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RE: [folkspraak] Digest Number 410

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  • Christopher Burd
    Greeting Folkspra(a)keren! It s good to see so much activity on the list. I see Xipirho s point, but in the end I think that bringing in questions of
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 20, 2003
      Greeting Folkspra(a)keren!

      It's good to see so much activity on the list. I see Xipirho's point, but in
      the end I think that bringing in questions of pronunciation will complicate
      the process without really offering much advantage. The thing is, if English
      uses a highly non-Germanic spelling in some word, the other languages will
      simply overrule it. So there's no need to "correct" features like the O in
      "house"; we've got it covered.

      On the other hand, I strongly feel we should not ignore umlauts in the input
      languages. The umlauted vowels are critical features of most Germanic
      languages. In German, O-umlaut is considered to be close to E not O (in
      traditional poetry, you can even rhyme O-umlaut and E). The simplest
      approach is to transcribe them AE, OE, UE.

      The question of whether you have umlaut sounds in the final FS is entirely
      separate. As I see it, you need to define a phonology (and a set of spelling
      conventions) for FS, presumably based on a consensus of the source
      languages. (Whether that's a matter of majority rule or lowest common
      denominator or something else up to you.) Once you've done that, you may
      have to adjust your "raw" prototypes to fit the phonology and orthography.
      For example, suppose the consensus word for 'beautiful' comes out as
      *_shoen_. Now, suppose we've decided that neither [S] nor [O-umlaut] exist
      in FS. In that we'd adjust the prototype to something like _sken_ (note:
      *not* *skon!).

      As you can see, I'm proposing a two-stage prototyping process. First you
      average the contributing forms (using whatever methodology you've devised)
      to derive a raw prototype, which you then subject to whatever
      phonetic/orthographic/morphological constraint to produce the corrected
      prototype, which is the FS dictionary forms.

      I think you'll find that the alternative of writing the "averaging" rules in
      such a way as to always produce an acceptable FS word will be a wild goose
      chase, or involve a lot of ad-hoc fiddling.

      As for the question of whether you should have umlaut sounds in FS, I think
      we ought to consider whether cases like *skoen = [sko"n], [sko@n] are likely
      to be common. Maybe those two are the *only* problem words.

      Just my ideas!

