English accents & spelling reform

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English accents & spelling reform

Postby Psi-Lord » 2003-10-26, 9:24

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Postby johnson » 2003-10-26, 18:39

Hi psi-lord,
Very good article. I think i tend to agree.

johnson
Uf Da-this is hard.

annomity

english accents

Postby annomity » 2003-11-08, 17:52

may i add british have such lazy dialect. they do not pronounce words correctly (most people)
that is why it isnt as strong or clear as usa accent.
got any views?

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Postby Ozymandias » 2003-11-10, 0:46

I am very much against any drastic spelling reform to English (or to French or any other language). Not for etymological reasons but for the reason that if we started spelling eveything in English phonetically, children wouldn't be able to read pre-reform stuff without training. Oh yes, they could learn how to read it in school, but within a few generations (if that long) it wouldn't be taught anymore. Everything could be translated into Reformed English, but that too is ridiculous - there's too much stuff, alot of it wouldn't get translated, and then require training to read.

All in all, I think it would tend to make people more uneducated about the world than they already are.

Daniel wrote:
annomity wrote:
that is why it isnt as strong or clear as usa accent.
got any views?

That's bullsh*t.


I agree, bullsh*t.

Annomity: You're going to understand your native dialect the easiest.

I guess you consider "correct" pronounciation to be American pronounciation? :evil: :?:


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Postby Saaropean » 2003-11-10, 10:01

Ozymandias wrote:I am very much against any drastic spelling reform to English (or to French or any other language). Not for etymological reasons but for the reason that if we started spelling eveything in English phonetically, children wouldn't be able to read pre-reform stuff without training. Oh yes, they could learn how to read it in school, but within a few generations (if that long) it wouldn't be taught anymore. Everything could be translated into Reformed English, but that too is ridiculous - there's too much stuff, alot of it wouldn't get translated, and then require training to read.

All in all, I think it would tend to make people more uneducated about the world than they already are.

Of course everything can be reprinted in the new spelling. And I don't think children wouldn't learn to read the old spelling (but they needn't write in it).

I don't think people would become more uneducated. To the contrary, I think a simpler spelling reduces illiteracy rates and thus people could read more and become more educated. :)

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Postby Pittsboy » 2003-11-10, 15:09

Saaropean wrote:
Ozymandias wrote:I am very much against any drastic spelling reform to English (or to French or any other language). Not for etymological reasons but for the reason that if we started spelling eveything in English phonetically, children wouldn't be able to read pre-reform stuff without training. Oh yes, they could learn how to read it in school, but within a few generations (if that long) it wouldn't be taught anymore. Everything could be translated into Reformed English, but that too is ridiculous - there's too much stuff, alot of it wouldn't get translated, and then require training to read.

All in all, I think it would tend to make people more uneducated about the world than they already are.

Of course everything can be reprinted in the new spelling. And I don't think children wouldn't learn to read the old spelling (but they needn't write in it).

I don't think people would become more uneducated. To the contrary, I think a simpler spelling reduces illiteracy rates and thus people could read more and become more educated. :)


And think on how confusing for a child it would be to read written stuff one way and write another way and pronounce it in a different manner!!
That's impracticable!
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Postby Ozymandias » 2003-11-10, 22:05

Saaropean wrote:
Of course everything can be reprinted in the new spelling. And I don't think children wouldn't learn to read the old spelling (but they needn't write in it).


But there's too much stuff to be translated, what about your parents' love letters or that little racy novel you found in you grandparents' attic - there really is too much to be translated. Also, I don't think that pre-reform spelling would be taught for very long, after awhile people would start thinking it unnecessary. And then we'd lose the ability to connect to our not so distant past.

Maybe I'm a luddite. Maybe I'm just paranoid. But it seems like a way by the powers that be of controlling what we read and learn.

Pittsboy wrote:
And think on how confusing for a child it would be to read written stuff one way and write another way and pronounce it in a different manner!!
That's impracticable!


It is impractical, but children have been learning it without much difficulty for centuries.

I hope I've not offended anyone. :) But: if it's not too broken, don't fix it.


