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Re: are there orthographic French modes? (was: French transcription assistance)

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  • calwen76
    ... I am glad I helped a bit. I spent the whole yesterday on the following so I hope this will help a bit too.
    Message 1 of 17 , Feb 19, 2004
      --- In elfscript@yahoogroups.com, "machhezan" <machhezan@g...> wrote:
      > You don't need to at all, but I wouldn't use break the témar
      > consistency unless this could be justified, e.g. historically.
      >
      > And you have indeed helped me to see things better,

      I am glad I helped a bit. I spent the whole yesterday on the
      following so I hope this will help a bit too.

      http://sweb.cz/Calwen.Rudh/modes/French/french.htm

      Lucy
    • machhezan
      Thanks a lot for that draft, Lucy! That makes discussion much easier. I don t think that your distinction between _semivowels_ and _vowel compounds_ is
      Message 2 of 17 , Feb 19, 2004
        Thanks a lot for that draft, Lucy! That makes discussion much easier.

        I don't think that your distinction between _semivowels_ and _vowel
        compounds_ is necessary. I would treat them all in the same way, that
        is as if they were pairs of real vowel _a/e/i/o/u_ + semivowel
        _y/w/e_. That's contrary to pronunciation, but goes along with
        history. I've e.g. heard that the old pronunciation of _oi_ (still
        used in English) was conserved until the French Revolution - but only
        by the nobles (then, from one day to the other, it disappeared).

        By the way, for the vowel pairs ending on _-u_ I'd rather suggest
        vala, based on the 'general use'. In tehtar mode diphthongs, úre isn't
        used but in modes where the tengwar bear the following vowel tehtar,
        and in these modes úre (and yanta) bear the preceding vowel tehtar, e.
        g. in classical Quenya or in some samples of phonetic English (DTS 39
        and 41).

        Your suggestion for the circonflexe is interesting. I'd say it would
        require the _î_ to be represented the same way, that is, by doubling.
        Which would require another representation of _y_. Why not by a
        brevis, like in English orthographic tehtar modes (that would anyway
        be better than the two points based on Sindarin use).

        I don't like your suggestion for the accent grave. Why yanta? I see no
        reason.

        The letters _c, ç, s, z, ss, x_ are difficult. The Numenian mode chart
        seems to suggest that languages which don't have English _th_ use súle
        and anto for _s_ and _z_. I'd say that _c_ could be transcribed like
        in the English orthographic modes: With quesse when it's pronounced
        like _k_ and with silme nuquerna when it's pronounced like _s_. That
        means: quesse for _ca, co, cu_, silme nuquerna for _ça, ce, ci, ço,
        çu_. For _x_, I'd simply suggest the normal transcription: quesse +
        s-hook. And I'd say that esse nuquerna could be used for the accent
        circonflexe. History. Nobody needs to know it, but it's useful, and
        when dealing with Tolkien's notions, I'm always inclined to historical
        arguments.

        ---------------------------
        j. 'mach' wust
        http://machhezan.tripod.com
        ---------------------------
      • Melroch 'Aestan
        An interesting thought hit me yesterday: an orthographic mode for French would almost be a phonemic/phonetic mode for Old French! The same is of course
        Message 3 of 17 , Feb 20, 2004
          An interesting thought hit me yesterday: an orthographic mode
          for French would almost be a phonemic/phonetic mode for
          Old French! The same is of course mutatis mutandis true
          WRT modern and middle English. This is of course due to
          the fact that orthography was originally intended to be
          phone*ic, but change in orthography lags behind -- or even
          is totally independent of -- change in the spoken language.
          The fact is that a given mode of writing, in any script,
          may fall anywhere inbetween being fully phone*ic or being
          rigidly historical (or rigidly 'orthographic', if it is a
          transcription system), in which case it may often reflect
          some in-between historical stage of the language, between
          the time when the orthography was first created and the
          present.

