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Re: [elfscript] And yet another translation request...

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  • Alf Gandson
    ... [snip] ... [snip] ... [snip] ... * Yes, I ve only been talking about vowels. But still, I wouldn t even call the consonants rather phonemic , but also
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 1, 2002
      DDanielA@w... Teithant:

      > Teithant Alf Gandson:


      > > a mode which uses a single sign for many different sounds


      > > is not to be called phonemic.


      > Okay, to use the word 'phonemic' was to oversimplify the situation. The consonantal tengwar are rather phonemic; the vocalic tehtar are not.

      * Yes, I've only been talking about vowels. But still, I wouldn't even call the consonants "rather phonemic", but also corresponding to traditional English consonant spelling. Of course, they are "rather phonemic", but only because traditional English spelling is. (Important: Only while considering combinations such as _th_, _wh_, _sh_ as unities!) Only in differentiating between [th] and [dh] (using Tolkien's transcription), the Title Page Inscription is more phonemic. But this single example doesn't allow us to sustain that it's all phonemic, because there's another example which shows very clearly its dependence from traditional spelling: in the doubling of [b] in the word _hobbits_. There's absolutely NO phonemical or phonetical reason for doing so. I wouldn't be surprised to have the word _knight_ spelled in Title Page Inscription mode as "quesse - nuumen - unque with an i-dot on it - tinco", i.e as k-n-i-gh-t, even though nobody ever pronounces either _k_ or _gh_.


      > However, we can make reasonable inferences concerning vowels with what little information is available.

      * How to spell _dead, sea, idea, boy, coin, shoe, does, boat, lie, thieve, loud, ..._?


      > However 'myuzik' seems preferable to 'musik' when trying to represent pronunciation.

      * But when trying to represent orthography - and that's what to my point of view the writer mainly does - 'musik' is preferable. Anyway, the /iu/ can also be considered vocalic.

      > As for the vowels -- yeah, Tolkien did give greater consideration to traditional spelling than to pronunciation in the Title Page Innscription.


      * OK, so for the vowels, we have rather "orthographic" spelling. As the consonants stay half-way between orthographic (doubled _b_ in _hobbits_) and phonemic ([th] - [dh] distinction) spelling, "orthographicity" prevails: The Title Page Inscription is nearer to traditional spelling than to pronouncing.

      > and the 'a' in 'and' is written as the single under-dot = the neutral vowel.

      * ? An _e_ which isn't pronounced any more? A schwa?

      > Tolkien did not distinguish vowel length in the Title Page Inscription.

      * Modern English doesn't have such a distinction. Quenya has, Sindarin has, Finnish has, German has, many other languages have, but English doesn't. I know people use to make that distinction between word pairs such as _bit - bite_ or _at - ate_. Please avoid it, because it's particularly misleading for persons who're not native English speakers. I'm not, and it took me a hard time to figure out that English speaker who were talking about short and long vowels didn't mean that the vowels were short or long, but rather simple and compound. (I think that error is also due to traditional English spelling.)

      > Indeed, the only use of the long carrier is to represent the diphthong [ai] (+ the chevron tehta) represented by the written 'y' in the word 'by'.

      * Don't forget about the long carrier in _history_. The long carrier could also be seen as a variant of the short one at word endings, just as in traditional spelling, where _i_ (which has the same shape as the short carrier) is avoided at word endings and replaced by _y_.

      > >Call your suggestions _my phonemic mode_ or anything,but don't call it Title Page Inscription Mode - that would mislead the people you try to help.


      > To call what I put forth _my phonemic mode_, implying that it's my own 'fabrication' without a firm basis in Tolkien's own example, would be equally misleading.


      * You're right. What about "my mode built upon the Title Page Inscription"? Well, that's awful. "My completion of the Title Page Inscription mode"?

      * btw, what's bad about using anna for consonantal y? I've always used it according to vala for w.

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