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Re: Not really a conlang...

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  • Patrick Dunn
    It might be useful, then, to have a three-way dictionary from Arabic - Sim-Arabic - English, so S-A can be used as an interlanguage between the two. ... --
    Message 1 of 30 , Feb 3, 2013
      It might be useful, then, to have a three-way dictionary from Arabic -
      Sim-Arabic - English, so S-A can be used as an interlanguage between the
      two.


      On Sun, Feb 3, 2013 at 11:17 AM, Jeffrey Brown <jrbrown0@...> wrote:

      > My intention is that Sim-Arabic is ENTIRELY a written language; not a
      > spoken one. Essentially, it is for translations from literary Arabic.
      >
      > On Sun, Feb 3, 2013 at 10:13 AM, Roger Mills <romiltz@...> wrote:
      >
      > > --- On *Sun, 2/3/13, R A Brown <ray@...>* wrote:
      > >
      > > (snips)
      > >
      > > Two immediate reactions:
      > > - I really do not like Romanized systems that use a mix of
      > > upper and lower case; it maybe OK for Klingon, but generally
      > > I find it off-putting. The advantages and disadvantages of
      > > diacritics versus digraphs has often been debated on this
      > > list. But I would prefer either solution to that of a mixed
      > > case system.
      > >
      > > RM That was my reaction too. When I have time, I'll try to make some
      > > specific suggestions.
      > > --------------------------------------------------------
      > > - as you can see from my TAKE, if I'm going to simplify a
      > > language I like to get rid of all inflexions, if possible.
      > > IMO the so-called "Latino sine flexione" has retained too
      > > many! But that is a personal preference, I know.
      > >
      > > RM I don't object to a "few" inflections.... I'd have to examine the
      > > materials more closely, however. Offhand, I'm not at all sure it's
      > > necessary to retain the masc/fem differences in the tenses, but that, I
      > > know, is one of Arabic's features.....
      > >
      > > Do I gather (perhaps incorrectly?) that your intention is that Sim-Arabic
      > > should be primarily a _literary_ rather than a spoken language????
      > >
      > >
      >



      --
      Second Person, a chapbook of poetry by Patrick Dunn, is now available for
      order from Finishing Line
      Press<http://www.finishinglinepress.com/NewReleasesandForthcomingTitles.htm>
      and
      Amazon<http://www.amazon.com/Second-Person-Patrick-Dunn/dp/1599249065/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324342341&sr=8-2>.
    • Adnan Majid
      Hi Jeff, Great start! I too found the orthography a bit aesthetically unappealing though, and this may unfortunately be an impediment in your goal of making
      Message 2 of 30 , Feb 3, 2013
        Hi Jeff,

        Great start!

        I too found the orthography a bit aesthetically unappealing though, and
        this may unfortunately be an impediment in your goal of making the original
        writings more accessible for readers. Many readers, for instance, may be
        turned off from approaching text that they find difficult to read (because
        of the uppercase letters, asterisks, and letters like "R" on "x" that
        aren't pronounced as one would expect).

        If your goal is just to simplify Arabic texts for western readers, you
        could transliterate the ghayn sound simply as "g" instead of "R", for
        instance. Also, if you don't intend that your language be a stepping stone
        to help readers learn classical Arabic (though it's fine if you do), you
        could also see about collapsing a few letters like "h" and "H", "t" and
        "T", "s" or "S", or "d" and "D". You'd have to figure out a way to
        distinguish 3-letter roots that become similar, but you may also find out
        that the number of ambiguous roots you form is surprisingly small. (I
        haven't looked into the issue in depth, but certain arabic sounds like
        "ayn" vs. "hamza" or "kaf" vs. "qaf" seem much more important to
        differentiate for the sake of meaning compared to the ones I listed). In
        this way, maybe you could reduce the number of capital letters you use
        without having to use diacritics or digraphs.

        Looking over your vocabulary list cursorily, I don't see words that would
        become ambiguous if you collapsed the distinction of the few letters I
        listed above ("h" and "H", "t" and "T", "s" or "S", or "d" and "D"). Maybe
        I missed something though.

        Likewise, you can get often get away without differentiating long and short
        vowels. Where you can't, are you opposed to adding an accent over the vowel
        or using "ee" or "oo"?

        Furthermore, I'm not sure why you would need letters like "Y" or "W". These
        seem only important if you intend that your language help readers trying to
        learn the intricacies of classical Arabic, but they seem superfluous when
        the goal is to just to help people connect with historical texts *without
        having to learn Arabic*. Also, what do you use your letter "N" for? You
        call it "tanween" but what purpose does it serve if you're not using the
        Arabic tanween to mark indefinite nouns?

        Looking forward to learning more about your conlang!

        Adnan (or ^adnAn, I suppose :) )


        On Sun, Feb 3, 2013 at 9:17 AM, Jeffrey Brown <jrbrown0@...> wrote:

        > My intention is that Sim-Arabic is ENTIRELY a written language; not a
        > spoken one. Essentially, it is for translations from literary Arabic.
        >
        > On Sun, Feb 3, 2013 at 10:13 AM, Roger Mills <romiltz@...> wrote:
        >
        > > --- On *Sun, 2/3/13, R A Brown <ray@...>* wrote:
        > >
        > > (snips)
        > >
        > > Two immediate reactions:
        > > - I really do not like Romanized systems that use a mix of
        > > upper and lower case; it maybe OK for Klingon, but generally
        > > I find it off-putting. The advantages and disadvantages of
        > > diacritics versus digraphs has often been debated on this
        > > list. But I would prefer either solution to that of a mixed
        > > case system.
        > >
        > > RM That was my reaction too. When I have time, I'll try to make some
        > > specific suggestions.
        > > --------------------------------------------------------
        > > - as you can see from my TAKE, if I'm going to simplify a
        > > language I like to get rid of all inflexions, if possible.
        > > IMO the so-called "Latino sine flexione" has retained too
        > > many! But that is a personal preference, I know.
        > >
        > > RM I don't object to a "few" inflections.... I'd have to examine the
        > > materials more closely, however. Offhand, I'm not at all sure it's
        > > necessary to retain the masc/fem differences in the tenses, but that, I
        > > know, is one of Arabic's features.....
        > >
        > > Do I gather (perhaps incorrectly?) that your intention is that Sim-Arabic
        > > should be primarily a _literary_ rather than a spoken language????
        > >
        > >
        >
      • R A Brown
        ... [snip] ... Yes, I guess a few are acceptable in a simplified conlang. But IMO if something calls itself X sine flexione then it should do what it says.
        Message 3 of 30 , Feb 4, 2013
          On 03/02/2013 16:13, Roger Mills wrote:
          > --- On Sun, 2/3/13, R A Brown wrote:
          [snip]
          >> - as you can see from my TAKE, if I'm going to simplify
          >> a language I like to get rid of all inflexions, if
          >> possible. IMO the so-called "Latino sine flexione" has
          >> retained too many! But that is a personal preference,
          >> I know.
          >
          > RM I don't object to a "few" inflections....

