--- In email@example.com
, Melroch 'Aestan <melroch@...> wrote:
> I use [@`] -- "commercial at" followed by a grave accent/opening
>quote to represent Unicode É LATIN SMALL LETTER SCHWA WITH HOOK.
>You can see it as example of the "Rhoticity" diacritic at
[ Right! Only gave that section a cursory glance and missed it...
So that's basically the sound (as in _mirrOR, teachER_, etc), though
with a more guttural and forceful pronuncation, that I also
considered to be the best description of _-r_. ]
> Certainly more than two different _r_s would be overkill.
[ Yeah, my feeling too. I'm still partial to using anca (_r-_) and
oore (_-r_), but I wouldn't have a problem with roomen and oore,
either (and I quite like the shape of roomen :)). ]
In designing writing systems for non-native languages one must guard
>against the tendency to get distracted by sub-
[ Well, one could see this as an argument for orthographic
And that's probably why Pinyin has only one sign, _r_, for these
sounds oscillating between rhotic/fricative. So using only one tengwa
(anca or roomen or oore, though I'd somehow prefer the first) would
also be acceptable I think. ]
> For example I can hear three different >realizations of the English
>vowel in STRUT but any native speaker would of course find it absurd
>to distinguish them. It is even very probable that my tendency to
>hear this vowel >as rounded in certain contexts is due to my native
>Swedish accent, >which has a /3\/ phoneme, leading me astray.
[ Couldn't agree more! English vowels are messy. So many slightly
different pronuncations (what you call sub-phonemic distinctions) for
virtually all of them (even just among native speakers from different
areas/backgrounds, let alone the different realizations non-native
speakers may produce)... Not like Italian, Dutch or German, where
vowel pronuncation seems to display much less variation!
Part of the reason has to be that English is spoken in so many
countries and across vast geographical areas (be it as
native/official/second language)--though this could also be said for
Spanish, yet I'm not sure we see the same amount of variation in that
language (how different is, say, Mexican from South American Spanish?
or from "Spanish" Spanish? how much variation do we see within these
Mandarin, in fact, shows a similar phenomenon across China/Chinese-
speaking communities, partly because for many people it isn't really
their native language, but only the first language learned apart
from their mother tongue.
A little bit like English in India: it's taught in schools and
everybody has to learn it in principle, since it's the official
language/lingua franca. But in fact, unless you grew up in northern
China, your native tongue is likely to be a Chinese "dialect" (I
think some scholars even dispute the use of that term for non-
Mandarin varieties of Chinese, but this seems largely a matter of
convention to me) that's very different from Mandarin. Let it be
noted, though, that even among true native speakers of Mandarin there
exists quite a bit of regional phonetic/tonal variety, i.e. you find
lots of Mandarin "sub-dialects", spread across north and northeast
Hm, all this reminds me: coming up with a tengwar mode for something
like Cantonese or Fukienese (Minnan dialect) would be quite a
challenge. The sound and tonal variations are truly mind-blowing to
native speakers of non-tonal languages! It would certainly mean
pushing the adaptability of the tengwar writing system to its very