English Spelling Reform
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13-02-2016, 06:05 PM
RE: English Spelling Reform
Quote: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.

So your point with homophones is that they won't confuse people because there already are etymologically unrelated homographs?
Even so, people who have learned them this way so far will be confused. It would take decades for people to stop being confused.

Quote: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.

Quantum physics is not the equivalent of knowing how to spell properly. High school physics is. It really is not as hard as you're presenting it, and definitely not a problem worth of such radical modifications.
And I'm pretty sure knowledge has been lost in the past, because you don't always have enough people who know every single thing there is to know about English and write it down.

Please, stop saying that basic literacy is a "specialty". It really isn't. If we're going there, why not also teach only basic math that is actually useful in life, instead of pushing children away from it with all the complicated stuff we teach them?

Quote: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.

You are underestimating a child's ability to make connections. It may have to do with etymology being much more important in Greek than in English and maybe that's why we don't seem to be able to find common ground here, but I know for a fact that I'd suck at spelling if teachers never explained the etymology behind words. It's a thing that Greek teachers just can't stress enough.

I've often been in situations where I come across a word I don't know and others don't know it either. It is a very rare thing not to be able to find what it means by its roots and I've noticed that most people I know will go about it the exact same way, that is by comparing its spelling to other words.

So yeah, I don't know, maybe it makes more sense in Greek than it does in English.


Quote: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.

No, I was not talking about simplifying the language, I was talking about simplifying the spelling. I am not talking about what happened, I am talking about a hypothetical scenario.

Yeah, the Romans did that (not my hypothetical scenario), but they did not enforce it to the whole empire. Modern Greek has evolved from Ancient Greek, not by the "Latinized" version of it. So, you totally missed my point again.


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

I never claimed we should do that. I'm just saying, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Quote: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.

Ok, now I'm seriously starting to wonder if you're paying any attention while following this conversation. I mean, no offense, but I'm really struggling here with the irrelevant answers.

I never, ever claimed your system would not foster metalinguistic awareness. That was not even my point at all. You asked why we should insist with Ancient Greek. I told you we are taught Ancient Greek in school and that it does not have to do with pride, but with several other things, metalinguistic awareness included. I cannot wrap my head around how you interpreted all that as "your system does not foster metalinguistic awareness".

Quote: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?

A return to Katharevousa would be quite interesting, as long as it came back with certain changes (e.g. get rid of the stresses and incorporate "modern" or "folksy" words instead of rejecting them). It wouldn't be so extremely hard you know, half my teachers used its forms when speaking at school and my dad insists on using it in writing and sometimes speaking. Grandpa also used it.

You can't imagine how many times I've used archaic or obsolete forms because there is just no other way to say something in Modern Greek. Some forms have actually started to come back, after so many people being frustrated about not being able to express themselves clearly.

For example, there is no way of saying "between me and him" without using an ancient form for "me". Some people mistakenly use the accusative, but the correct one is the genitive, which in its modern form is incorrect to use after the word "between".

I've also successfully read Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea in Katharevousa Smile

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


Not sure what you mean by that. I mean, I understand the word, I just don't understand what you're trying to say.


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

It does actually keep pace. At least in Greek. God kills a kitten every time a word changes Sadcryface

Seriously though. Being taught a certain thing at school and then having it changed while you're still at school is beyond confusing. I still seriously struggle with it and feel self-conscious whenever I need to write one of those words that have changed in my lifetime and someone has to read it. Oh, I've had comments on it. "Lol, why did you write it like that?" or "hey, do you write that word this way or that way? Which one is the new way? I don't even remember".

So much for progress Tongue

Quote: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.

Maybe it didn't hinder your progress, but I can read Catalan and understand at least 50% of the text without ever having been taught a single word in Catalan. But hey, I took French!

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

Etymology doesn't give all the information. Spelling does not give all the information either. It's a tie! Smile

Quote: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

You cannot possibly think that all texts in the world can be transcribed systematically... can you?