          Yes, I guess a few are acceptable in a simplified conlang.
          But IMO if something calls itself "X sine flexione" then it
          should do what it says. In fact "Latino sine flexione" is
          *not* "sine flexione" - but I guess "Latino cum paucissimis
          flexionibus" doesn't look as neat ;)

          In the case of TAKE, I took it as part of the challenge to
          do the thing without any inflexions.

          Of course Jeffrey doesn't claim his Sim-Arabic is without
          inflexions, just simplified. But ...

          > I'd have to examine the materials more closely, however.
          > Offhand, I'm not at all sure it's necessary to retain
          > the masc/fem differences in the tenses, but that, I know,
          > is one of Arabic's features.....

          Division of the universe into things masculine & things
          feminine is one of the features of Romancelangs and of
          Insular Celtic. But I would not expect such an _arbitrary_
          system to be retained in a _simplified_ Romance conlang or
          Celtic conlang. Learning arbitrary gender distinctions for
          non living things does not make a language simple.

          Farsi is an IE language that has dropped grammatical gender;
          it has borrowed heavily from Arabic and seems quite happy
          not to assign arbitrary gender to such borrowings.

          --
          Ray
          ==================================
          http://www.carolandray.plus.com
          ==================================
          "language … began with half-musical unanalysed expressions
          for individual beings and events."
          [Otto Jespersen, Progress in Language, 1895]
        • Jörg Rhiemeier
          Hallo conlangers! ... Sure. ... Right. If someone calls a language sine flexione , it is 100% legitimate to expect that that languages indeed does not
          Message 4 of 30 , Feb 4, 2013
            Hallo conlangers!

            On Monday 04 February 2013 09:13:44 R A Brown wrote:

            > On 03/02/2013 16:13, Roger Mills wrote:
            > [...]
            > > RM I don't object to a "few" inflections....
            >
            > Yes, I guess a few are acceptable in a simplified conlang.

            Sure.

            > But IMO if something calls itself "X sine flexione" then it
            > should do what it says. In fact "Latino sine flexione" is
            > *not* "sine flexione" - but I guess "Latino cum paucissimis
            > flexionibus" doesn't look as neat ;)

            Right. If someone calls a language "sine flexione", it is 100%
            legitimate to expect that that languages indeed does not inflect
            its words, and when it does have some inflection nevertheless,
            it is wrongly named!

            > In the case of TAKE, I took it as part of the challenge to
            > do the thing without any inflexions.

            Yep.

            > Of course Jeffrey doesn't claim his Sim-Arabic is without
            > inflexions, just simplified.

            So it is - he just wanted to *simplify* the baroque inflectional
            morphology of Classical Arabic, not to abolish it. That is
            perfectly legitimate, no matter what one may feel about it.

            > But ...
            >
            > > I'd have to examine the materials more closely, however.
            > > Offhand, I'm not at all sure it's necessary to retain
            > > the masc/fem differences in the tenses, but that, I know,
            > > is one of Arabic's features.....
            >
            > Division of the universe into things masculine & things
            > feminine is one of the features of Romancelangs and of
            > Insular Celtic. But I would not expect such an _arbitrary_
            > system to be retained in a _simplified_ Romance conlang or
            > Celtic conlang. Learning arbitrary gender distinctions for
            > non living things does not make a language simple.

            Indeed not, and thus most auxlangs have abandoned them.

            > Farsi is an IE language that has dropped grammatical gender;
            > it has borrowed heavily from Arabic and seems quite happy
            > not to assign arbitrary gender to such borrowings.

            Sure. There are many natlangs that do not have any arbitrary
            grammatical genders. Within IE, there are Farsi and Armenian,
            and English at least gets close. The whole Uralic family has
            never known grammatical gender since the days of Proto-Uralic,
            and the same is true of several other families.

            --
            ... brought to you by the Weeping Elf
            http://www.joerg-rhiemeier.de/Conlang/index.html
            "Bêsel asa Éam, a Éam atha cvanthal a cvanth atha Éamal." - SiM 1:1
          • Jeffrey Brown
            ... Yeah, the orthography of Sim-Arabic is sort of ugly. DIN 31635 (the transliteration standard of the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft) is a lot
            Message 5 of 30 , Feb 4, 2013
              Jörg Rhiemeier said:

              > Mixed-case transcription/transliteration systems just suck and
              > are as ugly as an oil spill. A transcription avoiding this can
              > easily be made up for Klingon (basically, as there is only *one*
              > letter that is used both upper- and lower-case, you can just
              > change _Q_ into _qh_ and then dispose of the case distinction).
              >
              > Yet, the current mixed-case system is firmly established among
              > Klingonists, and if you ask me: the *language* is itself as
              > ugly as an oil spill, too! But that, too, is just my personal
              > taste. Let the Klingonists do what they want to, and let our
              > colleague do what he wants to with SimArabic.
              >
              > And for Arabic, we have a pretty serviceable transcription
              > system developed by the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft,
              > which is in international use. There really is no good reason,
              > in these days of most computers being capable of handling the
              > required diacritics, not to use that for a morphologically
              > simplified Arabic.

