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RE: [Slovak-World] Spelling Reforms

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  • Armata, Joseph R. (JArmata)
    We could mark d t l n as soft when needed before the new i/y, like we do when they re soft before the other vowels (t , d , l , and n with a caret). Joe ...
    Message 1 of 8 , Aug 2, 2005
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      We could mark d t l n as soft when needed before the new i/y, like we
      do when they're soft before the other vowels (t', d', l', and n with a
      caret).

      Joe


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
      [mailto:Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of J. Michutka
      Sent: Tuesday, August 02, 2005 3:03 PM
      To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [Slovak-World] Spelling Reforms



      >
      >Slovak spelling is pretty straightforward, but it could use a couple
      >of minor spelling reforms too - "i" and "y" are pronounced the same
      >today, might as well use one letter for both!

      But wouldn't it affect the pronunciation of certain preceding
      consonants,
      eg such as t, d, l, being softened before a short "i" but not before
      "y" ?

      Julie Michutka
      jmm@...
    • J. Michutka
      ... OK, good point; go ahead and give it a try then, I ll back you! Julie Michutka jmm@pathbridge.net
      Message 2 of 8 , Aug 2, 2005
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        At 04:02 PM 8/2/2005 -0400, you wrote:
        >We could mark d t l n as soft when needed before the new i/y, like we
        >do when they're soft before the other vowels (t', d', l', and n with a
        >caret).

        OK, good point; go ahead and give it a try then, I'll back you!

        Julie Michutka
        jmm@...
      • Armata, Joseph R. (JArmata)
        Oh dear, we d be the two most unpopular people in the whole of Slovakia! Newspapers would write nasty stories about us, and children would point and laugh at
        Message 3 of 8 , Aug 2, 2005
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          Oh dear, we'd be the two most unpopular people in the whole of
          Slovakia! Newspapers would write nasty stories about us, and children
          would point and laugh at us on the streets! "Look, those are the two
          foolish Americans who can't spell "knihy!" They'd deport us for sure!


          Joe A.


          -----Original Message-----
          From: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
          [mailto:Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of J. Michutka
          Sent: Tuesday, August 02, 2005 4:15 PM
          To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: RE: [Slovak-World] Spelling Reforms


          At 04:02 PM 8/2/2005 -0400, you wrote:
          >We could mark d t l n as soft when needed before the new i/y, like we
          >do when they're soft before the other vowels (t', d', l', and n with
          a
          >caret).

          OK, good point; go ahead and give it a try then, I'll back you!

          Julie Michutka
          jmm@...
        • J. Michutka
          ... Hmmm, now I m re-thinking my support of your proposal.......although Slovaks already laugh at me, every time I attempt to speak the language..... ;) Julie
          Message 4 of 8 , Aug 2, 2005
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            At 04:35 PM 8/2/2005 -0400, you wrote:
            >Oh dear, we'd be the two most unpopular people in the whole of
            >Slovakia! Newspapers would write nasty stories about us, and children
            >would point and laugh at us on the streets! "Look, those are the two
            >foolish Americans who can't spell "knihy!" They'd deport us for sure!
            >
            >Joe A.

            Hmmm, now I'm re-thinking my support of your proposal.......although
            Slovaks already laugh at me, every time I attempt to speak the language..... ;)

            Julie Michutka
            jmm@...
          • Taoz@aol.com
            Julie, I m a little surprized at what you said about Slovaks laughing at your attempt to speak their language. I ve not had that experience. I haven t heard
            Message 5 of 8 , Aug 3, 2005
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              Julie,
              I'm a little surprized at what you said about Slovaks laughing at your
              attempt to speak their language. I've not had that experience.
              I haven't heard the language spoken for many, many years. But when I was
              over there and tried it, I know I had problems. I could get along with things
              about the home or the garden but I certainly couldn't get along in a
              political or a philosophical discussion. Also, I'm sure that I was speaking very
              ungrammatically as I really don't remember the endings of the words as they
              should be. However, nobody ever laughed. They were delighted that I tried my
              best to make myself known. My cousins and their children, when I tried to
              apologize for my lack of knowledge, just said, "Ale, stric^o, vas pochopime."
              That was good enough for me. Even in Prague they understood me. I'm still
              amazed at how much came out of me during our 2 visits.
              Julie, keep at it. They are happy you are doing as much as you can.
              Pavel


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Martin Votruba
              ... It would be no different from what it already is before the _e_s, Julie. The t, d, n is palatal in words like _tehla_ _dej_, _nema_; and on the other hand
              Message 6 of 8 , Aug 3, 2005
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                > wouldn't it affect the pronunciation of certain preceding
                > consonants, eg such as t, d, l, being softened before a
                > short "i" but not before "y"

                It would be no different from what it already is before the _e_s,
                Julie. The t, d, n is palatal in words like _tehla_ _dej_, _nema_;
                and on the other hand in _ten_, _teda_, _teraz_, or in borrowed words
                like _telefon_, etc., the t, d, n, are not palatal. Yet, nothing
                indicates how to pronounce them. You simply have to know. Likewise,
                they aren't palatal before the _i_s in borrowed words like
                _univerzita_, _sanitka_, etc., without any indication of their
                "hardness."


                > we'd be the two most unpopular people in the whole of
                > Slovakia

                No such quick rise to fame, Joe. You'd be in a sizeable group of
                Slovaks who support such a reform. And more than that -- you'd be
                spelling it the way the venerable founder of the modern spelling
                reform, the celebrated activist Ludovit Stur, did it in the 1840s.

                His system was adopted. Newspapers and books were published without
                the _y_s and with each palatal d, t, n, marked (Stur considered the
                palatal _l_ an uncouth sound and left it out of his spelling).
                Stur's excellent spelling system was ruined with the (re)introduction
                of the _y_s and a few other messy things about a decade later.

                There have been several attempts since then to go back to Stur's
                standard, most recently, although not particularly forcefully, after
                the collapse of communism, but the defenders of the status quo
                prevailed each time.

                But a _y_ is replaced by an _i_ now and then in the Slovak manual of
                style. For example, in 1953, all the plurals of the past tenses were
                switched to _-li_. Before, it was -li for masculine subjects and -ly
                for feminine and neuter subjects; _syrup_ was changed to _sirup_ in
                the 1960s; _oxyd_ to _oxid_ in the 1980s, etc.

                All tragically important, because when a student gets even a single
                i/y wrong in a writing test at school, s/he can never get an A. It's
                considered one of the most grievous errors (the internet is swarming
                with them, of course).


                Martin

                votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
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