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Re: Easy-typing Arabic romanization (was: Not really a conlang...)

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  • Adnan Majid
    Thanks for your points Stevo and Alex. I don t know much about Maltese, but the cultural mix is fascinating. Adnan
    Message 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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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