English Spelling Reform
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13-02-2016, 03:52 AM
RE: English Spelling Reform
(13-02-2016 02:58 AM)Glossophile Wrote:  If you want to get a feel for how my system works, I invite you to peruse the brief tutorial on my website or the downloadable PDF guide. The latter is a bit more generous with examples.
Seems pretty interesting. Would take some time for this to sink in. I like the idea of consistency between pronunciation and spelling. And am quite surprised at this attempt at it, I would have thought it would have been harder to achieve.

My thoughts as I was going through the tutorial was about the application of this on varying accents around the world. When I say "aluminium" it has a nice sound to it. When a Canadian speaks the word it sounds horrible. Same goes for "Adidas", sounds nice in Kiwi but horrible in Canadian. And when I say "six" well, the Aussies tend to say "sex".

I did find the page on accents http://www.hsmespanol.com/RestLatSpellSite/AEksent.html
But it seems to think we should all adopt some UK/USA hybrid accent.

I think I need to take time to see how this spelling and pronunciation appears in the Kiwi accent. Perhaps us Kiwis would spell words differently to how US spells then or how UK spells them. Perhaps if we know the rules of your spelling/spoken reform then we could read a UK person's writing and it would be no different from listening to a UK person speak, and being able to hear their accent but still know what they are saying?

Dictionaries could of course refer to the root spelling of the word. So maybe you have a Kiwi dictionary where you look up a word based on Kiwi pronunciation and the dictionary will also display the root spelling (in UK English of course) and this could be used as a primary key of sorts to match up the spellings across different accents.

I think if this thing took off, over a few years or a generation, people may be wondering why we ever thought the old system was practical. Like people now who are used to Metric, we be scratching our heads when we see the Imperial system.
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13-02-2016, 04:43 AM
RE: English Spelling Reform
KMN.

..............

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13-02-2016, 06:54 AM
RE: English Spelling Reform
(13-02-2016 03:52 AM)Stevil Wrote:  
(13-02-2016 02:58 AM)Glossophile Wrote:  If you want to get a feel for how my system works, I invite you to peruse the brief tutorial on my website or the downloadable PDF guide. The latter is a bit more generous with examples.
Seems pretty interesting. Would take some time for this to sink in. I like the idea of consistency between pronunciation and spelling. And am quite surprised at this attempt at it, I would have thought it would have been harder to achieve.

My thoughts as I was going through the tutorial was about the application of this on varying accents around the world. When I say "aluminium" it has a nice sound to it. When a Canadian speaks the word it sounds horrible. Same goes for "Adidas", sounds nice in Kiwi but horrible in Canadian. And when I say "six" well, the Aussies tend to say "sex".

I did find the page on accents http://www.hsmespanol.com/RestLatSpellSite/AEksent.html
But it seems to think we should all adopt some UK/USA hybrid accent.

I think I need to take time to see how this spelling and pronunciation appears in the Kiwi accent. Perhaps us Kiwis would spell words differently to how US spells then or how UK spells them. Perhaps if we know the rules of your spelling/spoken reform then we could read a UK person's writing and it would be no different from listening to a UK person speak, and being able to hear their accent but still know what they are saying?

Dictionaries could of course refer to the root spelling of the word. So maybe you have a Kiwi dictionary where you look up a word based on Kiwi pronunciation and the dictionary will also display the root spelling (in UK English of course) and this could be used as a primary key of sorts to match up the spellings across different accents.

I think if this thing took off, over a few years or a generation, people may be wondering why we ever thought the old system was practical. Like people now who are used to Metric, we be scratching our heads when we see the Imperial system.

Having different national/regional spellings rather defeats the whole stated purpose of the regularised spelling and introduces confusion in written communication. Far from simplifying and unifying, this widens the gulf between English-speaking communities.
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13-02-2016, 07:08 AM
RE: English Spelling Reform
(12-02-2016 10:25 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(12-02-2016 06:21 PM)Chas Wrote:  You don't understand compression nor nuance.