Quote: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

And still, no evidence. Your interpretation and hypotheses on the findings does not count as a convincing argument.

Maybe Finnish is slightly easier in that aspect, but it still doesn't explain the discrepancy. Have you ever been to a Greek school? Well, I have. And let me tell you, spelling is really not the reason we're not literate.

Chinese is like, a whole new territory. You can't possibly be comparing the complexity of Chinese with the complexity of English. Talk about comparing apples and oranges...

Quote: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.

For you, maybe. For the whole English-speaking world? Hardly.

Quote: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.

Any evidence for that?


You have yet to address the main problem here:
English is one of the easiest languages in the world. There is absolutely no evidence that there can be a smooth transition to such a radical spelling system nor for possible benefits that are worth that amount of trouble.

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13-02-2016, 06:07 PM (This post was last modified: 13-02-2016 06:11 PM by Chas.)
RE: English Spelling Reform
(13-02-2016 05:44 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(13-02-2016 05:21 PM)Chas Wrote:  And that can change nuances.
Sure but not nuances on the melody.

I just explained why it can, but go ahead and ignore it.

Quote:
(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.

Tone has a lot to do with nuance.
Nuance: nu·ance
ˈn(y)o͞oˌäns/Submit
noun
1. a subtle difference in or shade of meaning, expression, or sound.

It says sound.

Quote:
(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.

One more time: dynamic range is not just about volume.
"Dynamic range is the difference between the smallest and largest usable signal through a transmission or processing chain or storage medium."

Quote:
(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.

I'm done here. You are simply unwilling to learn or change what you only think you know even when shown you are incorrect.

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13-02-2016, 07:04 PM
RE: English Spelling Reform



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13-02-2016, 09:01 PM (This post was last modified: 13-02-2016 09:06 PM by Glossophile.)
RE: English Spelling Reform
(13-02-2016 06:05 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  So your point with homophones is that they won't confuse people because there already are etymologically unrelated homographs?
Even so, people who have learned them this way so far will be confused. It would take decades for people to stop being confused.

Really? When was the last time you were genuinely confused by someone using the wrong form of "their/there/they're" or "you're/your"? You may have been annoyed, but I doubt it caused you to actually stumble in your understanding.

(13-02-2016 06:05 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  Please, stop saying that basic literacy is a "specialty". It really isn't. If we're going there, why not also teach only basic math that is actually useful in life, instead of pushing children away from it with all the complicated stuff we teach them?

I never said literacy was a specialty or a specialized field (quite the opposite, actually). Etymology/philology is, and as such, it should not be foisted upon the general populace via a spelling system that essentially holds mastery hostage until students pay their homage to it.

(13-02-2016 06:05 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  It may have to do with etymology being much more important in Greek than in English and maybe that's why we don't seem to be able to find common ground here, but I know for a fact that I'd suck at spelling if teachers never explained the etymology behind words. It's a thing that Greek teachers just can't stress enough.

To me, that kind of dependency on etymology for mastery of spelling is precisely the problem. As I've said, etymology would not be nearly as important in spelling correctly if it didn't play such a bloated role in determining what is considered "correct" in the first place.

But you're right. We are dealing with two different languages, and I can't pretend to have the intimate knowledge of Greek that you do, so that may be why it's taken us so long to really begin to understand each other.

(13-02-2016 06:05 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  I've often been in situations where I come across a word I don't know and others don't know it either. It is a very rare thing not to be able to find what it means by its roots and I've noticed that most people I know will go about it the exact same way, that is by comparing its spelling to other words.

I've only had a couple of such experiences that I can specifically remember. Let me pose a question. If Greek spelling were to be radically regularized so that the word 'ήθος' became 'ίθος,' wouldn't any other instance of the morpheme 'ίθ-' be similarly re-spelled such that the relationship among derived words such as 'σινίθια' would still be obvious? Or am I missing something about modern Greek morphophonology and its evolution?