          I've let these thoughts take shape in my own proposal
          for a French mode, which I call "semi-orthographique".
          I've uploaded it to my site (unlinked for now) for
          your revision and criticism.

          <http://www.melroch.se/tengwar/french/semiorthographique0.pdf>

          /BP 8^)
          --
          B.Philip Jonsson mailto:melrochX@... (delete X)
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~__
          A h-ammen ledin i phith! \ \
          __ ____ ____ _____________ ____ __ __ __ / /
          \ \/___ \\__ \ /___ _____/\ \\__ \\ \ \ \\ \ / /
          / / / / / \ / /Melroch\ \_/ // / / // / / /
          / /___/ /_ / /\ \ / /'Aestan ~\_ // /__/ // /__/ /
          /_________//_/ \_\/ /Eowine __ / / \___/\_\\___/\_\
          Gwaedhvenn Angeliniel\ \______/ /a/ /_h-adar Merthol naun
          ~~~~~~~~~Kuinondil~~~\________/~~\__/~~~Noolendur~~~~~~
          || Lenda lenda pellalenda pellatellenda kuivie aiya! ||
          "A coincidence, as we say in Middle-Earth" (JRR Tolkien)
        • machhezan
          ... It s not true that people ever pronounced exactly the way we spell now. Not all spellings are historical. The distinction of _flower_ and _flour_, for
          Message 4 of 17 , Feb 22, 2004
            Melroch 'Aestan wrote:
            > An interesting thought hit me yesterday: an orthographic mode
            > for French would almost be a phonemic/phonetic mode for
            > Old French! The same is of course mutatis mutandis true
            > WRT modern and middle English.

            It's not true that people ever pronounced exactly the way we spell
            now. Not all spellings are historical. The distinction of _flower_ and
            _flour_, for instance, is artificial, or the spelling _debt_ is
            latinizing, etc.

            > I've let these thoughts take shape in my own proposal
            > for a French mode, which I call "semi-orthographique".
            > I've uploaded it to my site (unlinked for now) for
            > your revision and criticism.

            The only un-orthographic feature I've found in this semi-orthographic
            mode is the spelling of the nasal vowels with vilya, which I don't
            understand. Neither do I see why óre is used for _x_. The
            representations of the letters _g, c, z_ are interesting, though I'd
            stick closer to Tolkien's examples. It's a pity that _e_ is
            represented with (variants of) two different tehtar.

            ---------------------------
            j. 'mach' wust
            http://machhezan.tripod.com
            ---------------------------
          • Melroch 'Aestan
            ... Maybe I wasn t hedging enough, but note the almost ! ... Mainly a carry-over from the method of writing an imaginary descendant of Quenya that I devised a
            Message 5 of 17 , Feb 23, 2004
              At 22:32 22.2.2004, machhezan wrote:
              >Melroch 'Aestan wrote:
              > > An interesting thought hit me yesterday: an orthographic mode
              > > for French would almost be a phonemic/phonetic mode for
              > > Old French! The same is of course mutatis mutandis true
              > > WRT modern and middle English.
              >
              >It's not true that people ever pronounced exactly the way we spell
              >now. Not all spellings are historical. The distinction of _flower_ and
              >_flour_, for instance, is artificial, or the spelling _debt_ is
              >latinizing, etc.

              Maybe I wasn't hedging enough, but note the "almost"!


              > > I've let these thoughts take shape in my own proposal
              > > for a French mode, which I call "semi-orthographique".
              > > I've uploaded it to my site (unlinked for now) for
              > > your revision and criticism.
              >
              >The only un-orthographic feature I've found in this semi-orthographic
              >mode is the spelling of the nasal vowels with vilya, which I don't
              >understand.

              Mainly a carry-over from the method of writing an imaginary
              descendant of Quenya that I devised a few years ago.

              >Neither do I see why óre is used for _x_.