Where is the nuance? In the data. Compression causes data loss. Q.E.D.
I have provided examples of what I would consider to be nuances on the melody.
Use of tremelo, vibrato, staccato etc, these things change the pitch and/or the length of the note. Melody is based on pitch and length/timing. You make subtle changes to those things then you have nuances on the melody.

Changes to relative volumes has no impact on the melody.

You really don't appear to understand data representation, data compression/decompression, or that all of the music is in the data, not just volume.

But to use your idea that volume has no effect on melody, consider that if the data depth for volume is one bit, then all we get for volume is sound or silence. Not very nuanced, is it?
If we have two bits, then we could have silent/quiet/normal/loud. Slightly more nuanced.
And so on.

But nuance is not just volume. It is the representation of the waveforms in data. The music is the waveform, the waveform is the data. Compress it and you lose information, including nuance.

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13-02-2016, 07:11 AM
RE: English Spelling Reform
(13-02-2016 01:50 AM)Glossophile Wrote:  A phonemic spelling system is primarily intended for children and non-native speakers. To a hypothetical person who was raised with reformed spelling, the new system would be the one with the greatest familiarity. So loss of familiarity from the perspectives of current readers and writers seems to me a rather short-sighted reason to offer against reform.

If reform is ever implemented, you personally may not necessarily have to learn the new orthography. Old and new codes would coexist probably for a few decades, during much of which everyone would most often get to choose which system they deal with. The idea is that the younger generation(s) would likely develop a preference for the reformed spelling, allowing the traditional orthodoxy to be phased out as they get older and those with such preference become more active and prominent in society.

And yet, it is more complicated than English. There are more symbols. While there may be more regularity, you have merely traded one set of complications for another.

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13-02-2016, 07:23 AM (This post was last modified: 13-02-2016 08:50 AM by undergroundp.)
RE: English Spelling Reform
I'm sorry, but almost all your replies to the points I raised were totally missing the point and/or misunderstanding what I was saying.

(12-02-2016 07:34 PM)Glossophile Wrote:  Those connections are arguably too obscure to be relevant to general-purpose written communication. Some of them may seem obvious once they're pointed out, but would they readily occur to someone who's just trying to write something that will accurately convey his meaning? The case of "fair" is the worst because, again, it relies on history. What average Joe or Jane is going to know that both adjectival uses of "fair" come from the same source word?

But that's all somewhat beside the point, since there are likely plenty of other examples that are not connected in any tractable way.

Totally, completely missing the point here.
I only said that your examples were not serving the point you were trying to make because they were etymologically related anyway. That is why I can't imagine a parallel universe where etymologically related words would be spelled differently. That was all I said.

(12-02-2016 07:34 PM)Glossophile Wrote:  Exactly! You're actually proving my point, which is that context very often renders distinctive spelling redundant.

Bears and bats are animals and are hard to confuse with adjectives and verbs. But by simplifying spelling, you make the need for context indispensable.

(12-02-2016 07:34 PM)Glossophile Wrote:  I agree with all of this, but there's a part of your equation of sorts that you left out. Apparently, to you, spelling complexity = language complexity (which equals all that other stuff via the Transitive Property), which consequently means that spelling simplicity = language simplicity (which similarly cascades into meaning, thought, etc). That is the part that I think is fundamentally wrong. For any thought or meaning, no matter how lofty or complicated, if it can be expressed in speech, it can be expressed just as well in phonemic spelling (this follows naturally if the spelling is just a cipher for speech). Nothing need be lost.

Again, it's like you didn't read a single post of mine so far. I'm not saying that meaning is lost immediately once you change the spelling (although, metaphorically, it is) but after, say, 500 years when some words have become obsolete, there may be no spelling to connect them etymologically, thus knowledge is also lost.