(13-02-2016 06:05 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  Ok, now I'm seriously starting to wonder if you're paying any attention while following this conversation. I mean, no offense, but I'm really struggling here with the irrelevant answers.

I never, ever claimed your system would not foster metalinguistic awareness. That was not even my point at all. You asked why we should insist with Ancient Greek. I told you we are taught Ancient Greek in school and that it does not have to do with pride, but with several other things, metalinguistic awareness included. I cannot wrap my head around how you interpreted all that as "your system does not foster metalinguistic awareness".

My point was that there's more than one way to skin a cat. You don't necessarily need to teach etymology/philology in order to develop metalinguistic awareness.

The Greek trend towards restoration of certain ancient forms to fill apparent gaps in the modern language is fascinating! However, I'm not convinced that a hypothetical spelling reform would have necessarily precluded that, unless the ancient forms are somehow being recovered from modern spellings rather than from the basics of ancient Greek itself that students learn in school.

For example, I have considered changing the name of my proposed spelling system (Restored Latinate Spelling) to make it sound less intimidating. To emphasize its purpose as an orthography for the common folk and symbolic reaffirmation of our Anglo-Saxon heritage (via the use of characters like 'þ'), I've toyed with the name "Theodish," from the ancient Germanic root þeod- meaning "people" which is no longer used in modern English. It is only because of the three courses that I've taken in Germanic philology that I knew anything about that morpheme. No modern spelling, no matter how archaic, could have led me to discover that root hidden away waiting for possible revival.

(13-02-2016 06:05 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  Seriously though. Being taught a certain thing at school and then having it changed while you're still at school is beyond confusing. I still seriously struggle with it and feel self-conscious whenever I need to write one of those words that have changed in my lifetime and someone has to read it. Oh, I've had comments on it. "Lol, why did you write it like that?" or "hey, do you write that word this way or that way? Which one is the new way? I don't even remember".

While I don't wish to be unsympathetic, arguments from personal inconvenience are out of place in debating such a forward-looking and outward-reaching cause as spelling reform. In the event of an actual reform, even I might find the adjustment tiring and inconvenient for a while. After all, a system I once used in very limited context would suddenly be expanding its scope rapidly! But I'm willing to take one for the team for the worthwhile goal of accelerating and probably thereby spreading literacy acquisition.

(13-02-2016 06:05 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  Maybe it didn't hinder your progress, but I can read Catalan and understand at least 50% of the text without ever having been taught a single word in Catalan. But hey, I took French!

I know what you mean. My knowledge of Spanish enables me to read alot of Portuguese even though I don't actually speak the latter.

(13-02-2016 06:05 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  You cannot possibly think that all texts in the world can be transcribed systematically... can you?

No, at least not within the time frame of the initial reform implementation, which is precisely why I've proposed the development of on-demand transcription software. With such a utility, if someone comes upon an obscure book or article that hasn't been transcribed, it would be a relatively simple process to essentially scan it and feed it into a transcription program which would promptly output a complete transcription in reformed spelling. It would be even better if, each time it's used, it adds the transcribed text to an ever-growing library of transcriptions for use by anyone else who subsequently needs or wants to read the text in question.

(13-02-2016 06:05 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  Chinese is like, a whole new territory. You can't possibly be comparing the complexity of Chinese with the complexity of English.

Chinese uses a predominantly morphographic system with some phonemic radicals. English blends morphographic and phonographic techniques. Both are very deep orthographies, and for the purposes of my point about Pinyin and Unifon, that parallel seems sufficient. The overall point was that shallow auxiliary alphabets seem to be quite good at facilitating the acquisition of more complex orthographies.

(13-02-2016 06:05 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  
Quote: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.

Any evidence for that?