              Yeah, the orthography of Sim-Arabic is sort of ugly. DIN 31635 (the
              transliteration standard of the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft) is a
              lot prettier - but it is not easier to use. It needs the following
              diacritics: macron above, macron below, dot above, dot below, caron above,
              breve below - and these special characters: right half ring, left half
              ring. It is a pain in the neck to type.

              If someone wanted to use Sim-Arabic with DIN 31635 (augmented by the four
              additional letters in the Persian alphabet), I wouldn’t object.

              … and Jörg Rhiemeier continued:

              > I am not much into this kind of "simplified natlangs". Sure,
              > they are easier to learn than the real thing, but what is the
              > point of them? Someone who has learned SimArabic will still
              > be lost at understanding real Arabic, because the latter is
              > full of irregular forms he does not know because they have
              > been excised from SimArabic!
              >
              > Basically, such simplified languages are perhaps useful as
              > regional auxlangs, but apart from the fact that regional
              > auxlangs IMHO make less sense than global ones, I doubt that
              > simplifying a natlang in such a half-hearted way as in
              > SimArabic is a good way of achieving that. Why not go the
              > whole path and dispose of *all* inflections?

              I can assure you that Sim-Arabic was a “whole-hearted” effort. It is not
              meant as a bridge to learn Arabic, but rather as a way for those who choose
              not to learn Arabic to be able to appreciate literary Arabic without
              translation (provided it is turned into Sim-Arabic). Well, it’ll probably
              never catch on, but I decided to do it anyway.

              Patrick Dunn said:

              > It might be useful, then, to have a three-way dictionary from Arabic -
              > Sim-Arabic - English, so S-A can be used as an interlanguage between the
              > two.

              That is an interesting idea. I might do that.

              Adnan Majid said:

              > Great start!
              >
              > I too found the orthography a bit aesthetically unappealing though, and
              > this may unfortunately be an impediment in your goal of making the
              original
              > writings more accessible for readers. Many readers, for instance, may be
              > turned off from approaching text that they find difficult to read (because
              > of the uppercase letters, asterisks, and letters like "R" on "x" that
              > aren't pronounced as one would expect).

              See my comments to Jörg above.

              > If your goal is just to simplify Arabic texts for western readers, you
              > could transliterate the ghayn sound simply as "g" instead of "R", for
              > instance.

              Then it would be ambiguous with the Persian “g”. (And the ghayn is close to
              a French “r” in some dialects.)

              > Also, if you don't intend that your language be a stepping stone
              > to help readers learn classical Arabic (though it's fine if you do), you
              > could also see about collapsing a few letters like "h" and "H", "t" and
              > "T", "s" or "S", or "d" and "D". You'd have to figure out a way to
              > distinguish 3-letter roots that become similar, but you may also find out
              > that the number of ambiguous roots you form is surprisingly small. (I
              > haven't looked into the issue in depth, but certain Arabic sounds like
              > "ayn" vs. "hamza" or "kaf" vs. "qaf" seem much more important to
              > differentiate for the sake of meaning compared to the ones I listed). In
              > this way, maybe you could reduce the number of capital letters you use
              > without having to use diacritics or digraphs.
              >
              > Looking over your vocabulary list cursorily, I don't see words that would
              > become ambiguous if you collapsed the distinction of the few letters I
              > listed above ("h" and "H", "t" and "T", "s" or "S", or "d" and "D"). Maybe
              > I missed something though.

              To really know if this would cause any ambiguities, I would have to check
              it against an unabridged Arabic dictionary (or at least a comprehensive
              list of roots). Too much work for one single conlanger.

              > Likewise, you can get often get away without differentiating long and
              short
              > vowels. Where you can't, are you opposed to adding an accent over the
              vowel
              > or using "ee" or "oo"?
              >
              > Furthermore, I'm not sure why you would need letters like "Y" or "W".
              These
              > seem only important if you intend that your language help readers trying
              to
              > learn the intricacies of classical Arabic, but they seem superfluous when
              > the goal is to just to help people connect with historical texts *without
              > having to learn Arabic*.

              I have debated whether to remove “Y” and “W” and just use “y” and “w”
              throughout.

              > Also, what do you use your letter "N" for? You
              > call it "tanween" but what purpose does it serve if you're not using the
              > Arabic tanween to mark indefinite nouns?

              To mark adverbs.

              > Looking forward to learning more about your conlang!
              >
              > Adnan (or ^adnAn, I suppose :) )

              Jeffrey (or: jifrI)
            • Jeffrey Brown
              ... If Sim-Arabic were intended as an auxlang, then I would have dropped gender. Since it’s aimed at “Westerners,” and since most SAE-langs have gender,
              Message 6 of 30 , Feb 5, 2013
                Ray Brown said:

                > Division of the universe into things masculine & things
                > feminine is one of the features of Romancelangs and of
                > Insular Celtic. But I would not expect such an _arbitrary_
                > system to be retained in a _simplified_ Romance conlang or
                > Celtic conlang. Learning arbitrary gender distinctions for
                > non living things does not make a language simple.

                and Jörg Rhiemeier added:

                > Indeed not, and thus most auxlangs have abandoned them.

                If Sim-Arabic were intended as an auxlang, then I would have dropped
                gender. Since it’s aimed at “Westerners,” and since most SAE-langs have
                gender, I thought it wouldn’t be difficult, and it makes the “conversion”
                from Arabic to Sim-Arabic (or back again) a lot easier.

                Jeffrey
              • Jörg Rhiemeier
                Hallo conlangers! ... Sure, it is not easy to type, so one may want to use something different. Maybe like this: /^a b t _t ^g .h ^h d _d r z s ^s .s .d .t
                Message 7 of 30 , Feb 7, 2013
                  Hallo conlangers!