(12-02-2016 07:34 PM)Glossophile Wrote:  But it hasn't, has it? It was originally ΗΘΟΣ, wasn't it? And no, I can't know precisely what Aristotle had in mind when he used the word, because he's dead. The most archaic spelling in the world won't make him any less dead, nor his original meaning any more accessible to us. We can still understand what he meant to the extent that we can because the word itself passed from Greek into presumably Latin or French and then into English, each time bringing its meaning (or at least a reasonable semblance of it) along with it, even as the spelling changed from its original form. The inherited word then becomes available for use in translations of Aristotle's work.

Actually, it has. Ήθος is spelled exactly the same today in Greek and means exactly the same. The words for tradition, habit, addict and ethics in Modern Greek all are etymologically related and are spelled similarly to this one word.

You can actually know what Aristotle had in mind, because the words he used to explain it are used in an almost identical day today in Greek, and that is probably because there was never a smartass Roman emperor who decided to simplify Greek and make it like Latin to help the rest of the empire learn it Smile

(12-02-2016 07:34 PM)Glossophile Wrote:  First of all, words and even the associated concepts sometimes fade out of usage in a language with or without spelling reform (or even any writing system at all). Secondly, why would Ancient Greek matter so much to the average modern Greek citizen? I understand that they'd be proud of their heritage, as well they should be, but there are far more practical ways to show that pride than to insist on letting archaisms permeate written discourse.

Yes, words and concepts do fade out of usage, but does that mean we should also force that to happen?

This has nothing to do with pride.
Kids here are taught some Ancient Greek at school. Apart from understanding your history and culture and making it easier to spell and understand your own language, the teaching of such a closely related "foreign" language is also very important for metalinguistic awareness. If you can't see why a tiny country of 10 million people with about 20 million tourists every year where the average Greek speaks three languages needs to focus on metalinguistic awareness, then I can't help you.

I can, however, see why a speaker of the lingua franca may overlook metalinguistic awareness and how it affects language learning (though it would surprise me, knowing you have studied many languages), and that is a telling example of other reasons that may have to do with why English-speaking people struggle so hard with their language.

(12-02-2016 07:34 PM)Glossophile Wrote:  Why do you think Katharevousa eventually lost out to Dimotiki? The only people for whom the ancient etyma ever really matter are people who are almost certainly trained in the classical language anyway. So again I ask, why should a tool meant for the general populace (i.e. literacy) be so disproportionately deferential to the esoteric interests of a relative few?

Whoa, hold your horses there!
There are so many things that are wrong with what you've written here. This is quite a complicated matter, but I'll try to keep it short.

- Katharevousa lost out to Dimotiki mainly because the uneducated people were more than the educated ones and the minister of education who sealed its death definitely needed the majority on his side in the elections. Not to mention he was part of the government that started the downfall of my country back then and led to the situation we are in today, so there's not even any reason to think his choice was wise Smile

- The changes in spelling were minor. Most changes were in vocabulary (totally unjustified though), the stresses (which were useless anyway), some forms (to go with the common people's accents) and most importantly, they hardly changed any root words, thus etymology was preserved. One more important thing to note; phoneme-to-letter correspondence (as what you are trying to sell here) did not change at all.

- Today, 40 years after Katharevousa stopped being taught, there are still people over 50 years who struggle with the new changes. Even considering what I said about the changes in spelling being very minor and unimportant. Forty. Years. Later.

- The whole issue basically was to adapt written speech to the way the uneducated masses talked back then. I really don't see how that's any good, and most older people now talk about how language was "slaughtered". You will hardly find anyone who will complain about it now. In fact, more and more young people are becoming interested in more archaic forms and words.

(12-02-2016 07:34 PM)Glossophile Wrote:  The Sapir-Whorff hypothesis only holds true to a lesser degree than what was initially thought, and certainly not to any degree that I think would justify orthographic conservatism on the basis that you've proposed. Americans and other English speakers really have no trouble conceiving of the distinction between platonic love and romantic love. As I've just demonstrated, there are even words to differentiate them when context doesn't make it clear (and that doesn't even count the more colloquial ways, like "just as friends").