      > Message: 1
      > Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2003 10:45:52 GMT
      > From: "Xipirho" <xipirho@...>
      > Subject: Re: Re: Pronunciation
      >
      > when considering english for basing word-forms on one should take
      > into account the modern pronunciation, not just the spelling
      > because even when current english spellings were first used the
      > spelling system was not at all logical. the same applies i gues
      > to a lesser extent to german and swedish. also, in a word like
      > "house" in english, the "o" shouldn't be taken into account
      > because "ou" was simply a french way of writing long u (/u:/ ).
      >
      >
      > > Excellent work....I suggest we use absolutely no umlauts,
      > since, as you say,
      > > the plural "en" would be confused with an umlauted letter and
      > them "n". We
      > > can't represent umlauts by "oe" or "ue" because, such as in "sho", the
      > > plural would be "shoen", which would look just like a
      > transliteration of the
      > > German word for beautiful, schön...
      > >
      > > There is no perfect way to determine vowels..."dier" is a pretty easy
      > > marking, because there is a simple, letter by letter, analysis
      > that applies.
      > > But in other words there is no easy way to "outvote" certain vowels, and
      > > "deyr" isn't very welcome to the eye. Here's my suggestion in cases like
      > > this: look at the Scandinavian, which is usually more international than
      > > English or German and forms a solid medium point. For example,
      > in the word
      > > for "house" we have all three languages consenting on "h", but
      > we have "o"
      > > in English and "a" in German as the first vowel. Scandinavian
      > skips this, so
      > > Folksprak should rather than finding a medium point. The second
      > vowel is "u"
      > > in all three languages, and "s" is the same in all. Finally, German and
      > > Swedish outvote English that there should be no silent vowel at
      > the end. So
      > > in this case Folksprak and Swedish both have "hus", which is a perfectly
      > > pan-Germanic word. So my point is, Scandinavian words are often more
      > > pan-Germanic than English, German, Dutch or others for some reason.
      > >
      > > Keep going, your work is putting me to shame!!
      > >
      > > Nathaniel
      > >
      > > ----- Original Message -----
      > > From: "wordwulf" <eparsels@...>
      > > To: <folkspraak@yahoogroups.com>
      > > Sent: Monday, March 17, 2003 11:01 AM
      > > Subject: [folkspraak] Re: Pronunciation
      > >
      > >
      > > > God dag,
      > > > The way I've been doing it is to have 'y' stand for the high central
      > > > (front, but rounded like a back vowel) vowel. I did this in order to
      > > > close the gap between i and u. As far as the choice of forms goes,
      > > > what I have been doing since I decided to try the 'core 1', 'core 2'
      > > > thing is to let the majority form decide. Since I am going off only
      > > > three of the six Germanic languages, the forms I come up with are in
      > > > many cases probably going to have to be modified eventually. But
      > > > take a word like 'deer'. English and Swedish agree on the first
      > > > letter, as opposed to German t. German and Swedish agree on the
      > > > second letter (German i, Swedish j=i) against English e. German and
      > > > English outvote Swedish for the second vowel, e, as opposed to
      > > > Swedish u. And all three agree on the final letter, r. Which gives
      > > > a construct like *dier, which I pronounce as a sort of two-syllable
      > > > or glide effect DEE-ER.
      > > >
      > > > Sometimes, When all three languages differ, especially regarding
      > > > vowels, I choose the construct form based on shared features. I, Y
      > > > and U are high vowels. E and O are mid vowels, and A is a low
      > > > vowel. Think of it as a clock. Y is at twelve, U is at 2:00, O is at
      > > > 4:00, A is at 6:00, E is at 8:00, and I is at 10:00. When
      > > > considering the source language material, I just ignore umlauts.
      > > > Thus I read Swedish gron without the umlaut, and German grun without
      > > > the umlaut, beside English green. Since German and Swedish are both
      > > > back vowels (U or O, E and I being front vowels), I decide that the
      > > > vowel needs to be a back vowel. Since English e and Swedish o are
      > > > both mid vowels, I decide therefore that the vowel should be a back
      > > > mid vowel, or o, giving *gron. When I have a word like 'dear',
      > > > German teuer, Swedish dyr, it's a bit of a pickle. I picked y
      > > > because the German form has both back and front vowels and the German