              Only for *final* _x_, and this is because final _-ux_ goes
              back to an abbreviation sign for _-us_, which looked similar
              to _x_. I thought that because final _-x_ is usually
              pronounced [z] when pronounced at all I might use a tengwa
              from the same téma as Anto, which I use for _z_.

              Anyway I have changed the representation of both nasalization
              and _-ux_: this frees up Wilya to be used instead of Úre for
              _-u_, so that Wilya plus an alternate form of s-curl can be used
              for _-ux_. Úre is now used only for _y_ in full writing.

              >The
              >representations of the letters _g, c, z_ are interesting, though I'd
              >stick closer to Tolkien's examples.

              This is because French _z_ in inherited words goes back
              to /ts/ or /dz/ -- just as 'soft' _c_ used to be /ts/.

              As for the representation of _c, g, qu, gu, ç_ it is now changed
              and fully orthographic, except that I persist in writing all
              soft _c_s as Thúle, and not only _ç_.

              > It's a pity that _e_ is
              >represented with (variants of) two different tehtar.

              I changed that too. I now use the 'circumflex' tehta for
              _é_ (it begins as an acute), and the 'inverted circumflex'
              tehta for _è_ (since it begins like a grave). This also
              makes it possible to use the 'circumflex tehtar' on a
              long carrier as alternative graphies for the very frequent
              digraphs _ai, aî_.

              The URL to the new version is
              <<http://www.melroch.se/tengwar/french/semiorthographique0.pdf>http://www.melroch.se/tengwar/french/semiorthographique1<http://www.melroch.se/tengwar/french/semiorthographique0.pdf>.pdf>

              Note the change of file name!

              /BP 8^)
              --
              B.Philip Jonsson mailto:melrochX@... (delete X)
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~__
              A h-ammen ledin i phith! \ \
              __ ____ ____ _____________ ____ __ __ __ / /
              \ \/___ \\__ \ /___ _____/\ \\__ \\ \ \ \\ \ / /
              / / / / / \ / /Melroch\ \_/ // / / // / / /
              / /___/ /_ / /\ \ / /'Aestan ~\_ // /__/ // /__/ /
              /_________//_/ \_\/ /Eowine __ / / \___/\_\\___/\_\
              Gwaedhvenn Angeliniel\ \______/ /a/ /_h-adar Merthol naun
              ~~~~~~~~~Kuinondil~~~\________/~~\__/~~~Noolendur~~~~~~
              || Lenda lenda pellalenda pellatellenda kuivie aiya! ||
              "A coincidence, as we say in Middle-Earth" (JRR Tolkien)
            • machhezan
              ... Very interesting! Makes a whole lot of sense. ... Will you have another interesting explanation for this one? Because I think that the óretyelle sound of
              Message 6 of 17 , Feb 23, 2004
                Melroch 'Aestan wrote:
                > Mainly a carry-over from the method of writing an imaginary
                > descendant of Quenya that I devised a few years ago.

                :)

                > >Neither do I see why óre is used for _x_.
                >
                > Only for *final* _x_, and this is because final _-ux_ goes
                > back to an abbreviation sign for _-us_, which looked similar
                > to _x_. I thought that because final _-x_ is usually
                > pronounced [z] when pronounced at all I might use a tengwa
                > from the same téma as Anto, which I use for _z_.

                Very interesting! Makes a whole lot of sense.

                > Anyway I have changed the representation of both nasalization
                > and _-ux_: this frees up Wilya to be used instead of Úre for
                > _-u_,

                Will you have another interesting explanation for this one? Because I
                think that the óretyelle sound of the k-series can't express any
                u-like sound.

                > >The representations of the letters _g, c, z_ are interesting,
                > >though I'd stick closer to Tolkien's examples.
                >
                > This is because French _z_ in inherited words goes back
                > to /ts/ or /dz/ -- just as 'soft' _c_ used to be /ts/.