I never said English speakers have trouble distinguishing between the two concepts. I do have to say though, I was shaking my head when I heard the dialogue in How I met your mother where the guy says to the girl "I think I'm in love with you" and she replied, baffled, with something like "You love me?"
That's not how it works, kids.

However, I was not talking specifically about the Sapir-Whorff hypothesis. Maybe language does not affect our brains in significant ways directly as we speak, but language does affect and evolve together with culture and civilization.

(12-02-2016 07:34 PM)Glossophile Wrote:  Moreover, how is this relevant to spelling? The distinction that you're talking about would remain in Greek no matter how it was spelled, and the same can be said of English "platonic" and "romantic" (or, as I would spell them, "pløtonik" and "roumæntik"). Even if the Sapir-Whorff hypothesis were true in a stronger and more deterministic sense, it would still be language itself that would determine thought, not how the language happens to be encoded in writing.

Finally, you can take any pair of languages, and in each one you could probably find a word whose meaning encompasses that of two or more separate words in the other. There's nothing special or telling about that.

Again, missing the point here. I was not talking about spelling. I was simply trying to demonstrate how language affects the way people think and act, even causing huge misunderstandings.
Spelling comes into play when you try to make language even more confusing by simplifying it (thus causing even more misunderstandings).

(12-02-2016 07:34 PM)Glossophile Wrote:  You seem to be confusing "meanings" with etymological trivia and/or minimizing the aid of context in clarifying homophones (or at least the ones that aren't already spelled identically in traditional spelling, which seems to me a double standard).

When you want to learn a language, etymology matters. When you want to understand it, be fluent and good at spelling, etymology matters. No matter if it's your mother tongue or a foreign one. Why guess what a word means when its spelling gives you half the information?

I will try to say what I've been saying all along, but just a bit more clearly because I feel you don't understand my point. When you simplify the spelling of a word, you literally destroy its root. With your simplifications, you would need to erase thousands of roots. These roots carry meaning. It may not be obvious right after you simplify the word, but it will be 100 years later, when people will have adapted so much to it that they won't be able to read anything in "Old English".

You may think that this is not important enough, but again, a spelling reform is not important enough either, because English is already an extremely easy language to learn.

(12-02-2016 07:34 PM)Glossophile Wrote:  Well, in addition to the Unifon experiment that I mentioned, there's also this 2003 study.

This study has nothing to do with what I asked (clear evidence that easier spelling means better communication and higher literacy rates). It only proves that English speaking kids take longer to learn. But they do learn eventually.

I also talked before about how language depth is not the only factor affecting literacy, because Greek is up there with Finnish in simplicity, yet Finnish people tend to be much more literate than Greeks. So, if you're really seeing such a huge problem in kids growing up illiterate in English speaking countries (which I'm sure you don't), maybe you should take a look at education first.

(12-02-2016 07:34 PM)Glossophile Wrote:  As for the diversity of dialects, I did respond to this. Here's the relevant comment:

glossaphile Wrote:What I've proposed is to base standard reformed spelling on a roughly equal compromise between the standard British and standard American broadcast accents. It would be politically neutral and at least passively understood by the widest range of people. No individual speaker's own regional dialect will be a perfect match for this hybrid accent, but the idea is to spread the discrepancies thinly across the English speaking world, so that from the perspective of any individual speaker, the divergences will be much fewer and further apart than the multitude of universal difficulties that currently hinder people across all regional varieties.

So you think that confusing thousands of millions of people is making language learning easier? I honestly can't see how this would be beneficial to anyone, nor why such a tiny little problem requires such a huge toll.