      > > > and Swedish both include a high vowel. But I suppose I could have
      > > > split it up, reading the source languages as Eng. E+A, Ger. E+U and
      > > > SWE. Y+Y. Then English and German would outvote Swedish for the
      > > > first vowel, e. German and Swedish would outvote English for the
      > > > second vowel being a high vowel, and English and Swedish would
      > > > outvote German on the second vowel being a central (neither front nor
      > > > back) vowel, y. That gives *deyr. Hmm, not very attractive to my
      > > > taste.
      > > >
      > > > But perhaps we should include the umlauts. What if we wrote the
      > > > source words as German gruen and Swedish groen. Then we would end up
      > > > with a construct word that looked like *groen. Very Dutch. That,
      > > > though, raises the problem of the -en or -er endings tacked onto a
      > > > word ending in a vowel. Thus, sko or sho 'shoe' becomes skoen or
      > > > shoen, a one syllable word identical to German for 'beautiful',
      > > > rather than sho-en 'shoes'. If at all possible, I would like to just
      > > > use the basic alphabet without diacritical marks such as umlauts and
      > > > without devices such as writing two letters for one sound.
      > > > Certainly, the y character provides an umlauted letter without
      > > > diacritical marks.
      > > >
      > > > What do you think? Finding the common denominator for the vowel
      > > > sounds is, I think, going to be one of the challenges. But I also
      > > > think we shouldn't get too hung up on the hard parts like that, but
      > > > should concentrate on finding the words we're going to use. Then, we
      > > > can tackle the problem of what precise form those words will have
      > > > afterwards. It shouldn't cause too much trouble. After all, the
      > > > word forms aren't too dissimilar in most cases.
      > > >
      > > > So far, I'm just working on core 1, the words I can find that appear
      > > > in all three core source languages, English, German and Scandinavian
      > > > (Swedish, for me, because Swedish has the most speakers of the
      > > > Scandinavian group, but words from Bokmal, Nynorsk, Danish or
      > > > Icelandic would work too, and those languages preserve many words
      > > > that Swedish has replaced with Romance borrowings). After I get
      > > > through core 1, I plan to start on core 2, which will include any
      > > > word that appears in only two out of the three core languages. Core
      > > > 3 (or non-core) will consist of words that appear in only one of the
      > > > core languages and at least one other Germanic language. (Words
      > > > that, for example, appear only in Swedish and Norwegian, or only in
      > > > Dutch and Afrikaans, etc. won't count. I figure that there are six
      > > > basic Germanic language groupings. 1=English/Scots,
      > > > 2=German/Bavarian/Swiss dialect,
      > > > 3=Swedish/Danish/Bokmal/Nynorsk/Icelandic/Faeroese,
      > > > 4=Dutch/Flaams/Afrikaans, 5=Low German/Alsatian/Pennsylvania Dutch,
      > > > and 5=West Frisian/East Frisian)
      > > >
      > > > Anyhow, that's what I've been up to lately.
      > > > Hertligste gryten,
      > > > Erik
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Browse the draft word lists!
      > > > http://www.onelist.com/files/folkspraak/
      > > > http://www.langmaker.com/folkspraak/volcab.html
      > > >
      > > > Browse Folkspraak-related links!
      > > > http://www.onelist.com/links/folkspraak/
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
      > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Browse the draft word lists!
      > > http://www.onelist.com/files/folkspraak/
      > > http://www.langmaker.com/folkspraak/volcab.html
      > >
      > > Browse Folkspraak-related links!
      > > http://www.onelist.com/links/folkspraak/
      > >
      > >
      > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
      > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
      > ________________________________________________________________________
      > ________________________________________________________________________
      >
      >
      >
      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      >
      >
      >
      >
    • Nathaniel Ament-Stone
      It seems to me that the only umlaut sound we need is the umlauted u , which can be represented easily by y , taken after the example of Swedish. This is
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 20, 2003
        It seems to me that the only umlaut sound we need is the umlauted "u", which
        can be represented easily by "y", taken after the example of Swedish. This
        is useful in words like "kyss", "kyrke", etc.