                  On Monday 04 February 2013 22:00:52 Jeffrey Brown wrote:

                  > Jörg Rhiemeier said:
                  >
                  > > And for Arabic, we have a pretty serviceable transcription
                  > > system developed by the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft,
                  > > which is in international use. There really is no good reason,
                  > > in these days of most computers being capable of handling the
                  > > required diacritics, not to use that for a morphologically
                  > > simplified Arabic.
                  >
                  > Yeah, the orthography of Sim-Arabic is sort of ugly. DIN 31635 (the
                  > transliteration standard of the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft) is a
                  > lot prettier - but it is not easier to use. It needs the following
                  > diacritics: macron above, macron below, dot above, dot below, caron above,
                  > breve below - and these special characters: right half ring, left half
                  > ring. It is a pain in the neck to type.

                  Sure, it is not easy to type, so one may want to use something
                  different. Maybe like this:

                  '/^a b t _t ^g .h ^h d _d r z s ^s .s .d .t .z ` .g f q k l m n h w/^u y/^i

                  All symbols are derived from the DIN 31635 conventions, and listed
                  above in the order of the Arabic abjad. I guess something similar
                  has been in use in e-mails among orientalists when diacritics still
                  caused problems.

                  It still is not pretty, but IMHO less ugly than mixed case, and
                  the relationship to DIN 31635 quite obvious.

                  --
                  ... brought to you by the Weeping Elf
                  http://www.joerg-rhiemeier.de/Conlang/index.html
                  "Bêsel asa Éam, a Éam atha cvanthal a cvanth atha Éamal." - SiM 1:1
                • David McCann
                  ... Surely it s just a question of getting your keyboard set up properly, like: Compose -a for ā Compose _t for ṯ Compose !t for ṭ Compose cs for š
                  Message 8 of 30 , Feb 7, 2013
                    On Monday 04 February 2013 22:00:52 Jeffrey Brown wrote:

                    > Yeah, the orthography of Sim-Arabic is sort of ugly. DIN 31635 (the
                    > transliteration standard of the Deutsche Morgenländische
                    > Gesellschaft) is a lot prettier - but it is not easier to use. It
                    > needs the following diacritics: macron above, macron below, dot
                    > above, dot below, caron above, breve below - and these special
                    > characters: right half ring, left half ring. It is a pain in the
                    > neck to type.

                    Surely it's just a question of getting your keyboard set up properly,
                    like:
                    Compose -a for ā
                    Compose _t for ṯ
                    Compose !t for ṭ
                    Compose cs for š
                    Compose bh for ḫ
                    L3Sh { for ʿ
                    L3Sh } for ʾ
                    Typing three keys for š is not much worse than typing sh, and I believe
                    that you can get compose-key emulation for Windows these days.

                    I've got everything including the kitchen sink set up here: ẖ ꜣ ƛ ʢ and
                    so on.
                  • Adnan Majid
                    Hi everyone, If the goal of Jeff and others is just to simplify Arabic without being particularly tied down to Arabic s complex phonetics, I wonder whether one
                    Message 9 of 30 , Feb 7, 2013
                      Hi everyone,

                      If the goal of Jeff and others is just to simplify Arabic without being
                      particularly tied down to Arabic's complex phonetics, I wonder whether one
                      can use *vowels* to represent different consonants that were originally
                      different. Many of the emphatic consonants in Arabic (as well as some
                      others) cause the following vowel to become more rounded (is that the right
                      term?) - namely T, Z, S, D, kh, gh, r, and q.

                      For instance, the verb "dalal" would mean "he showed" while the verb
                      ".Dalal" would mean "he erred." Since the "o" vowel isn't usually used in
                      Arabic, one could render the the latter as "dolal", differentiating it from
                      "dalal" without having to use any digraphs or diacritics. And it actually
                      ends up sounding fairly similar to the original.

                      It helps that Arabic has only 3 main vowels. Thus the vowel changes could
                      be something like the following: a->o, i->y, u->eu, or maybe a->o, i->e,
                      u->y, or whatever you'd like (for instance, we already use "syria" to
                      render the Arabic ".Sooriyya" as the Greek "y" was originally similar to
                      the french "eu"). Depending on one's goals, one doesn't need to be totally
                      precise - just precise enough to differentiate similar words.

                      Just a suggestion - haven't thought about all too much.

                      Adnan


                      On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 8:26 AM, David McCann <david@...>wrote:

                      > On Monday 04 February 2013 22:00:52 Jeffrey Brown wrote:
                      >
                      > > Yeah, the orthography of Sim-Arabic is sort of ugly. DIN 31635 (the
                      > > transliteration standard of the Deutsche Morgenländische
                      > > Gesellschaft) is a lot prettier - but it is not easier to use. It
                      > > needs the following diacritics: macron above, macron below, dot
                      > > above, dot below, caron above, breve below - and these special
                      > > characters: right half ring, left half ring. It is a pain in the
                      > > neck to type.
                      >
                      > Surely it's just a question of getting your keyboard set up properly,
                      > like:
                      > Compose -a for ā
                      > Compose _t for ṯ
                      > Compose !t for ṭ
                      > Compose cs for š
                      > Compose bh for ḫ
                      > L3Sh { for ʿ
                      > L3Sh } for ʾ
                      > Typing three keys for š is not much worse than typing sh, and I believe
                      > that you can get compose-key emulation for Windows these days.
                      >
                      > I've got everything including the kitchen sink set up here: ẖ ꜣ ƛ ʢ and
                      > so on.
                      >
                    • MorphemeAddict
                      ... The Greek upsilon (whence y ) was originally pronounced similar to the French u [IPA y] (not eu ). stevo Depending on one s goals, one doesn t need to
                      Message 10 of 30 , Feb 7, 2013
                        On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 2:31 PM, Adnan Majid <dsamajid@...> wrote:

                        > Hi everyone,
                        >
                        > If the goal of Jeff and others is just to simplify Arabic without being
                        > particularly tied down to Arabic's complex phonetics, I wonder whether one
                        > can use *vowels* to represent different consonants that were originally
                        > different. Many of the emphatic consonants in Arabic (as well as some
                        > others) cause the following vowel to become more rounded (is that the right
                        > term?) - namely T, Z, S, D, kh, gh, r, and q.
                        >
                        > For instance, the verb "dalal" would mean "he showed" while the verb
                        > ".Dalal" would mean "he erred." Since the "o" vowel isn't usually used in
                        > Arabic, one could render the the latter as "dolal", differentiating it from
                        > "dalal" without having to use any digraphs or diacritics. And it actually
                        > ends up sounding fairly similar to the original.
                        >
                        > It helps that Arabic has only 3 main vowels. Thus the vowel changes could
                        > be something like the following: a->o, i->y, u->eu, or maybe a->o, i->e,
                        > u->y, or whatever you'd like (for instance, we already use "syria" to
                        > render the Arabic ".Sooriyya" as the Greek "y" was originally similar to
                        > the french "eu").


                        The Greek upsilon (whence "y") was originally pronounced similar to the
                        French "u" [IPA y] (not "eu").

                        stevo

                        Depending on one's goals, one doesn't need to be totally
                        > precise - just precise enough to differentiate similar words.
                        >
                        > Just a suggestion - haven't thought about all too much.
                        >
                        > Adnan
                        >
                        >
                        > On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 8:26 AM, David McCann <david@...
                        > >wrote:
                        >
                        > > On Monday 04 February 2013 22:00:52 Jeffrey Brown wrote:
                        > >
                        > > > Yeah, the orthography of Sim-Arabic is sort of ugly. DIN 31635 (the
                        > > > transliteration standard of the Deutsche Morgenländische
                        > > > Gesellschaft) is a lot prettier - but it is not easier to use. It
                        > > > needs the following diacritics: macron above, macron below, dot
                        > > > above, dot below, caron above, breve below - and these special
                        > > > characters: right half ring, left half ring. It is a pain in the
                        > > > neck to type.
                        > >
                        > > Surely it's just a question of getting your keyboard set up properly,
                        > > like:
                        > > Compose -a for ā
                        > > Compose _t for ṯ
                        > > Compose !t for ṭ
                        > > Compose cs for š
                        > > Compose bh for ḫ
                        > > L3Sh { for ʿ
                        > > L3Sh } for ʾ
                        > > Typing three keys for š is not much worse than typing sh, and I believe
                        > > that you can get compose-key emulation for Windows these days.
                        > >
                        > > I've got everything including the kitchen sink set up here: ẖ ꜣ ƛ ʢ and
                        > > so on.
                        > >
                        >
                      • Alex Fink
                        ... Rounding is a meaningful phonetic term, but I don t know of an Arabic dialect in which rounding is the relevant thing there. Instead, it s backing: /a/ is
                        Message 11 of 30 , Feb 7, 2013
                          On Thu, 7 Feb 2013 11:31:08 -0800, Adnan Majid <dsamajid@...> wrote:

                          >Hi everyone,
                          >
                          >If the goal of Jeff and others is just to simplify Arabic without being
                          >particularly tied down to Arabic's complex phonetics, I wonder whether one
                          >can use *vowels* to represent different consonants that were originally
                          >different. Many of the emphatic consonants in Arabic (as well as some
                          >others) cause the following vowel to become more rounded (is that the right
                          >term?) - namely T, Z, S, D, kh, gh, r, and q.

                          Rounding is a meaningful phonetic term, but I don't know of an Arabic dialect in which rounding is the relevant thing there. Instead, it's backing: /a/ is [&] most places, but [A] in the vicinity of this set of emphatics and allies.

                          >For instance, the verb "dalal" would mean "he showed" while the verb
                          >".Dalal" would mean "he erred." Since the "o" vowel isn't usually used in
                          >Arabic, one could render the the latter as "dolal", differentiating it from
                          >"dalal" without having to use any digraphs or diacritics. And it actually
                          >ends up sounding fairly similar to the original.

                          You've basically just reinvented Maltese! It collapses emphatic coronals with plain ones, but the original Arabic *a is Maltese /a/ in the vicinity of the emphatics and /e/ elsewhere.

                          That's as far as the phonemic splits go in Maltese, but cross-linguistically vowel lowering near uvulars and pharyngeals is also extremely common. So the sensible way to extend this approach to all the original Arabic vowels, I would think, would be *a i u being [A e o] near emphatics and [& i u] elsewhere. (Not these strange front rounded things.)

                          Alex
                        • R A Brown
                          As this deviates somewhat from the question of Arabic romanization, I ve changed the subject line. ... [snip] ... To be accurate, Greek Y (upsilon/ upsilon)
                          Message 12 of 30 , Feb 8, 2013
                            As this deviates somewhat from the question of Arabic
                            romanization, I've changed the subject line.

                            On 07/02/2013 21:23, MorphemeAddict wrote:
                            > On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 2:31 PM, Adnan Majid wrote:
                            >
                            [snip]
                            >> It helps that Arabic has only 3 main vowels. Thus the
                            >> vowel changes could be something like the following:
                            >> a->o, i->y, u->eu, or maybe a->o, i->e, u->y, or
                            >> whatever you'd like (for instance, we already use
                            >> "syria" to render the Arabic ".Sooriyya" as the Greek
                            >> "y" was originally similar to the french "eu").
                            >
                            > The Greek upsilon (whence "y") was originally pronounced
                            > similar to the French "u" [IPA y] (not "eu").

                            To be accurate, Greek Y (upsilon/ upsilon) was _originally_
                            pronounced [u] or, if long, [u:]. It retained that
                            pronunciation in the Doric dialects until those dialects
                            gave way to standard Hellenistic Greek in the later Roman
                            period.

                            It also retained that high back rounded pronunciation in
                            diphthongs in _all_ dialects, until the semivowel gave way
                            to [f] or [v] at some time in the late Hellenistic or early
                            Byzantine period.

