I did it (essentially just replacing final Y with I when that's what it sounds like so final Y could consistently stand for the long EE sound as it already usually does) alters very few words, as few words as possible.
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#86  Postby RaspK » Dec 08, 2010 7:21 am

Delvo wrote:
RaspK wrote:you now have to resort to using "tri," which would have no consistent value
RaspK wrote:...as I said, "tri" can be easily shown to be problematic with the similar "to be transcribed" words tip and type. Both, in your system, should be written "tip."

Those aren't similar. You added a consonant to both, and then a silent final E to one of them, so neither has the same last letter as the word you started off talking about. English already has rules for what sounds are usually represented by the last letter(s) of a word. (I'll finish that bit below.)

RaspK wrote:why is "dun" not an example of how "doon" (Heavens!) or "dune" would be written?

Same as above. English already has conventions/rules for what sounds are represented by the final few letters of a word, and your suggested alternative pronunciations of that spelling don't follow them. I didn't create them and don't propose changing them. It's just a matter of following them. Vowel followed by final consonant (other than pluralizing S): short. Vowel alone as last letter: E silent with preceding vowel being long; long sound represented by EE or Y; others long except for A, which is short or schwa-like; long sound represented by AY or EY. (And the other vowels' short sounds don't happen at the end of a word anyway.)

It's not "my" system; it's just the way English already is. (Maybe not other languages, especially those with other alphabets or none at all, but they don't matter to this subject.) I've done nothing to the rules of English phonetics. I've just obeyed them. You seem to object on the basis that the words that broke the rules before get their spellings changed to do this, but that's the whole point in a thread about making English phonetics phonetic again, and the way I did it (essentially just replacing final Y with I when that's what it sounds like so final Y could consistently stand for the long EE sound as it already usually does) alters very few words, as few words as possible.

That seems to have been the disconnect, then; I seem to have forgotten or overlooked the notion that you only would apply this to the final Y when read as German EI. The irony of pi versus pie in the sky.
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