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Christopher Burd" <cburd@...>
        To: <folkspraak@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, March 20, 2003 3:12 PM
        Subject: RE: [folkspraak] Digest Number 410


        >
        >
        > Greeting Folkspra(a)keren!
        >
        > It's good to see so much activity on the list. I see Xipirho's point, but
        in
        > the end I think that bringing in questions of pronunciation will
        complicate
        > the process without really offering much advantage. The thing is, if
        English
        > uses a highly non-Germanic spelling in some word, the other languages will
        > simply overrule it. So there's no need to "correct" features like the O in
        > "house"; we've got it covered.
        >
        > On the other hand, I strongly feel we should not ignore umlauts in the
        input
        > languages. The umlauted vowels are critical features of most Germanic
        > languages. In German, O-umlaut is considered to be close to E not O (in
        > traditional poetry, you can even rhyme O-umlaut and E). The simplest
        > approach is to transcribe them AE, OE, UE.
        >
        > The question of whether you have umlaut sounds in the final FS is entirely
        > separate. As I see it, you need to define a phonology (and a set of
        spelling
        > conventions) for FS, presumably based on a consensus of the source
        > languages. (Whether that's a matter of majority rule or lowest common
        > denominator or something else up to you.) Once you've done that, you may
        > have to adjust your "raw" prototypes to fit the phonology and orthography.
        > For example, suppose the consensus word for 'beautiful' comes out as
        > *_shoen_. Now, suppose we've decided that neither [S] nor [O-umlaut] exist
        > in FS. In that we'd adjust the prototype to something like _sken_ (note:
        > *not* *skon!).
        >
        > As you can see, I'm proposing a two-stage prototyping process. First you
        > average the contributing forms (using whatever methodology you've devised)
        > to derive a raw prototype, which you then subject to whatever
        > phonetic/orthographic/morphological constraint to produce the corrected
        > prototype, which is the FS dictionary forms.
        >
        > I think you'll find that the alternative of writing the "averaging" rules
        in
        > such a way as to always produce an acceptable FS word will be a wild goose
        > chase, or involve a lot of ad-hoc fiddling.
        >
        > As for the question of whether you should have umlaut sounds in FS, I
        think
        > we ought to consider whether cases like *skoen = [sko"n], [sko@n] are
        likely
        > to be common. Maybe those two are the *only* problem words.
        >
        > Just my ideas!
        >
        > > Message: 1
        > > Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2003 10:45:52 GMT
        > > From: "Xipirho" <xipirho@...>
        > > Subject: Re: Re: Pronunciation
        > >
        > > when considering english for basing word-forms on one should take
        > > into account the modern pronunciation, not just the spelling
        > > because even when current english spellings were first used the
        > > spelling system was not at all logical. the same applies i gues
        > > to a lesser extent to german and swedish. also, in a word like
        > > "house" in english, the "o" shouldn't be taken into account
        > > because "ou" was simply a french way of writing long u (/u:/ ).
        > >
        > >
        > > > Excellent work....I suggest we use absolutely no umlauts,
        > > since, as you say,
        > > > the plural "en" would be confused with an umlauted letter and
        > > them "n". We
        > > > can't represent umlauts by "oe" or "ue" because, such as in "sho", the
        > > > plural would be "shoen", which would look just like a
        > > transliteration of the
        > > > German word for beautiful, schön...
        > > >
        > > > There is no perfect way to determine vowels..."dier" is a pretty easy
        > > > marking, because there is a simple, letter by letter, analysis
        > > that applies.
        > > > But in other words there is no easy way to "outvote" certain vowels,
        and
        > > > "deyr" isn't very welcome to the eye. Here's my suggestion in cases
        like
        > > > this: look at the Scandinavian, which is usually more international
        than
        > > > English or German and forms a solid medium point. For example,
        > > in the word
        > > > for "house" we have all three languages consenting on "h", but
        > > we have "o"
        > > > in English and "a" in German as the first vowel. Scandinavian
        > > skips this, so
        > > > Folksprak should rather than finding a medium point. The second
        > > vowel is "u"
        > > > in all three languages, and "s" is the same in all. Finally, German
        and
        > > > Swedish outvote English that there should be no silent vowel at
        > > the end. So
        > > > in this case Folksprak and Swedish both have "hus", which is a
        perfectly
        > > > pan-Germanic word. So my point is, Scandinavian words are often more
        > > > pan-Germanic than English, German, Dutch or others for some reason.
        > > >
        > > > Keep going, your work is putting me to shame!!
        > > >
        > > > Nathaniel
        > > >
        > > > ----- Original Message -----
        > > > From: "wordwulf" <eparsels@...>
        > > > To: <folkspraak@yahoogroups.com>
        > > > Sent: Monday, March 17, 2003 11:01 AM
        > > > Subject: [folkspraak] Re: Pronunciation
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > > God dag,
        > > > > The way I've been doing it is to have 'y' stand for the high central
        > > > > (front, but rounded like a back vowel) vowel. I did this in order
        to
        > > > > close the gap between i and u. As far as the choice of forms goes,
        > > > > what I have been doing since I decided to try the 'core 1', 'core 2'
        > > > > thing is to let the majority form decide. Since I am going off only
        > > > > three of the six Germanic languages, the forms I come up with are in
        > > > > many cases probably going to have to be modified eventually. But
        > > > > take a word like 'deer'. English and Swedish agree on the first
        > > > > letter, as opposed to German t. German and Swedish agree on the
        > > > > second letter (German i, Swedish j=i) against English e. German and