                That's most interesting. It's indeed a very consistent way of
                historical spelling. Though I consider that Tolkien's orthographic
                English modes were rather orthographic than historic, that is, their
                only aim was to be as easy as possible while still not going against
                the principles of tengwar spelling. The man of Gondor hesitated
                between the values of the letters familiar in his 'mode' and the
                _traditional_, not the _historical_ spelling of English.

                The one example where this is obvious is the representation of the
                digraph _gh_. I don't imagine that English ever had a voiced velar
                fricative, but only a voiceless, like the other Germanic languages.
                The spelling _gh_ was only adopted because the spelling _ch_ wasn't
                available any more, since Old French required it for another sound,
                the sound it still has in Modern English. (I hope I'm not wrong.) This
                means that historically, the adequate sign would be hwesta, not unque.
                Unque isn't adequate but orthographically.

                > I persist in writing all soft _c_s as Thúle, and not only _ç_.

                I fully agree that these don't need to be distinguished.

                > The URL to the new version is
                > <<http://www.melroch.se/tengwar/french/semiorthographique0.pdf>http:
                //www.melroch.se/tengwar/french/semiorthographique1<http://www.
                melroch.se/tengwar/french/semiorthographique0.pdf>.pdf>
                >
                > Note the change of file name!

                I don't note any - a mistake, I suppose.

                ---------------------------
                j. 'mach' wust
                http://machhezan.tripod.com
                ---------------------------
              • Melroch 'Aestan
                ... [stuff butchered by the mail client] ... Yes, but not mine. The mailer got confused when I changed the URL by hand!
                Message 7 of 17 , Feb 23, 2004
                  At 20:01 23.2.2004, machhezan wrote:

                  > > The URL to the new version is

                  [stuff butchered by the mail client]

                  > > Note the change of file name!
                  >
                  >I don't note any - a mistake, I suppose.

                  Yes, but not mine. The mailer got confused
                  when I changed the URL by hand!

                  http://www.melroch.se/tengwar/french/semiorthographique1.pdf>

                  More answers later!

                  /BP 8^)
                  --
                  B.Philip Jonsson mailto:melrochX@... (delete X)
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~__
                  A h-ammen ledin i phith! \ \
                  __ ____ ____ _____________ ____ __ __ __ / /
                  \ \/___ \\__ \ /___ _____/\ \\__ \\ \ \ \\ \ / /
                  / / / / / \ / /Melroch\ \_/ // / / // / / /
                  / /___/ /_ / /\ \ / /'Aestan ~\_ // /__/ // /__/ /
                  /_________//_/ \_\/ /Eowine __ / / \___/\_\\___/\_\
                  Gwaedhvenn Angeliniel\ \______/ /a/ /_h-adar Merthol naun
                  ~~~~~~~~~Kuinondil~~~\________/~~\__/~~~Noolendur~~~~~~
                  || Lenda lenda pellalenda pellatellenda kuivie aiya! ||
                  "A coincidence, as we say in Middle-Earth" (JRR Tolkien)
                • Melroch 'Aestan
                  ... Why not. Anyway I use the quessetéma for (orthographic) _qu, gu_ now. I prefer Wilya for the u- diphthongs because it looks funny when o-tehtar and
                  Message 8 of 17 , Feb 25, 2004
                    At 20:01 23.2.2004, machhezan wrote:

                    >Melroch 'Aestan wrote:
                    > > Mainly a carry-over from the method of writing an imaginary
                    > > descendant of Quenya that I devised a few years ago.
                    >
                    >:)
                    >
                    > > >Neither do I see why óre is used for _x_.
                    > >
                    > > Only for *final* _x_, and this is because final _-ux_ goes
                    > > back to an abbreviation sign for _-us_, which looked similar
                    > > to _x_. I thought that because final _-x_ is usually
                    > > pronounced [z] when pronounced at all I might use a tengwa
                    > > from the same téma as Anto, which I use for _z_.
                    >
                    >Very interesting! Makes a whole lot of sense.
                    >
                    > > Anyway I have changed the representation of both nasalization
                    > > and _-ux_: this frees up Wilya to be used instead of Úre for
                    > > _-u_,
                    >
                    >Will you have another interesting explanation for this one? Because I
                    >think that the óretyelle sound of the k-series can't express any
                    >u-like sound.