(12-02-2016 07:34 PM)Glossophile Wrote:  Now, with regards to the music playback analogy, as Matt Finney has already pointed out, the specifics don't really matter. You could simply substitute any older, lower-fidelity format with a newer, higher-fidelity format of your choice (maybe vinyl records and some digital format that does have high dynamic range) into the analogy, and my point would still be made.

The debate was on whether "nuances in melody" meant "changes in melody" or "loss of info". Me and Chas interpreted it as "loss of info", which is exactly what happens when you compress a file into an mp3 format. You still haven't made that clear.

(13-02-2016 01:11 AM)Glossophile Wrote:  Now, what exactly do you think has been lost in transcription, if anything? I admire and respect Carl Sagan greatly, so I wouldn't dream of doing this if I believed for a second that it diminished the power of his words in any way.

Absolutely nothing. At least not yet. But if you simplify spelling the way you want to and it becomes the norm, in a few years Carl Sagan (or any writer who wasn't lucky enough to be transcribed into the "new spelling") will be unreadable by 99% of English speaking people (as has already happened with the original "Old English").

Again, if you still think that this is not a huge price to pay for such a tiny problem, I don't know what more I can say.
One would think that such a radical solution would only be proposed in cases of countries with huge literacy problems, where people can't make it in life. I don't see Canada or Australia doing that bad at all though.

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13-02-2016, 11:50 AM (This post was last modified: 13-02-2016 11:58 AM by Stevil.)
RE: English Spelling Reform
(13-02-2016 07:08 AM)Chas Wrote:  You really don't appear to understand data representation, data compression/decompression, or that all of the music is in the data, not just volume.
And yet again, you are taking the analogy too far and completely missing the point.

The message in the lyrics remains the same, the melody remains the same.

No-one is disputing that the music itself may have changed if the person doing the mastering for CD has decided to compress it.

But relative volumes has nothing to do with melody. Tone has nothing to do with melody. Melody is the main tune, you can whistle it if you like, and it is the same melody as that which the artists created. The melody itself can be represented on the music sheet. If played accurately by the musician (regardless of instrument, regardless of volume) is a true representation of the melody (unchanged).

To put nuances on the melody one must alter the pitch or the timing or note length.


To put it in simple terms. When your favourite song comes on and you decide to turn up the volume on your radio, you are not altering the melody of the song you are just making the song louder.
Or if you decide to turn the Bass Booster on, again, you are not changing the melody of the song, you are simply increasing the volume of the bass notes.
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13-02-2016, 01:54 PM (This post was last modified: 13-02-2016 02:13 PM by Glossophile.)
RE: English Spelling Reform
(13-02-2016 07:23 AM)undergroundp Wrote:  I only said that your examples were not serving the point you were trying to make because they were etymologically related anyway. That is why I can't imagine a parallel universe where etymologically related words would be spelled differently. That was all I said.

Still, for virtually anyone not specializing in etymology/philology, many such words may as well not be related at all. It takes a certain amount of training to spot those etymological relationships, so for those without such knowledge, these connections may as well not be there. So from the perspective of non-specialists, the double standard that I invoked remains unjustified.

Plus, I'm pretty sure that the nominal uses of "bat" that I mentioned are unrelated, so you have at least one example that manages to clarify my point.

(13-02-2016 07:23 AM)undergroundp Wrote:  Bears and bats are animals and are hard to confuse with adjectives and verbs. But by simplifying spelling, you make the need for context indispensable.

No more so than it is in speech.

(13-02-2016 07:23 AM)undergroundp Wrote:  Again, it's like you didn't read a single post of mine so far. I'm not saying that meaning is lost immediately once you change the spelling (although, metaphorically, it is) but after, say, 500 years when some words have become obsolete, there may be no spelling to connect them etymologically, thus knowledge is also lost.

The knowledge would not be lost. It would just be duly entrusted to those who specialize in etymology/philology rather than wielding pointless influence on the literacy of everyone else. In every other specialized field of study, this is exactly what happens. The average person is never expected to know quantum physics or engage in derived customs that reflect it in some way, but if they are ever curious, they can ask a physicist or read a popular science book. Why can't the same be true for etymology/philology? I'm just asking why this particular specialty shouldn't be treated like any other.