German and Italian are both languages that have a diversity of dialects and yet still maintain reasonably transparent spelling systems. This is because the standard orthography represents a single bridge dialect that everyone can at least passively understand. It is only fairly recently that the traditional provincial dialects have begun to give way to minor phonological variations of the standard language, and that almost certainly has much more to do with the emergence of modern telecommunications than with the standardization of the written language. The unification of Italy and consequently its national language, for instance, predates most such technologies (radio, TV, etc). If you need further elaboration, I'd recommend that you look into German and Italian orthographies as well as the dialectal diversity of their respective nations. Another keyword that you might find useful is "diglossia."

(13-02-2016 06:05 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  You have yet to address the main problem here: English is one of the easiest languages in the world.

Is it, though? Maybe it was easy for you, but I took a course on teaching English as a second language, and there are several features that cause difficulty for many non-native learners. Phrasal verbs whose composite meanings make no sense with respect to their components (e.g. what exactly does the direction "up" have to do with "looking up" a word in a dictionary?), the nuances of modal verb usage, and the rules for perfect versus past tense usage are just a few.

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13-02-2016, 09:16 PM
RE: English Spelling Reform
(13-02-2016 06:07 PM)Chas Wrote:  
Quote:Tone has nothing to do with melody. Melody is pitch and timing.

Tone has a lot to do with nuance.
Sure, but not nuance of the melody. Tone has nothing to do with the melody.

(13-02-2016 06:07 PM)Chas Wrote:  Nuance: nu·ance
ˈn(y)o͞oˌäns/Submit
noun
1. a subtle difference in or shade of meaning, expression, or sound.

It says sound.
Huh Not all sounds are melodies. Not all aspects of sound are relevant to the concept of melody.

It a shame you don't know what is meant by the word "melody".
But again, this is all beside the point. You completely missed the point of the analogy, you completely went off on a tangent.

There is a term "charity", even if a person says something that might not be 100% correct, you as a listener have the opportunity to give them the benefit of the doubt. If you understand what message they were trying to convey, then just go with that. But if you are going to be anal retentive and go down the route of "Oh, BUT you said..." then really it defeats the purpose of discussion, of exploring ideas with people. If you truly didn't understand what he meant by his analogy then it would make sense to ask him to clarify. You've taken neither of these paths.

As is often the case with Chas, and which makes you a horrible person to try and discuss anything with, you leap towards being anally retentive and arrogant, leap towards the path of telling the other person they are wrong, even on things that aren't really pertinent to the conversation.

From my observations, people can have conversations with you as long as they agree with what you state, but if their position conflicts with yours, you go all anal.
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13-02-2016, 09:57 PM
RE: English Spelling Reform
I cant beeleev a deskushon abowt speling is 17 pages long. Who wood a thunk it. Drinking Beverage

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14-02-2016, 05:51 AM
RE: English Spelling Reform
(13-02-2016 09:01 PM)Glossophile Wrote:  Really? When was the last time you were genuinely confused by someone using the wrong form of "their/there/they're" or "you're/your"? You may have been annoyed, but I doubt it caused you to actually stumble in your understanding.

I've actually often had to read a sentence more than once to understand it because there was a simple spelling mistake in it. Both in Greek and English. The main reason "their/there/they're" or "you're/your" are not that confusing is because they're the most common spelling mistakes.

That extra split second it takes you to process the sentence with the spelling mistake is as important as the whole alleged problem of literacy you're trying to present.

And I've said it before, many older people still struggle with just the minor, subtle changes after Katharevousa stopped being taught (40 years ago!). Imagine what would happen with such a huge change that you're proposing.

(13-02-2016 09:01 PM)Glossophile Wrote:  I never said literacy was a specialty or a specialized field (quite the opposite, actually). Etymology/philology is, and as such, it should not be foisted upon the general populace via a spelling system that essentially holds mastery hostage until students pay their homage to it.

I meant literacy as it is today. With all its complex spellings. It is not that hard to learn.

(13-02-2016 09:01 PM)Glossophile Wrote:  I've only had a couple of such experiences that I can specifically remember. Let me pose a question. If Greek spelling were to be radically regularized so that the word 'ήθος' became 'ίθος,' wouldn't any other instance of the morpheme 'ίθ-' be similarly re-spelled such that the relationship among derived words such as 'σινίθια' would still be obvious? Or am I missing something about modern Greek morphophonology and its evolution?

