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Re: English orthographic tehta mode diphthongs

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  • David J. Finnamore
    Well, that s good two no. Less agonizing over which characters to chews. People named Claude aren t going to be very happy about it, though. Will try to
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 1, 2006
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      Well, that's good two no. Less agonizing over which characters to
      chews. People named Claude aren't going to be very happy about it,
      though. Will try to make sure they don't over here us, just too bee nice.

      Confusion can arise inadvertently in modern English more easily than
      you might think. It's not a very tidy language. Imagine writing an
      article in phonemic English tehta mode and titling a section:

      "Silme dot-over-long-carrier [space] Calma Anna+accute-accent Númen
      Anga" (or perhaps "Anga+over-tilde" instead of "Númen Anga")

      Is it "Sea Change" or "See Change"? You want article headings to
      prepare the reader for what he's about to read, not make him read the
      section to figure out what the heading means.

      --- In elfscript@yahoogroups.com, "j_mach_wust" <j_mach_wust@y...> wrote:
      > If two words that are pronounced the same really were a
      > source of confusion, then people would start pronouncing them
      > differently (for instance by replacing one of the words or by
      > specifying it). The fact that people don't do that proves that there's
      > no need for a distinction of these two words in pronunciation

      It's certainly strong evidence that the issue is not pressing in daily
      conversation. But languages don't develop predictably, and what is
      done by masses of people can seldom be explained logically. Just
      because everyone does something doesn't prove that it's a good or wise
      thing to do, nor even that it's helpful toward a goal they might be
      supposed collectively to be motivated to seek. All we like sheep have
      gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way, and all that.

      > Tolkien
      > has used the same transcription for the words "hour" (DTS 18) and
      > "our" (DTS 23). This proves your hypothesis wrong that Tolkien's
      > phonemic modes could have exceptions for homophones.

      I don't think the issue can be put to bed quite that easily. I admit
      that it's likely enough that Tolkien didn't worry much about confusion
      over homonyms in phonemic spelling. But a single instance of a pair
      of homonyms spelled the same way is hardly proof. The fact that the
      examples are from different documents further weakens their usefulness
      as evidence for any argument at all. He was probably not thinking
      about how he spelled the earlier one at the time he wrote the later
      one. Besides, as you know, he used his languages and scripts somewhat
      flexibly, made changes over time, and modified them to suit the needs
      of the task at hand. He used them as an artist, not as a scientist.
      I don't know much yet, but I do know that like the rest of us of
      mortal kin, he wasn't completely consistent, and sometimes he even
      made mistakes. The assertion in question is a universal negative, and
      the dear professor isn't around to ask, so, it can't really be proven
      one way or the other. But, as I say, I don't doubt the possibility.

      > My theory is that he only used the orthographic
      > approach as a concession to the public, while privately preferring
      > phonemic transcriptions. If I remember correctly, then all tengwar
      > texts that were meant to be read by others are orthographic. Tolkien
      > also seems to have started with the phonemic approach, as we only know
      > phonemic transcriptions in Tolkien's early alphabets. However, there
      > aren't any signs that he was skewing towards the orthographic
      > approach, since phonemic texts are among the latest ones.

      That sounds compelling. It certainly squares with the illustration in
      the Lay of Leithien in HoMe 3.

      Well, it'll be good practice for me to do it both weighs.

      David "Daeron" Finnamore
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