                    Why not. Anyway I use the quessetéma for (orthographic) _qu, gu_ now.
                    I prefer Wilya for the u-'diphthongs' because it looks funny when
                    o-tehtar and s-curls are attached to Úre. Let's say the scribes
                    originally used Úre, but switched over to the otherwise unused
                    Wilya because it looked better and was smoother to write with an
                    s-curl attached. Of course Úre then becomes unused and free to use
                    as an alternative.

                    > > >The representations of the letters _g, c, z_ are interesting,
                    > > >though I'd stick closer to Tolkien's examples.
                    > >
                    > > This is because French _z_ in inherited words goes back
                    > > to /ts/ or /dz/ -- just as 'soft' _c_ used to be /ts/.
                    >
                    >That's most interesting. It's indeed a very consistent way of
                    >historical spelling. Though I consider that Tolkien's orthographic
                    >English modes were rather orthographic than historic, that is, their
                    >only aim was to be as easy as possible while still not going against
                    >the principles of tengwar spelling. The man of Gondor hesitated
                    >between the values of the letters familiar in his 'mode' and the
                    >_traditional_, not the _historical_ spelling of English.

                    Between which the line is thin at most times, although I'm
                    aware of the differences.


                    >The one example where this is obvious is the representation of the
                    >digraph _gh_. I don't imagine that English ever had a voiced velar
                    >fricative,

                    It had, but only in words like _law_ < _lagu_ [laGu],
                    _bow_ < _boga_, which had become _lawe, bowe_ already in
                    the earliest Middle English.

                    >but only a voiceless, like the other Germanic languages.

                    *All* Germanic languages (except perhaps OHG) had [G]
                    as an allophone of /g/ at some point. Middle Dutch even
                    had it as the main allophone.

                    >The spelling _gh_ was only adopted because the spelling _ch_ wasn't
                    >available any more, since Old French required it for another sound,
                    >the sound it still has in Modern English. (I hope I'm not wrong.)

                    Right. Scots still writes _nicht_ for 'night', and pronounces it
                    much as the German word for 'not'.

                    > This
                    >means that historically, the adequate sign would be hwesta, not unque.
                    >Unque isn't adequate but orthographically.

                    True, except that the modern pronunciation of e.g. _through_ suggests
                    that a [G] allophone existed at least in some positions in some dialects,
                    but that's purely coincidental as far as spelling goes.

                    > > I persist in writing all soft _c_s as Thúle, and not only _ç_.
                    >
                    >I fully agree that these don't need to be distinguished.

                    Except that it means that the pronunciation of orthographic _c_
                    still varies depending on how it is pronounced.

                    FWIW I also decided to use extended-stem tengwar for the
                    orthographic _ph, th_ and for soft _g_. Perhaps also
                    extended-stem hwesta for _ch_ when it is pronounced /k/?

                    'Tis amazing how the Gauls keep mutilating their own language! ;)