Yes, it would probably be like that. But no, the relation would definitely not be obvious, because Greek has tons of homophone roots, so it would definitely not be that easy to deduce a word's meaning.

For the sake of the argument, I tried to find a word I didn't know to see if I can deduce its meaning.
So, the word is λυμεώνας (one who brings destruction). It's quite easy to tell what it means, because its root λύμη (destruction), although ancient, forms the modern word λυμαίνομαι (cause destruction).

Now, if that word was transcribed as "λιμεόνας", we would have two problems:

- We wouldn't be able to tell if the λιμ part came from λύμη (destruction), λιμήν (port) or λοιμός (famine).
- We would have more trouble distinguishing the gender and type of the noun (if we could distinguish it from an adjective) because the ending -ώνας also gives grammatical information.

You can guess why in a language that has been evolving for about 4000 years (interesting fact: words have survived even from back then) where everything is interconnected and nothing is arbitrary (except for the stupid reforms they occasionally enforced) etymology and complex spelling are important.

(13-02-2016 09:01 PM)Glossophile Wrote:  My point was that there's more than one way to skin a cat. You don't necessarily need to teach etymology/philology in order to develop metalinguistic awareness.

Aaaand that is not what I said either.

(13-02-2016 09:01 PM)Glossophile Wrote:  The Greek trend towards restoration of certain ancient forms to fill apparent gaps in the modern language is fascinating! However, I'm not convinced that a hypothetical spelling reform would have necessarily precluded that, unless the ancient forms are somehow being recovered from modern spellings rather than from the basics of ancient Greek itself that students learn in school.

Well yes, there's no reason a spelling reform would hinder that process, I was just saying, even when you try to simplify and abstract, language may need to go back to complexity. The fact that the word me does not work after the word between is the result of trying to simplify the word (from εμού to μου) to make it easier, but in the process stripping it off of its meaning by making it identical to a possessive pronoun (μου/my).

(13-02-2016 09:01 PM)Glossophile Wrote:  For example, I have considered changing the name of my proposed spelling system (Restored Latinate Spelling) to make it sound less intimidating. To emphasize its purpose as an orthography for the common folk and symbolic reaffirmation of our Anglo-Saxon heritage (via the use of characters like 'þ'), I've toyed with the name "Theodish," from the ancient Germanic root þeod- meaning "people" which is no longer used in modern English. It is only because of the three courses that I've taken in Germanic philology that I knew anything about that morpheme. No modern spelling, no matter how archaic, could have led me to discover that root hidden away waiting for possible revival.

Oh, so now cultural heritage is important? Tongue

(13-02-2016 09:01 PM)Glossophile Wrote:  While I don't wish to be unsympathetic, arguments from personal inconvenience are out of place in debating such a forward-looking and outward-reaching cause as spelling reform. In the event of an actual reform, even I might find the adjustment tiring and inconvenient for a while. After all, a system I once used in very limited context would suddenly be expanding its scope rapidly! But I'm willing to take one for the team for the worthwhile goal of accelerating and probably thereby spreading literacy acquisition.

It may have been an argument from personal inconvenience, but it just goes to show that if tiny, unimportant changes can cause slight discomfort then huge, radical changes can cause significant discomfort.

For a while? I will mention for the third time the example of the people used to Katharevousa who are still struggling 40 years later. You may be willing to take one for the team, but are the millions of other people this will affect willing too?

(13-02-2016 09:01 PM)Glossophile Wrote:  No, at least not within the time frame of the initial reform implementation, which is precisely why I've proposed the development of on-demand transcription software. With such a utility, if someone comes upon an obscure book or article that hasn't been transcribed, it would be a relatively simple process to essentially scan it and feed it into a transcription program which would promptly output a complete transcription in reformed spelling. It would be even better if, each time it's used, it adds the transcribed text to an ever-growing library of transcriptions for use by anyone else who subsequently needs or wants to read the text in question.

