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Re: [elfscript] Re: Disambiguation of historical spellings (was" Orthographic Engl. Tehtar Mode")

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  • Dave
    ... melroch: Sorry, I didn t mean often in Tolkien s use of the Tengwar but often in the history of writing . Look e.g. at Hebrew and Arabic or Japanese
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 26, 2004
      >>Exactly. My idea is that it often happens that an historical
      >>spelling gets disambiguated with the help of diacritics.

      > [Not in the case of hard/soft "th", though, and in the case of "ch"
      > only in one of three options, if we count that vertical under-bar
      > (that is attested only once AFAIK) as a diacritic sign.
      > So I don't know about "often". How many attested examples are there
      > in the orthographic modes? Hardly more than for usage of extended
      > stems (which would not fall in the category of diacritics I
      > presume?). Then again, we don't have many (or very long) samples to
      > go on.]

      Sorry, I didn't mean "often in Tolkien's use of the Tengwar"
      but "often in the history of writing". Look e.g. at Hebrew
      and Arabic or Japanese kana.

      [I see! Misunderstood you there :).

      This is already slightly OT, I guess, but could you give an example for the Japanese kana? I know there are some historically motivated irregularities in hiragana spelling, such as using an additional "e"-kana for long "e" in words with Japanese pronuncation (kun), and an additional "i"-kana for for long "e" in words with "Chinese" (or Sino-Japanese) pronunciation (on). Also, the indication of long "u" can be somewhat "erratic" (if you don't know the underlying historical rationale), mostly with an additional "u"-kana, but sometimes with an additional "o"-kana. These are all examples of using different _kana_ for the same sound for historical reasons, and they don't really have a "disambiguating" function as far as I can tell (unless maybe indicating in some cases that a word was originally borrowed from Chinese), and no diacritics are involved.

      I only know of the use of actual diacritics with hiragana/katakana to indicate daku-on ("g" as opposed to "k", "z" as opposed to "s", "d" as opposed to "t" and "b" as opposed to "h". In all these cases, two short strokes (nigori) are added at the top right corner of the original kana. Then there is the handaku-on ("p" as opposed to "h"), marked with a small circle (maru) at the top right corner of the original sound.
      So we have:

      ka, ki, ku, ke, ko ----> (plus nigori=) ga, gi, gu, ge, go
      sa, shi/si, su, se, so ----> (plus nigori=) za, ji/zi, zu, ze, zo
      ta, chi/ti, tu, te, to ----> (plus nigori=) da, ji/zi, zu, de, do
      ha, hi, fu/hu, he, ho ----> (plus nigori=) ba, bi, bu, be, bo
      ha, hi, fu/fu, he, ho ----> (plus maru=) pa, pi, pu, pe, po

      Now I have only _learned_ some Japanese, but not really _studied_ it linguistically/scientifically, so I'm not sure whether any of the above would somehow qualify as "disambiguation" of historical spellings (it seems to me that the diacritic signs here simply indicate a different consontantal sound)? I would be curious to find out, though, so maybe you can give some examples of what you meant :).]


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