                            The shift of [u] --> [y] (and, of course, [u:] --> [y:])
                            happened in the Ionic dialects, including Attic (the dialect
                            of Athens) possibly as early as the 6th cent BC, and seems
                            to have been established by the 5th century BC in all those
                            dialects. The Attic dialect eventually became the basis of
                            the Greek Koine of the Roman period and the pronunciation
                            [y(;)] became standard, before becoming unrounded at
                            sometime in the Byzantine period, giving the modern Greek
                            pronunciation of [i].

                            I am not aware of _any_ evidence that Y was anytime
                            pronounced like the [ø] or [œ] of French _eu_. Tho reading
                            above, I wonder if _eu_ is not, in fact, a typo for _ou_.

                            Greek ΣΥΡΙΑ (Syria) was originally pronounced [suria:], with
                            high pitch on the [i]. In Latin we find it variously
                            spelled as _Suria_, _Syria_ or _Siria_ - with all vowels
                            short (when vowel distinction was phonemic) - clearly
                            depending upon both the period and Greek dialect encountered
                            by the writer (the Greeks of 'Magna Graeca' of southern
                            Italy were originally Dorian speakers).

                            --
                            Ray
                            ==================================
                            http://www.carolandray.plus.com
                            ==================================
                            "language … began with half-musical unanalysed expressions
                            for individual beings and events."
                            [Otto Jespersen, Progress in Language, 1895]
                          • MorphemeAddict
                            ... Thanks for the correction. stevo
                            Message 13 of 30 , Feb 8, 2013
                              On Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 3:37 AM, R A Brown <ray@...> wrote:

                              > As this deviates somewhat from the question of Arabic romanization, I've
                              > changed the subject line.
                              >
                              > On 07/02/2013 21:23, MorphemeAddict wrote:
                              >
                              >> On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 2:31 PM, Adnan Majid wrote:
                              >>
                              >> [snip]
                              >
                              >> It helps that Arabic has only 3 main vowels. Thus the
                              >>> vowel changes could be something like the following:
                              >>> a->o, i->y, u->eu, or maybe a->o, i->e, u->y, or
                              >>> whatever you'd like (for instance, we already use
                              >>> "syria" to render the Arabic ".Sooriyya" as the Greek
                              >>> "y" was originally similar to the french "eu").
                              >>>
                              >>
                              >> The Greek upsilon (whence "y") was originally pronounced
                              >> similar to the French "u" [IPA y] (not "eu").
                              >>
                              >
                              > To be accurate, Greek Y (upsilon/ upsilon) was _originally_
                              > pronounced [u] or, if long, [u:]. It retained that
                              > pronunciation in the Doric dialects until those dialects
                              > gave way to standard Hellenistic Greek in the later Roman
                              > period.
                              >
                              > It also retained that high back rounded pronunciation in
                              > diphthongs in _all_ dialects, until the semivowel gave way
                              > to [f] or [v] at some time in the late Hellenistic or early
                              > Byzantine period.
                              >
                              > The shift of [u] --> [y] (and, of course, [u:] --> [y:])
                              > happened in the Ionic dialects, including Attic (the dialect
                              > of Athens) possibly as early as the 6th cent BC, and seems
                              > to have been established by the 5th century BC in all those
                              > dialects. The Attic dialect eventually became the basis of
                              > the Greek Koine of the Roman period and the pronunciation
                              > [y(;)] became standard, before becoming unrounded at
                              > sometime in the Byzantine period, giving the modern Greek
                              > pronunciation of [i].
                              >

                              Thanks for the correction.

                              stevo

                              >
                              > I am not aware of _any_ evidence that Y was anytime pronounced like the
                              > [ø] or [œ] of French _eu_. Tho reading above, I wonder if _eu_ is not, in
                              > fact, a typo for _ou_.
                              >
                              > Greek ΣΥΡΙΑ (Syria) was originally pronounced [suria:], with
                              > high pitch on the [i]. In Latin we find it variously
                              > spelled as _Suria_, _Syria_ or _Siria_ - with all vowels
                              > short (when vowel distinction was phonemic) - clearly
                              > depending upon both the period and Greek dialect encountered
                              > by the writer (the Greeks of 'Magna Graeca' of southern
                              > Italy were originally Dorian speakers).
                              >
                              > --
                              > Ray
                              > ==============================**====
                              > http://www.carolandray.plus.**com <http://www.carolandray.plus.com>
                              > ==============================**====
                              > "language … began with half-musical unanalysed expressions
                              > for individual beings and events."
                              > [Otto Jespersen, Progress in Language, 1895]
                              >
                            • Adnan Majid
                              Thanks for your points Stevo and Alex. I don t know much about Maltese, but the cultural mix is fascinating. Adnan
                              Message 14 of 30 , Feb 8, 2013
                                Thanks for your points Stevo and Alex. I don't know much about Maltese, but
                                the cultural mix is fascinating.
                                Adnan


                                On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 2:01 PM, Alex Fink <000024@...> wrote:

                                > On Thu, 7 Feb 2013 11:31:08 -0800, Adnan Majid <dsamajid@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > >Hi everyone,
                                > >
                                > >If the goal of Jeff and others is just to simplify Arabic without being
                                > >particularly tied down to Arabic's complex phonetics, I wonder whether one
                                > >can use *vowels* to represent different consonants that were originally
                                > >different. Many of the emphatic consonants in Arabic (as well as some
                                > >others) cause the following vowel to become more rounded (is that the
                                > right
                                > >term?) - namely T, Z, S, D, kh, gh, r, and q.
                                >
                                > Rounding is a meaningful phonetic term, but I don't know of an Arabic
                                > dialect in which rounding is the relevant thing there. Instead, it's
                                > backing: /a/ is [&] most places, but [A] in the vicinity of this set of
                                > emphatics and allies.
                                >
                                > >For instance, the verb "dalal" would mean "he showed" while the verb
                                > >".Dalal" would mean "he erred." Since the "o" vowel isn't usually used in
                                > >Arabic, one could render the the latter as "dolal", differentiating it
                                > from
                                > >"dalal" without having to use any digraphs or diacritics. And it actually
                                > >ends up sounding fairly similar to the original.
                                >
                                > You've basically just reinvented Maltese! It collapses emphatic coronals
                                > with plain ones, but the original Arabic *a is Maltese /a/ in the vicinity
                                > of the emphatics and /e/ elsewhere.
                                >
                                > That's as far as the phonemic splits go in Maltese, but
                                > cross-linguistically vowel lowering near uvulars and pharyngeals is also
                                > extremely common. So the sensible way to extend this approach to all the
                                > original Arabic vowels, I would think, would be *a i u being [A e o] near
                                > emphatics and [& i u] elsewhere. (Not these strange front rounded things.)
                                >
                                > Alex
                                >
                              • BPJ
                                Interestingly there is evidence that there were some dialects of modern Greek, one of them that of Athens, where /y/ of whaever origin merged with /u/ instead
                                Message 15 of 30 , Feb 11, 2013
                                  Interestingly there is evidence that there were some dialects of modern
                                  Greek, one of them that of Athens, where /y/ of whaever origin merged with
                                  /u/ instead of /i/ but apparently they all went extinct with the influx of
                                  eastern Greek refugees early in the 20th century.

                                  Den fredagen den 8:e februari 2013 skrev MorphemeAddict:

                                  > On Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 3:37 AM, R A Brown <ray@...<javascript:;>>
                                  > wrote:
                                  >
                                  > > As this deviates somewhat from the question of Arabic romanization, I've
                                  > > changed the subject line.
                                  > >
                                  > > On 07/02/2013 21:23, MorphemeAddict wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > >> On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 2:31 PM, Adnan Majid wrote:
                                  > >>
                                  > >> [snip]
                                  > >
                                  > >> It helps that Arabic has only 3 main vowels. Thus the
                                  > >>> vowel changes could be something like the following:
                                  > >>> a->o, i->y, u->eu, or maybe a->o, i->e, u->y, or
                                  > >>> whatever you'd like (for instance, we already use
                                  > >>> "syria" to render the Arabic ".Sooriyya" as the Greek
                                  > >>> "y" was originally similar to the french "eu").
                                  > >>>
                                  > >>
                                  > >> The Greek upsilon (whence "y") was originally pronounced
                                  > >> similar to the French "u" [IPA y] (not "eu").
                                  > >>
                                  > >
                                  > > To be accurate, Greek Y (upsilon/ upsilon) was _originally_
                                  > > pronounced [u] or, if long, [u:]. It retained that
                                  > > pronunciation in the Doric dialects until those dialects
                                  > > gave way to standard Hellenistic Greek in the later Roman
                                  > > period.
                                  > >
                                  > > It also retained that high back rounded pronunciation in
                                  > > diphthongs in _all_ dialects, until the semivowel gave way
                                  > > to [f] or [v] at some time in the late Hellenistic or early
                                  > > Byzantine period.
                                  > >
                                  > > The shift of [u] --> [y] (and, of course, [u:] --> [y:])
                                  > > happened in the Ionic dialects, including Attic (the dialect
                                  > > of Athens) possibly as early as the 6th cent BC, and seems
                                  > > to have been established by the 5th century BC in all those
                                  > > dialects. The Attic dialect eventually became the basis of
                                  > > the Greek Koine of the Roman period and the pronunciation
                                  > > [y(;)] became standard, before becoming unrounded at
                                  > > sometime in the Byzantine period, giving the modern Greek
                                  > > pronunciation of [i].
                                  > >
                                  >
                                  > Thanks for the correction.
                                  >
                                  > stevo
                                  >
                                  > >
                                  > > I am not aware of _any_ evidence that Y was anytime pronounced like the
                                  > > [ø] or [œ] of French _eu_. Tho reading above, I wonder if _eu_ is not,
                                  > in
                                  > > fact, a typo for _ou_.
                                  > >
                                  > > Greek ΣΥΡΙΑ (Syria) was originally pronounced [suria:], with
                                  > > high pitch on the [i]. In Latin we find it variously
                                  > > spelled as _Suria_, _Syria_ or _Siria_ - with all vowels
                                  > > short (when vowel distinction was phonemic) - clearly
                                  > > depending upon both the period and Greek dialect encountered
                                  > > by the writer (the Greeks of 'Magna Graeca' of southern
                                  > > Italy were originally Dorian speakers).
                                  > >
                                  > > --
                                  > > Ray
                                  > > ==============================**====
                                  > > http://www.carolandray.plus.**com <http://www.carolandray.plus.com>
                                  > > ==============================**====
                                  > > "language … began with half-musical unanalysed expressions
                                  > > for individual beings and events."
                                  > > [Otto Jespersen, Progress in Language, 1895]
                                  > >
                                  >
                                • R A Brown
                                  ... Are you sure? There were (still are?) some dialects which _apparently_ showed /u/ for ancient /y/; but they also showed _palatalization_ before the /u/,
                                  Message 16 of 30 , Feb 11, 2013
                                    On 11/02/2013 10:54, BPJ wrote:
                                    > Interestingly there is evidence that there were some
                                    > dialects of modern Greek, one of them that of Athens,
                                    > where /y/ of whaever origin merged with /u/ instead of
                                    > /i/ but apparently they all went extinct with the influx
                                    > of eastern Greek refugees early in the 20th century.

                                    Are you sure?

                                    There were (still are?) some dialects which _apparently_
                                    showed /u/ for ancient /y/; but they also showed
                                    _palatalization_ before the /u/, unlike before /u/ inherited
                                    from the ancient ου (ou). This must show a change of /y/ to
                                    /ju/, which is not an uncommon one.