(13-02-2016 07:23 AM)undergroundp Wrote:  Ήθος is spelled exactly the same today in Greek and means exactly the same. The words for tradition, habit, addict and ethics in Modern Greek all are etymologically related and are spelled similarly to this one word.

You can actually know what Aristotle had in mind, because the words he used to explain it are used in an almost identical day today in Greek, and that is probably because there was never a smartass Roman emperor who decided to simplify Greek and make it like Latin to help the rest of the empire learn it Smile

Congratulations on managing to retain such a valuable word! I still don't see what this has to do with spelling, though. If the word had ever been reformed to ίθος, it wouldn't have changed its antiquity or its unique and nuanced meaning in any way, Making an old mask more realistic doesn't change the face that's wearing it or the personality behind it. Plus, in the event of such a hypothetical reform, assuming that iotacism was as regular as I think it was, those related words would likely be re-spelled in a similar way (e.g. habit = σινίθια), so the connection would probably be maintained. Even if it wouldn't, what ultimately matters is just knowing how to use each individual word effectively, not knowing the precise cognatic relationships that explain why it's used that way.

As for your remark about the Romans hypothetically Latinizing Greek, you're comparing apples and oranges. First of all, you're talking about simplifying the language again, not the spelling. In a sense, the classical Romans (or perhaps their proximal medieval descendants) actually did simplify the spelling for themselves by inventing a scheme for transliterating the Greek alphabet into Roman letters. And yet, classical Greek has not only been preserved but also become a cornerstone of Western culture.

(13-02-2016 07:23 AM)undergroundp Wrote:  Ήθος is spelled exactly
Yes, words and concepts do fade out of usage, but does that mean we should also force that to happen?

No, but we shouldn't artificially retard the process either. Naturally dying words don't belong on life support.

(13-02-2016 07:23 AM)undergroundp Wrote:  Ήθος is spelled exactly
Kids here are taught some Ancient Greek at school. Apart from understanding your history and culture and making it easier to spell and understand your own language, the teaching of such a closely related "foreign" language is also very important for metalinguistic awareness.
[...]
I can, however, see why a speaker of the lingua franca may overlook metalinguistic awareness and how it affects language learning...

My system would foster metalinguistic awareness as well, though of a different sort than what you seem to prefer. For example, students would be more consciously aware of inflectional allomorphy due to the plural or past-tense suffix being spelled according to their pronunciations. For instance:

dogs = dogz
cats = kæts
wishes = wiçiz

played = pleid
laughed = læft
waited = weitid

This in turn highlights the phonological concept of voicing, since that's one of the criteria that determine which allomorph is used. Then, when some of those kids go on to study German, for instance, word-final devoicing will likely be even simpler to explain than it is now.

As another example, my system gives each conventional vowel letter a short and a long pronunciation. Any unmarked vowel is short before a consonant and long elsewhere. If a vowel needs to be long before a consonant, an acute accent is placed on it (hence "maðør" for "mother" but "fáðør" for "father." A teacher may pose the Socratic question, "Why would we do it this way?" and lead the class to realize that the short vowel sounds (/ʌ/, /ɛ/, /ɪ/, /ɒ/, and /ʊ/) never occur without an immediately following consonant, thus giving them an introduction to the concept of phonotactics.

It sounds to me like you would advocate a return to Katharevousa. Would you also advocate a restoration of classical Greek's rich system of participles and infinitives?

Your attitude towards the ambivalence of English "love" seems rather prescriptivist to me.

(13-02-2016 07:23 AM)undergroundp Wrote:  Maybe language does not affect our brains in significant ways directly as we speak, but language does affect and evolve together with culture and civilization.

Right, so why shouldn't the orthography evolve to keep pace with the language, culture, and civilization?