Ozy

annomity

sorry

Postby annomity » 2003-11-11, 0:04

yes, sorry about my view but i am from england myself and have english accent.

i notice a lot of pikeychildren grow up to mumble their words and not move their mouth as much as stateside children so they are not pronouncing their words as well
so any views again? give me hell! disagree or agree

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Postby AShaw » 2003-11-11, 1:45

grow up to mumble their words and not move their mouth as much as stateside children so they are not pronouncing their words as well


As others before me have so eloquently put it, that's bullsh*t

Just MO

EDIT:

It is impractical, but children have been learning it without much difficulty for centuries.


I quite agree. The only true reform that spelling could take would be to start using the IPA... and I don't think anyone is going to go for that. Other than the IPA, symbols are merely representations - representations that have and forever will change. It is, IMO, not a worthwhile effort to reform "spelling" unless you plan on doing it differently for every region of the US and then change the whole thing once every 10 years....

And then there is the fact that there are all sorts of allophones... no, phonetic representation is pointless with our alphabet.
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Postby Ozymandias » 2003-11-11, 2:25

i notice a lot of pikeychildren grow up to mumble their words and not move their mouth as much as stateside children


Hmm, I'd never heard the term 'pikey' before. Looking around online I see that it was orginally applied to the Travellers desparagingly but now can be used to describe any poorer person. (Still desparagingly?)

What exactly do you consider a 'pikeychild'?
What are the phonetic differences between 'Pikey' and standard English (whatever that may be...)?

Also, what's wrong with a mumbled language? People are always going to speak clear enough so that they can understand eachother. It's not really their care (nor should it be) to make their language easy for others to understand.

England is very interesting/odd.... :)


Ozy

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Re: sorry

Postby Pittsboy » 2003-11-11, 3:21

annomity wrote:yes, sorry about my view but i am from england myself and have english accent.

i notice a lot of pikeychildren grow up to mumble their words and not move their mouth as much as stateside children so they are not pronouncing their words as well
so any views again? give me hell! disagree or agree


If I get what you mean... that's the most 'interesting' thing I have ever heard if not a blasphemy! There's not such thing as "pikeychildren grow up to mumble their words and not move their mouth as much as stateside children so they are not pronouncing their words as well". Children all over the planet on the babbling/mumbling level tend to 'speak' the sam sounds, and by the age of 1 year and 3 months approximately they start to suppress other sounds not pertinent to their languages... That's it... language evolution is something noble dear... if it weren't so, we would be still mumbling uga-uga and hitting one another with stones :-)
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Postby Saaropean » 2003-11-11, 9:41

The problem is that English spelling hasn't changed in centuries (except for minimal things like "theater" and "honor" in the U.S.), so you're not used to reforms.
Thi problim iz thaet Ingglish speling haezn't cheynjd in senchiriez (ixept fir minimil thingz layk "theater" aend "honor" in thi Yunaytid Steytz), sow yu'r not yuuzd tuu riformz.

German spelling was unified in 1902 and reformed in 1996 (a reform that only did minor changes and didn't address the most important issues, but that's another topic). That's why the changes from one orthography to another are not radical.
Geothe wrote "im zweyten Theil", which became "im zweiten Teil" in the 20th century, but what makes his texts hard to understand is the archaic vocabulary...
Jiirmin speling woz yunifayd in 1902 aend riformd in 1996 (i riform thaet ownli did maynir cheynjiz aend didn't idres thi mowst importint isyuuz, bat thaet'z inathir topik). Thaet'z way thi cheynjiz from wan orthogrify tuu inathir ar not raedikil.

Is it too late to reform English spelling now? If we never change anything, we will still write "tough" and "though" for words that have no phoneme in common, and—who knows—maybe we will pronounce "good" and "gate" the same way, but still insist on our traditional spelling. :shock:
Iz it tuu leyt tuu riform Ingglish speling naw? If wie nevir cheynj aenithing, we wil stil rayt "tough" and "though" fir wiirdz thaet haev now finiem in kamin, aend—huu nowz—meybi wie wil pronawns "good" aend "gate" thi seym wey, bat stil insist on awr tridishinil speling.

It is impractical, but children have been learning it without much difficulty for centuries.

Without much difficulty? How many English speaking children have problems with spelling? And in Finland? How long does it take to learn English spelling in primary school? And Finnish spelling? :idea:
Withawt mach dificilti? Haw maeni Ingglish spieking childrin haev problimz with speling? Aend in Finlind? Haw long daz it teyk tuu liirn Ingglish speling in praymiri skuul? Aend Finish speling?