                                    --
                                    Ray
                                    ==================================
                                    http://www.carolandray.plus.com
                                    ==================================
                                    "language … began with half-musical unanalysed expressions
                                    for individual beings and events."
                                    [Otto Jespersen, Progress in Language, 1895]
                                  • David McCann
                                    On Mon, 11 Feb 2013 11:54:14 +0100 ... That s Tsakonian in the Morea, not yet extinct. It s directly descended from Doric. The Old Athenian dialect is a
                                    Message 17 of 30 , Feb 11, 2013
                                      On Mon, 11 Feb 2013 11:54:14 +0100
                                      BPJ <bpj@...> wrote:

                                      > Interestingly there is evidence that there were some dialects of
                                      > modern Greek, one of them that of Athens, where /y/ of whaever origin
                                      > merged with /u/ instead of /i/ but apparently they all went extinct
                                      > with the influx of eastern Greek refugees early in the 20th century.

                                      That's Tsakonian in the Morea, not yet extinct. It's directly descended
                                      from Doric. The Old Athenian dialect is a different matter. That died
                                      out when Athens replaced Nafplio as the capital and was filled with
                                      migrants from the Morea. If I remember correctly, OA was characterised
                                      by /k/ > /č/ before front vowels, among other things.
                                    • BPJ
                                      I said that /y/ whether from υ υι or οι merged with /u/ rather than /i/, not that they preserved ancient /u/. Only Tsakonian did that. Palatalization
                                      Message 18 of 30 , Feb 11, 2013
                                        I said that /y/ whether from υ υι or οι merged with /u/ rather than /i/,
                                        not that they preserved ancient /u/. Only Tsakonian did that.
                                        Palatalization before */y/ indeed proves that it had been a front vowel but
                                        it does *not* prove a */ju/ stage. Swedish and Norwegian [y] caused
                                        palatalization of velars but remained [y] to this day. Also I've never seen
                                        mentioned that those Greek dialect showed e.g. initial /ju/ from */y/.
                                        Front vowels can be simply retracted. It happened e.g. in some dialects of
                                        Emglish. "Cudgel" is a dialect form of OE "cycgel" which found its way into
                                        standard English.

                                        /bpj


                                        Den måndagen den 11:e februari 2013 skrev R A Brown:

                                        > On 11/02/2013 10:54, BPJ wrote:
                                        >
                                        >> Interestingly there is evidence that there were some
                                        >> dialects of modern Greek, one of them that of Athens,
                                        >> where /y/ of whaever origin merged with /u/ instead of
                                        >> /i/ but apparently they all went extinct with the influx
                                        >> of eastern Greek refugees early in the 20th century.
                                        >>
                                        >
                                        > Are you sure?
                                        >
                                        > There were (still are?) some dialects which _apparently_ showed /u/ for
                                        > ancient /y/; but they also showed _palatalization_ before the /u/, unlike
                                        > before /u/ inherited from the ancient ου (ou). This must show a change of
                                        > /y/ to /ju/, which is not an uncommon one.
                                        >
                                        > --
                                        > Ray
                                        > ==============================**====
                                        > http://www.carolandray.plus.**com <http://www.carolandray.plus.com>
                                        > ==============================**====
                                        > "language … began with half-musical unanalysed expressions
                                        > for individual beings and events."
                                        > [Otto Jespersen, Progress in Language, 1895]
                                        >
                                      • R A Brown
                                        ... Glad it s still extant. But there does seem to be disagreement among scholars about how much is derived from pure Doric and how much shows Koine
                                        Message 19 of 30 , Feb 11, 2013
                                          On 11/02/2013 16:18, David McCann wrote:
                                          > On Mon, 11 Feb 2013 11:54:14 +0100 BPJ <bpj@...>
                                          > wrote:
                                          >
                                          >> Interestingly there is evidence that there were some
                                          >> dialects of modern Greek, one of them that of Athens,
                                          >> where /y/ of whaever origin merged with /u/ instead of
                                          >> /i/ but apparently they all went extinct with the
                                          >> influx of eastern Greek refugees early in the 20th
                                          >> century.
                                          >
                                          > That's Tsakonian in the Morea, not yet extinct. It's
                                          > directly descended from Doric.

                                          Glad it's still extant. But there does seem to be
                                          disagreement among scholars about how much is derived from
                                          'pure' Doric and how much shows Koine influence. The
                                          apparent reflex of /u/ for Koine /y/ is considered by some
                                          to be due to and intermediate /ju/ <-- /y/.

                                          Certainly in Koine does seem to have affected all dialects,
                                          so it would not be surprising if there was a mix; possible
                                          some instances of /u/are survivals of Doric and some are
                                          pronunciation of Koine /y/ as [ju] by Doric speakers. It
                                          seems a matter of debate.

                                          > The Old Athenian dialect is a different matter. That
                                          > died out when Athens replaced Nafplio as the capital and
                                          > was filled with migrants from the Morea. If I remember
                                          > correctly, OA was characterised by /k/ > /č/ before
                                          > front vowels, among other things.

                                          A common feature - it's still there in Cretan Greek, where
                                          even the French _kilo_ is pronounced /ʧilo/ :)
                                          =========================================

                                          On 11/02/2013 17:20, BPJ wrote:
                                          > I said that /y/ whether from υ υι or οι merged with /u/
                                          > rather than /i/, not that they preserved ancient /u/.
                                          > Only Tsakonian did that.

                                          Even that, apparently, is debated. I'm not saying whether
                                          /y/ did or did not merge with /u/ - I'd just be happier with
                                          clear examples.

                                          [snip]
                                          > dialect showed e.g. initial /ju/ from */y/. Front vowels
                                          > can be simply retracted. It happened e.g. in some
                                          > dialects of Emglish. "Cudgel" is a dialect form of OE
                                          > "cycgel" which found its way into standard English.

                                          Yes, the common pronunciation of _déja vu_ as "day-zhah voo"
                                          (which really does make me wince) constantly reminds me.

                                          --
                                          Ray
                                          ==================================
                                          http://www.carolandray.plus.com
                                          ==================================
                                          "language … began with half-musical unanalysed expressions
                                          for individual beings and events."
                                          [Otto Jespersen, Progress in Language, 1895]
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