        > > > > English outvote Swedish for the second vowel, e, as opposed to
        > > > > Swedish u. And all three agree on the final letter, r. Which gives
        > > > > a construct like *dier, which I pronounce as a sort of two-syllable
        > > > > or glide effect DEE-ER.
        > > > >
        > > > > Sometimes, When all three languages differ, especially regarding
        > > > > vowels, I choose the construct form based on shared features. I, Y
        > > > > and U are high vowels. E and O are mid vowels, and A is a low
        > > > > vowel. Think of it as a clock. Y is at twelve, U is at 2:00, O is
        at
        > > > > 4:00, A is at 6:00, E is at 8:00, and I is at 10:00. When
        > > > > considering the source language material, I just ignore umlauts.
        > > > > Thus I read Swedish gron without the umlaut, and German grun without
        > > > > the umlaut, beside English green. Since German and Swedish are both
        > > > > back vowels (U or O, E and I being front vowels), I decide that the
        > > > > vowel needs to be a back vowel. Since English e and Swedish o are
        > > > > both mid vowels, I decide therefore that the vowel should be a back
        > > > > mid vowel, or o, giving *gron. When I have a word like 'dear',
        > > > > German teuer, Swedish dyr, it's a bit of a pickle. I picked y
        > > > > because the German form has both back and front vowels and the
        German
        > > > > and Swedish both include a high vowel. But I suppose I could have
        > > > > split it up, reading the source languages as Eng. E+A, Ger. E+U and
        > > > > SWE. Y+Y. Then English and German would outvote Swedish for the
        > > > > first vowel, e. German and Swedish would outvote English for the
        > > > > second vowel being a high vowel, and English and Swedish would
        > > > > outvote German on the second vowel being a central (neither front
        nor
        > > > > back) vowel, y. That gives *deyr. Hmm, not very attractive to my
        > > > > taste.
        > > > >
        > > > > But perhaps we should include the umlauts. What if we wrote the
        > > > > source words as German gruen and Swedish groen. Then we would end
        up
        > > > > with a construct word that looked like *groen. Very Dutch. That,
        > > > > though, raises the problem of the -en or -er endings tacked onto a
        > > > > word ending in a vowel. Thus, sko or sho 'shoe' becomes skoen or
        > > > > shoen, a one syllable word identical to German for 'beautiful',
        > > > > rather than sho-en 'shoes'. If at all possible, I would like to
        just
        > > > > use the basic alphabet without diacritical marks such as umlauts and
        > > > > without devices such as writing two letters for one sound.
        > > > > Certainly, the y character provides an umlauted letter without
        > > > > diacritical marks.
        > > > >
        > > > > What do you think? Finding the common denominator for the vowel
        > > > > sounds is, I think, going to be one of the challenges. But I also
        > > > > think we shouldn't get too hung up on the hard parts like that, but
        > > > > should concentrate on finding the words we're going to use. Then,
        we
        > > > > can tackle the problem of what precise form those words will have
        > > > > afterwards. It shouldn't cause too much trouble. After all, the
        > > > > word forms aren't too dissimilar in most cases.
        > > > >
        > > > > So far, I'm just working on core 1, the words I can find that appear
        > > > > in all three core source languages, English, German and Scandinavian
        > > > > (Swedish, for me, because Swedish has the most speakers of the
        > > > > Scandinavian group, but words from Bokmal, Nynorsk, Danish or
        > > > > Icelandic would work too, and those languages preserve many words
        > > > > that Swedish has replaced with Romance borrowings). After I get
        > > > > through core 1, I plan to start on core 2, which will include any
        > > > > word that appears in only two out of the three core languages. Core
        > > > > 3 (or non-core) will consist of words that appear in only one of the
        > > > > core languages and at least one other Germanic language. (Words
        > > > > that, for example, appear only in Swedish and Norwegian, or only in
        > > > > Dutch and Afrikaans, etc. won't count. I figure that there are six
        > > > > basic Germanic language groupings. 1=English/Scots,
        > > > > 2=German/Bavarian/Swiss dialect,
        > > > > 3=Swedish/Danish/Bokmal/Nynorsk/Icelandic/Faeroese,
        > > > > 4=Dutch/Flaams/Afrikaans, 5=Low German/Alsatian/Pennsylvania Dutch,
        > > > > and 5=West Frisian/East Frisian)
        > > > >
        > > > > Anyhow, that's what I've been up to lately.
        > > > > Hertligste gryten,
        > > > > Erik
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > Browse the draft word lists!
        > > > > http://www.onelist.com/files/folkspraak/
        > > > > http://www.langmaker.com/folkspraak/volcab.html
        > > > >
        > > > > Browse Folkspraak-related links!
        > > > > http://www.onelist.com/links/folkspraak/
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
        > > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Browse the draft word lists!
        > > > http://www.onelist.com/files/folkspraak/
        > > > http://www.langmaker.com/folkspraak/volcab.html
        > > >
        > > > Browse Folkspraak-related links!
        > > > http://www.onelist.com/links/folkspraak/
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
        > > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > >
        > >
        > > ________________________________________________________________________
        > > ________________________________________________________________________
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
        http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
        >
        >
        > Browse the draft word lists!
        > http://www.onelist.com/files/folkspraak/
        > http://www.langmaker.com/folkspraak/volcab.html
        >
        > Browse Folkspraak-related links!
        > http://www.onelist.com/links/folkspraak/
        >
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
        >
      • Xipirho
        for spelling i suggest: N.B. is graphemic, / / is phonemic and [ ] is phonetic using SAMPA notation (see http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/sampa/home.htm).
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 21, 2003
          for spelling i suggest:

          N.B. < > is graphemic, / / is phonemic and [ ] is phonetic using SAMPA
          notation (see http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/sampa/home.htm). The
          slashes between [ ] simply indicate "or" in "X or Y", where "X" and "Y"
          are possible phonetic pronunciations.

          Short Vowels

          N.B. shwa wudnt exist.

          <o> = [O]/[Q]/[o]
          <a> = [a]/[A]
          <e> = [E]/[e]
          <i>= [I]/[i]
          <y> = [Y]/[y]
          <u> = [U]/[u]

          Long Vowels (I've used <h> as a length marker as it is available on
          QWERTY and doesn't cause the problems that doubling vowels does). It
          woudl be possible for long e,i,y and u to be simply long versions of
          their short counterparts, but this is now quite uncommon in germanic
          tongues.

          <oh> = [o:]
          <ah> = [a:]/[A:]
          <eh> = [e:]
          <ih> = [i:]
          <yh> = [y:]
          <u:> = [u:]

          N.B. I think terminal vowels and vowels next to other vowels shoudl
          probably always be long, as in german, english, dutch (?and swedish?),
          but maybe this shouldnt be so. maybe all of the vowels woudl follow
          this behaviour appart from /a/?

          Consonants

          N.B. <x> would be abolished as a letter and only used as a
          multiplication symbol.

          <j>=[j]
          <w>=[w] (if used as a phoneme at all)
          <v>=[v]
          <f>=[f]
          <s>=[s]
          <z>=[z] (if used as a phoneme at all)
          <c>=[k] (used because <c> is quicker to write than [k], but [k] for
          this and [q] for [x] woudl also be possible)
          <g>=[g]
          <k>=[x]
          <b>=[b]
          <p>=[p]
          <m>=[m]
          <n>=[n]
          <r>=[r] (preferably trilled as in icelandic, for clarity)
          <l> = [l]

          Well, there are my ideas - wodayafink?

          On Thursday, March 20, 2003, at 11:12 pm, Christopher Burd wrote:

          >
          >
          > Greeting Folkspra(a)keren!
          >
          > It's good to see so much activity on the list. I see Xipirho's point,
          > but in
          > the end I think that bringing in questions of pronunciation will
          > complicate
          > the process without really offering much advantage. The thing is, if
          > English
          > uses a highly non-Germanic spelling in some word, the other languages
          > will
          > simply overrule it. So there's no need to "correct" features like the
          > O in
          > "house"; we've got it covered.
          >
          > On the other hand, I strongly feel we should not ignore umlauts in the
          > input
          > languages. The umlauted vowels are critical features of most Germanic
          > languages. In German, O-umlaut is considered to be close to E not O (in
          > traditional poetry, you can even rhyme O-umlaut and E). The simplest
          > approach is to transcribe them AE, OE, UE.
          >
          > The question of whether you have umlaut sounds in the final FS is
          > entirely
          > separate. As I see it, you need to define a phonology (and a set of
          > spelling
          > conventions) for FS, presumably based on a consensus of the source
          > languages. (Whether that's a matter of majority rule or lowest common
          > denominator or something else up to you.) Once you've done that, you
          > may
          > have to adjust your "raw" prototypes to fit the phonology and
          > orthography.
          > For example, suppose the consensus word for 'beautiful' comes out as
          > *_shoen_. Now, suppose we've decided that neither [S] nor [O-umlaut]
          > exist
          > in FS. In that we'd adjust the prototype to something like _sken_
          > (note:
          > *not* *skon!).
          >
          > As you can see, I'm proposing a two-stage prototyping process. First
          > you
          > average the contributing forms (using whatever methodology you've
          > devised)
          > to derive a raw prototype, which you then subject to whatever
          > phonetic/orthographic/morphological constraint to produce the corrected
          > prototype, which is the FS dictionary forms.
          >
          > I think you'll find that the alternative of writing the "averaging"
          > rules in
          > such a way as to always produce an acceptable FS word will be a wild
          > goose
          > chase, or involve a lot of ad-hoc fiddling.
          >
          > As for the question of whether you should have umlaut sounds in FS, I
          > think
          > we ought to consider whether cases like *skoen = [sko"n], [sko@n] are
          > likely
          > to be common. Maybe those two are the *only* problem words.
          >
          > Just my ideas!
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