I quite agree. The only true reform that spelling could take would be to start using the IPA... and I don't think anyone is going to go for that. Other than the IPA, symbols are merely representations - representations that have and forever will change. It is, IMO, not a worthwhile effort to reform "spelling" unless you plan on doing it differently for every region of the US and then change the whole thing once every 10 years....

And then there is the fact that there are all sorts of allophones... no, phonetic representation is pointless with our alphabet.

I wouldn't use IPA, because the pronunciation varies a lot and changes quickly, and because it is difficult to write and type. I once proposed a unified spelling system (using the Latin alphabet without diacritics) that can be used to represent both British and American English, but I haven't found the link. :?
Ay wudn't yuuz IPA, bikooz thi pronansyeyshin vaeriz i lot aend cheynjiz quikli, aend bikooz it iz dificilt tuu rayt aend tayp. Ay wans pripowzd i yuunifayd speling sistim (yuuzing thi Laetin aelphibit withawt dayikritiks) thaet kaen bie yuuzd tuu reprizent bowth British aend Imerikin Ingglish, bat ay haevn't fawnd thi link.

English has too many vowels for the Latin alphabet. But that doesn't mean it can't be spelled quasi-phonemically. Of course pronunciation changes. But the standard language doesn't change that quickly, so it's enough to do minor changes every hundred years or so.
Ingglish haez tuu maeni vawilz fir thi Laetin aelphibit. Bat thaet dazn't mien it kaen't bii speld queyzay-fonemicli. Of kors pronansyeyshin cheynjiz. Bat thi staendird laenggwij dazn't cheynj thaet quikli, sow it'z inaf tuu duu maynir cheynjiz evri handrid yierz or sow.

Don't you realize that it's possible to improve the current situation, even if you'll never get a one-to-one mapping from phonemes to letters? Why does "good" have to be written with OO and not with U if it's pronounced /gud/? Why do we have to write "cough" for /kaf/ and "light" for /lajt/? :cry:
Down't yuu rieilayz thaet it'z posibil tuu impruuv thi kiirint sityueyshin, ievin if yuu'l nevir get a wan-tuu-wan maeping from foniemz tuu letirz? Way daz "good" haev tuu bie ritin with OO aend not with U if it'z pronawnsd /gud/? Way duu wie haev to rayt "cough" fir /kaf/ aend "light" fir /lajt/?

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Portuguese had 2 spelling reforms

Postby Weldal » 2003-11-11, 15:14

Portuguese underwent 2 spelling reforms in the 20 th century: the first one (1943) was very radical, it got rid of most of double consonants (except "rr" and "ss" which remained) and things like "ph" (entirely replaced by "f"), while the second one (1971) only changed some accents (it eliminated some, but not all, of the "^" and "`").
Then, for me a spelling reform of English would not be anything similar to the end of the world... :wink:
German also underwent recently a modest spelling reform, is it right Saaropean ?

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Postby AShaw » 2003-11-11, 17:25

Why does "good" have to be written with OO and not with U if it's pronounced /gud/?


Since when did alphabetical sybols always represent a specific non-changing sound? Do you know how to pronoun the letter O? It is merely a conception of the time one is in as sound changes so much. There is no strict phonetic value applied to a languages orthography but rather the inverse. As a language changes, so does the meaning of a symbol.

Why does "good" have to be written with OO and not with U if it's pronounced /gud/?


Improve the situation? What situation is there to fix? A _symbol_ by definition is used to represent operations, quantities, elements, relations, or qualities. The meaning of said symbols changes over time as well...

English has too many vowels for the Latin alphabet. But that doesn't mean it can't be spelled quasi-phonemically


No, absolutely not! First, no one knows how latin is supposed to be pronounced. Second, perhaps to a native english speaker at one point in time at one isolated geographic region could do so. Things only diverge over time...

But the standard language doesn't change that quickly, so it's enough to do minor changes every hundred years or so.


There is no such thing as "Standard Language". Merely a conglomerate of Dialects - some being more socially acceptable than others. People in every state of the US have differing "accents" from each other. Does this mean there is a problem? No. People always seem to worry about our languages status and how "it has become corrupt" and "degraded". There is no need to alter what symbols we use for phonetic representation. Who says our system now is any worse than a possible revised system? All we are working with are _constantly changing_ relationships.....
"Many stupid things are uttered by people whos only motivation is to say something original" - Voltair

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Postby Pittsboy » 2003-11-11, 17:36

AShaw I couldn't agree more.... I am with you!!!
Further arguments are needless!
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Postby Saaropean » 2003-11-11, 18:42

AShaw wrote:Since when did alphabetical sybols always represent a specific non-changing sound? Do you know how to pronoun the letter O? It is merely a conception of the time one is in as sound changes so much. There is no strict phonetic value applied to a languages orthography but rather the inverse. As a language changes, so does the meaning of a symbol.