                    /BP 8^)
                    --
                    B.Philip Jonsson mailto:melrochX@... (delete X)
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~__
                    A h-ammen ledin i phith! \ \
                    __ ____ ____ _____________ ____ __ __ __ / /
                    \ \/___ \\__ \ /___ _____/\ \\__ \\ \ \ \\ \ / /
                    / / / / / \ / /Melroch\ \_/ // / / // / / /
                    / /___/ /_ / /\ \ / /'Aestan ~\_ // /__/ // /__/ /
                    /_________//_/ \_\/ /Eowine __ / / \___/\_\\___/\_\
                    Gwaedhvenn Angeliniel\ \______/ /a/ /_h-adar Merthol naun
                    ~~~~~~~~~Kuinondil~~~\________/~~\__/~~~Noolendur~~~~~~
                    || Lenda lenda pellalenda pellatellenda kuivie aiya! ||
                    "A coincidence, as we say in Middle-Earth" (JRR Tolkien)
                  • machhezan
                    ... The line is thin, but it s after all a difference in aims: You can either aim at creating the easiest way of writing or at creating the most consistent
                    Message 9 of 17 , Mar 4, 2004
                      I wrote:
                      > >Though I consider that Tolkien's orthographic English
                      > >modes were rather orthographic than historic, that is,
                      > >their only aim was to be as easy as possible while still
                      > >not going against the principles of tengwar spelling. The
                      > >man of Gondor hesitated between the values of the letters
                      > >familiar in his 'mode' and the _traditional_, not the
                      > >_historical_ spelling of English.

                      Melroch 'Aestan answered:
                      > Between which the line is thin at most times, although I'm
                      > aware of the differences.

                      The line is thin, but it's after all a difference in aims: You can
                      either aim at creating the easiest way of writing or at creating the
                      most consistent historically (both of course consistent with the
                      principles of tengwa spelling). And for a primer, the difference may
                      be significant.

                      You seem to search for the historically most consistent orthography,
                      while I try to search the easiest one (and I fancy I go along with
                      Tolkien). Therefore, I fear that we won't agree on a system of
                      consonant signs. For the vowels, however, I think we could find an
                      agreement.


                      You're right that the long carrier is a more natural way to represent
                      the circonflexe than esse nuquerna. I consider, however, that your
                      representations of the grave still need improvement, because they're
                      not regularly related to the 'accentless' variants of the same vowel,
                      and because I think three dot tehtar and circumflex tehtar ought to be
                      free variants. So here's a suggestion for a regular relation between
                      grave vowels and unaccented vowels:

                      (i) The grave vowels be represented by the common modifications of the
                      original vowel tehtar, that is, by the inverted three dots (like your
                      suggestion), by the reversed acute (grave) and by the modified u-curl
                      (like your suggestion). The _e aigu_ be represented by a doubled
                      acute. For typing, the hachek/inversed circumflex might be used while
                      there's no grave tehta.

                      This suggestion has a big disadvantage: It makes the use of the
                      modified u-curl for a following _-w_ impossible, a sign I need for my
                      representations of the mute _u_ in _qu, gu_. So here's another
                      suggestion for a regular relation between grave vowels and unaccented
                      vowels:

                      (ii) The grave vowels be represented by the doubled version of the
                      original vowel tehtar. The _e aigu_ be represented by a reversed
                      e-tehta. The disadvantages are obvious: There's no doubled a-tehta, so
                      the reversed one must be taken; it's counter-intuitional to have the
                      _e aigu_ represented by a grave accent. So I'm still inclined towards
                      my first suggestion:

                      (iii) The grave vowels be put on a long carrier; the circonflexe
                      vowels be put on esse nuquerna; the _e aigu_ be represented by a
                      doubled acute. The disadvantage is the esse nuquerna which isn't be
                      historically justified in all cases.

                      I'm desperate, I don't believe in orthographic French tehtar modes,
                      and a full writing mode must be too orthographic for my taste, that
                      is, I don't believe that there's another way than using the same
                      accents as in the traditional orthography even though they're alien to
                      the tengwar.


                      I see why you're using vilya for -u: You're using calmatéma for both
                      palatals (ch, j, gn, i) and velars (c, g). I can't approve of that.

                      I've thought again about your use of súle and anto: Your suggestion is
                      partly based on the former pronunciations of <c/ç, z> as /ts, dz/. How
                      could the letters súle and anto be related to these sounds?

                      ---------------------------
                      j. 'mach' wust
                      http://machhezan.tripod.com
                      ---------------------------
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