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188Re: phonemic english tengwar

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  • Stephen Ross
    Mar 28, 2001
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      Me and a friend, who are both learning the uses of tengwar together, came up
      with a phonetic (phonemic, sorry, don't know what the differnce is) mode for
      english use. Becuz we live in different parts of the country, much of our
      practice comes from writing eachother letters. Often we use Dan Smith's
      fonts and just write it out on the computer, but we found the same problem
      your having in that english spelling and pronunciation are very differnt.
      We decided to go the phonetic route, using Dan's extended tehtar selection
      to build on the typical 5 (which we use for the sounds they make, not as the
      letters they are translated into english as).

      Heres what we do: the triple dots are the /ah/ sound (father), while the
      dots over a long carrier make an /aa/ sound (cat). The accent mark is the
      /eh/ sound (were), a double accent for an extended sound (make), which I
      spose could also be written as an accent over an anna. The single dot is
      the /ee/ sound, double dots the /ih/ sound (this). For what in english is a
      long i sound (write), we use the chevron (this was used by JRRT in the RotK
      title page). The over- and under- curls are the traditional use, a single
      over- for a short /oh/ sound (for), double for a longer (more), a single
      under- for /oo/ (brute), a double for a longer (cool). For dipthongs and
      other sounds we use tehta over anna, yanta, and ure as necessary.

      One sound we found ourselves needing a lot is the schwa, kind of an /uh/
      sound (the a in about, the u in under, etc). For this we use the reverse
      triple dots (two over one). Presumably this sound didn't occur in elvish,
      which is why JRRT never needed a tehta for it, but its one of the most
      common sounds in the english language, and we definetly needed sumthin for
      it.

      Anyways, thats what me and my friend do. I'm sure all you phoneticists and
      etc will have lots of reasons why we shouldn't do it that way, but hey, it
      works well for us! And if the Elves could go around making up modes for new
      languages, why can't we? hee hee

      have fun!

      Stephen
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