Of course, but most European languages use the letter O to represent [o] or [O], A to represent [a] or [A], i to represent [i] or [I] etc. That's a convention, I know, but wouldn't it be easier for global understanding if a language as important as English adapted those conventions? I'd compare it to the ridiculous measurement system with feet, miles and pounds that everyone else abolished long ago... :x

AShaw wrote:Improve the situation? What situation is there to fix? A _symbol_ by definition is used to represent operations, quantities, elements, relations, or qualities. The meaning of said symbols changes over time as well...

I can tell you which situation should be improved: illiteracy. English spelling is more difficult than, for instance, Finnish and Spanish spelling, which leads to higher illiteracy rates. With a simplified spelling, people could read and write better, which can only have positive effects... :roll:

AShaw wrote:
But the standard language doesn't change that quickly, so it's enough to do minor changes every hundred years or so.

There is no such thing as "Standard Language". Merely a conglomerate of Dialects - some being more socially acceptable than others. People in every state of the US have differing "accents" from each other. [...]

There is always a standard, namely what is used by the media. I wouldn't dare claiming this standard is "better" than any other dialect or accent. I just wanted to say there is some common pronunciation that is accepted and understood by everyone, and spelling should be based on that common basis.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Oh, and I have a suggestion for a minor simplification of English spelling without reforming the orthography in a radical way: abolish GH.
- laugh --> laf (to prevent a separation of American "laff" with [æ] and British "lahf" with [A:])
- light --> lite (like white, write), high --> hie (like die, tie)
- though --> thow (like bow, row)
- thought --> thawt (like law, saw), caught --> cawt
- through --> thrue (like blue, true)
- tough --> tuff (like bluff, stuff)

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Postby Car » 2003-11-11, 18:55

Saaropean wrote:Oh, and I have a suggestion for a minor simplification of English spelling without reforming the orthography in a radical way: abolish GH.
- laugh --> laf (to prevent a separation of American "laff" with [æ] and British "lahf" with [A:])
- light --> lite (like white, write), high --> hie (like die, tie)
- though --> thow (like bow, row)
- thought --> thawt (like law, saw), caught --> cawt
- through --> thrue (like blue, true)
- tough --> tuff (like bluff, stuff)


IMHO, English needs a spelling reform, but an extremly radical one won't be accepted and will cause problems, but minor changes to make English more regular are a good idea. There are BTW much more dislective English native speakers than Spanish native speakers.
Please correct my mistakes!

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Postby Leviwosc » 2003-11-11, 19:57

Hey folks, I'm maybe the last one who has the right to protest against a spelling reformation. Though I would like to say I'm totally against it! Why should we change something which works perfectly!?

More than a bilion people in this world speaks English, we're able to communicate with eachother very well. I think that an artficial spellings reformation will fuck up the language totally. A language has to change by it self, not by an artficial reformation.

A very good example of this is Dutch. Dutch has changed many many many times, because some idiots would like to keep the language that way that everybody could write the way he spoke. I pity this because there many old documents written in Dutch which are unintelligible!

Dutch is much younger than English, but it has changed it spelling and grammar many more times than English has.

A little example....

Old-Dutch:

Hebban olla uogala nestas hagunnan hinase hic enda thu uuat unbidan uue nu.

New-Dutch:

Hebben alle volgels nesten begonnen behalve ik en jij, wat wachten we nu.

Do you see the huge differences? Without the translation to New-Dutch, should even native Dutch couldn't understand what's written there. It's a shame so many books and letters are unintelligible and can only be read by people who has studied for it.

Here another example, some bigger and from a later period..

Old-Dutch....