(13-02-2016 07:23 AM)undergroundp Wrote:  When you want to learn a language, etymology matters. When you want to understand it, be fluent and good at spelling, etymology matters.

Really? I can't recall a time in learning Spanish or Italian that not knowing Latin at the time significantly hindered my progress.

Plus, the only reason etymology is important in good spelling is because etymology itself plays such a disproportionate role in determining what constitutes "good" spelling. It's a metaphorical protection racket. The racketeer Etimologo is looking over your shoulder saying, "My, my, that's a lovely letter you're writingǃ It'd be a shame if something were to be misspelled." Take etymology out of the equation that determines "correct" spelling, and it ceases to be important in becoming a good speller. In other words, get the racketeer arrested, and you won't have to pay any more "protection" fees.

(13-02-2016 07:23 AM)undergroundp Wrote:  Why guess what a word means when its spelling gives you half the information?

Why guess how to pronounce a word if the spelling could give you all of the information?

(13-02-2016 07:23 AM)undergroundp Wrote:  I will try to say what When you simplify the spelling of a word, you literally destroy its root. With your simplifications, you would need to erase thousands of roots. These roots carry meaning. It may not be obvious right after you simplify the word, but it will be 100 years later, when people will have adapted so much to it that they won't be able to read anything in "Old English".
[...]
But if you simplify spelling the way you want to and it becomes the norm, in a few years Carl Sagan (or any writer who wasn't lucky enough to be transcribed into the "new spelling") will be unreadable by 99% of English speaking people (as has already happened with the original "Old English").

And now it's my turn to wonder how many of my comments you're actually reading. I've spoken multiple times about ensuring that any texts that weren't systematically transcribed during the reform would thereafter be readily transcribable via something like an iPhone app. With no resources and rusty programming skills, I've already developed a Java program that serves as a basic proof of concept, so imagine what a team of professionals could do with more resourcesǃ

(13-02-2016 07:23 AM)undergroundp Wrote:  This study has nothing to do with what I asked (clear evidence that easier spelling means better communication and higher literacy rates). It only proves that English speaking kids take longer to learn. But they do learn eventually.

So? Slicing acquisition time into a fraction of its former duration is plenty of reason for meǃ If I remember correctly, the researchers doing that study made some effort to control for socio-economic factors. How does the Finnish economy fare compared to the Greek? Greek is substantially less consistent when going from sound to symbol than when going from symbol to sound. A reader automatically knows exactly how to pronounce 'ι,' 'η,' 'υ,' 'ει,' οr 'οι,' but a writer must recover from rote memory which one to use each time he/she wants to spell /i/. Is there a notable difference between reading proficiency and writing proficiency? Is Finnish similar in that regard?

Chinese has been discussed. What of Pinyin? As I understand it, it's a very popular kind of metaphorical training wheels for learning all the morphographic characters, presumably because it's so effective. This even parallels the Unifon experiment with American English, in which first-graders trained to use a phonemic spelling system not only became proficient readers and writers in just three months, but as I recall, they also fared better than the control group in subsequent acquisition of traditional spelling. The efficacy of phonemic alphabets as mere stepping stones towards more complex codes testifies to their potential as standard orthographies in and of themselves.

Plus, think of what could be done with the money that would be saved on those roughly two years of extra literacy instructionǃ

(13-02-2016 07:23 AM)undergroundp Wrote:  So you think that confusing thousands of millions of people is making language learning easier?

Again, did you read what I wrote? The comparatively occasional and regionally specific discrepancies that would spring from spelling according to an international compromise accent would still be a dramatic improvement over the much more frequent discrepancies that currently affect everyone regardless of their regional accents. There is nothing new about standardizing spelling inter-regionally according to a single bridge dialect (what I like to call a dialecto franco or, to borrow a Greek term, a κοινή) in the midst of various regional dialects. Languages that do so, such as German or Italian, still find it worthwhile to have fairly consistent phonemic systems.

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Ἡ μόνη ἱερᾱ̀ ἀληθείᾱ ἐν φυσικῇ φιλοσοφίᾳ ἐστίν ἡ ἱερῶν ἀληθειῶν σπάνις.
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13-02-2016, 05:21 PM
RE: English Spelling Reform
(13-02-2016 11:50 AM)Stevil Wrote:  
(13-02-2016 07:08 AM)Chas Wrote:  You really don't appear to understand data representation, data compression/decompression, or that all of the music is in the data, not just volume.
And yet again, you are taking the analogy too far and completely missing the point.

The message in the lyrics remains the same, the melody remains the same.

And yet again, you are ignoring what the analogy actually was and how it is factually incorrect.

Quote:No-one is disputing that the music itself may have changed if the person doing the mastering for CD has decided to compress it.

And that can change nuances.

Quote:But relative volumes has nothing to do with melody. Tone has nothing to do with melody. Melody is the main tune, you can whistle it if you like, and it is the same melody as that which the artists created. The melody itself can be represented on the music sheet. If played accurately by the musician (regardless of instrument, regardless of volume) is a true representation of the melody (unchanged).

To put nuances on the melody one must alter the pitch or the timing or note length.

And that can change with compression. Compression effectively alters the sampling rate (it is digital, remember) and that can actually eliminate small changes in the tones, thus removing nuance.

Quote:To put it in simple terms. When your favourite song comes on and you decide to turn up the volume on your radio, you are not altering the melody of the song you are just making the song louder.

And yet again, I am not talking about volume and changing at the playback has absolutely nothing to do with the issue.

Quote:Or if you decide to turn the Bass Booster on, again, you are not changing the melody of the song, you are simply increasing the volume of the bass notes.

This has nothing to do with the issue. See above.

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13-02-2016, 05:44 PM (This post was last modified: 13-02-2016 05:48 PM by Stevil.)
RE: English Spelling Reform
(13-02-2016 05:21 PM)Chas Wrote:  
Quote:No-one is disputing that the music itself may have changed if the person doing the mastering for CD has decided to compress it.

And that can change nuances.
Sure but not nuances on the melody.

(13-02-2016 05:21 PM)Chas Wrote:  And that can change with compression. Compression effectively alters the sampling rate (it is digital, remember) and that can actually eliminate small changes in the tones, thus removing nuance.
Tone has nothing to do with melody. Melody is pitch and timing.

(13-02-2016 05:21 PM)Chas Wrote:  And yet again, I am not talking about volume and changing at the playback has absolutely nothing to do with the issue.
If you are not highlighting changes to volume then why did you cite Dynamic Range? DR is all about relative volumes.
(13-02-2016 05:21 PM)Chas Wrote:  And yet again, I am not talking about volume and changing at the playback has absolutely nothing to do with the issue.
I think you are just really bad at understanding analogies.
I'm highlighting here that changes in volume do not affect the melody (it doesn't matter if the volume is based on the playback device settings or is inherent into the digital encoding). I am also highlighting that changes in the volume of respective frequencies also do not affect the melody (again it doesn't matter if the volume is based on the playback device settings or is inherent into the digital encoding).
Changes in tone also do not affect the melody.
Changes in the underlying medium (tape vs vinal vs CD) do not change the melody
Changes in any of these things do not affect the melody in anyway, not even a nuanced change.

The fact remains, the message in the lyrics are unchanged and so is the melody unchanged.

I think perhaps if you don't worry about melody and instead think about the message in the lyrics, did that change, no it didn't. The analogy was to show that things can change and the message can remain the same.

All this arguing about an analogy is just plain stupid. Should the focus be on the OP and his Reformed spelling?

You guys who are getting all upset about a suggestion to revise spelling, miss the point that much communication is verbal. We understand verbal communication very well. We don't need to see the spelling of the words in order to understand what we have just heard.
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