Doe liet Marcolphus den coninc alsoe ende liep haestelick tot sijnre suster
waert gheheten Fudasa ende gheliet hem seer bedruct ende seide Coninck
Salomon is mi te mael geghen. Ick en can sijn dreygen ende ongelyc niet
langer verdraghen. Ick wil dit mes nemen ende bergent onder mine clederen
ende dat ick hem heden al heymelijken in sijn herte steken ende
doden hem also. Nu lieve suster ic bidde u dat ghi mi niet en beschuldicht
mer dat ghijt heymelicken houdest noch en kundighes mijnen broedere
Bufrido oec niet.


Translation....

Toen verliet Marcolphus de koning en liep hij haastig naar zijn zuster
die Fudasa heet en deed alsof hij bedrukt was en zei; "Koning
Salomon moet niets van mij hebben. Ik kan zijn drijgen en onredelijkheid niet
langer verdragen. Ik wil dit mes nemen en het verbergen onder mijn kleding
en dan zal ik hem vandaag heimelijk in zijn hart steken en
hem doden. Welnu lieve zuster, ik bid dat je mij niet beschuldigt
maar dat je het geheim houdt en het niet vertelt aan mijn broer
Bufrido.


Only people who have studied for it, are able to read this a regular Dutch housewife shouldn't understand it.

I pity the fact we have lost this language and that I need special books and translations to understand these texts. And I hope they won't do that to English! Dutch is an example, nearly every 4 year we have a spelling re-formation, the last one was in 1996. So it has took some longer now but I'm affraid the next re-formation is allready available in blueprint.

Languages has to change by the use of it, by the speakers not with an artificial spelling re-formation.

And I rather think they need to increase spellings education in England than changing the language.


Best Regards,
Ron de Leeuw
the Netherlands
Image Image | Image Image Image Image | Image Image Image

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Postby Car » 2003-11-11, 20:12

Ron de Leeuw, Cave Canem wrote:A little example....

Old-Dutch:

Hebban olla uogala nestas hagunnan hinase hic enda thu uuat unbidan uue nu.

New-Dutch:

Hebben alle volgels nesten begonnen behalve ik en jij, wat wachten we nu.


But the same is true for Old English or Old German, too, you have to study them to understand them. And this is definitely not easy for native speakers (my mother studied both (because she had to at uni) and found it very hard). The reason for this is the development of the languages, not the spelling reforms.
Please correct my mistakes!

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Postby AShaw » 2003-11-11, 21:04

Of course, but most European languages use the letter O to represent [o] or [O], A to represent [a] or [A], That's a convention


no not really they all represent roughly the same sound [at this current point in time, mind you]. There are many many allophones of these sounds - some that don't even resemble each other much in differing languages. A French person will certainly pronounce an O different from an Italian, Spaniard, American or German. Then there is the fact that these sounds alter depending on there place in a sentence. Rough equivalence is not much good.

I can tell you which situation should be improved: illiteracy. English spelling is more difficult than, for instance, Finnish and Spanish spelling, which leads to higher illiteracy rates. With a simplified spelling, people could read and write better, which can only have positive effects...


Easier spelling for whom? An American? A Brit? Irish has what English speakers would call a horrible orthography but to anyone from a celtic backgroud these would not be a big leap at all. Easy is a relative term. Illiteracy would not be improved by altered spelling conventions. In any language you have to associate sounds with its representation - many allophones for instance differing sounds all grouped under one "letter". No an altered form of spelling won't do us any good. The only true way for an orthography change to help would be to use the IPA but that would then require many many updates as the language changes. We, who _can_ read take for granted this basic skill - we have already put together the various incongruent sounds that are associated with a "letter". What this leads us to is an incredible bias as to what an orthographic representation "should sound like". No illiteracy is not due to orthography, it is due to cultural, social and mental realms.

In all fairness it is amazing that anyone can learn to read anything. Indeed if we did not have the spoken language (cf. Latin) in which to grow up in or to be around, our ideas of what sound should belong to what "letter" become absolutely useless. The only way we manage to keep knowing how to read is by passing down our weird conceptions to following generations by word. You absolutely _cannot_ represent a constantly changing system - at least not with any orthography that I know of. As soon as you have a "screenshot" of what the sounds are like one moment, they have changed the next (and so has public oppinion as to how an "h" is sounds" etc). Thus your screenshot becomes dated the first day it is written down. Its much much worse than buying a computer ;).

There is always a standard, namely what is used by the media


Have you tried writing what the media speaks out phonetically before? You would be quite surprised at the differences. Differences our English accustomed minds filter out.
"Many stupid things are uttered by people whos only motivation is to say something original" - Voltair


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