Have you heard about copyrights? Tongue

(13-02-2016 09:01 PM)Glossophile Wrote:  Chinese uses a predominantly morphographic system with some phonemic radicals. English blends morphographic and phonographic techniques. Both are very deep orthographies, and for the purposes of my point about Pinyin and Unifon, that parallel seems sufficient. The overall point was that shallow auxiliary alphabets seem to be quite good at facilitating the acquisition of more complex orthographies.

Yes, in the case of such complex and hard languages as Chinese, not in the case of simple, international languages such as English.

(13-02-2016 09:01 PM)Glossophile Wrote:  German and Italian are both languages that have a diversity of dialects and yet still maintain reasonably transparent spelling systems. This is because the standard orthography represents a single bridge dialect that everyone can at least passively understand. It is only fairly recently that the traditional provincial dialects have begun to give way to minor phonological variations of the standard language, and that almost certainly has much more to do with the emergence of modern telecommunications than with the standardization of the written language. The unification of Italy and consequently its national language, for instance, predates most such technologies (radio, TV, etc). If you need further elaboration, I'd recommend that you look into German and Italian orthographies as well as the dialectal diversity of their respective nations. Another keyword that you might find useful is "diglossia."

I know exactly how that is, because Greek dialects are so many and so diverse that I even change the way I speak when I go back to my hometown, which has no "official" dialect. We share the exact same language and spelling with Cypriots, yet when they use their own dialects, we can't even make out words.

The difference here is, all these dialects have evolved despite the spelling because that is just how they pronounce the words. When a man from Crete reads the word καπάκι (kapaki) as καπάτσι (kapachi) it is not because he thinks the letter "κ" represents the sound "ch", it's just the way he pronounces it.

If you told him that he should write that word as καπάτʃι, he wouldn't even be able to understand what the hell you're talking about. That is what you want to do to millions of people who will struggle for the rest of their lives, because you personally think that English is "too hard" and that this is such a huge problem. And it really isn't.

(13-02-2016 09:01 PM)Glossophile Wrote:  Is it, though? Maybe it was easy for you, but I took a course on teaching English as a second language, and there are several features that cause difficulty for many non-native learners. Phrasal verbs whose composite meanings make no sense with respect to their components (e.g. what exactly does the direction "up" have to do with "looking up" a word in a dictionary?), the nuances of modal verb usage, and the rules for perfect versus past tense usage are just a few.

Yes, of course, foreign languages are not easy for everyone. Try teaching verb moods, noun cases, genders, honorifics and even tenses you didn't know existed and then come back and tell me that English is hard because pronunciation is arbitrary and there are phrasal verbs.

The rules for perfect versus past tense are one of the easiest sets of rules there are in the world. I've been a teacher and a student. If kids are looking at their phones while you explain the rules, they can seem pretty hard later.

And you have yet to present compelling evidence for advantages of such a change that would render any disadvantages insignificant.


(13-02-2016 09:16 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(13-02-2016 06:07 PM)Chas Wrote:  Tone has a lot to do with nuance.
Sure, but not nuance of the melody. Tone has nothing to do with the melody.

(13-02-2016 06:07 PM)Chas Wrote:  Nuance: nu·ance
ˈn(y)o͞oˌäns/Submit
noun
1. a subtle difference in or shade of meaning, expression, or sound.

It says sound.
Huh Not all sounds are melodies. Not all aspects of sound are relevant to the concept of melody.

It a shame you don't know what is meant by the word "melody".
But again, this is all beside the point. You completely missed the point of the analogy, you completely went off on a tangent.

There is a term "charity", even if a person says something that might not be 100% correct, you as a listener have the opportunity to give them the benefit of the doubt. If you understand what message they were trying to convey, then just go with that. But if you are going to be anal retentive and go down the route of "Oh, BUT you said..." then really it defeats the purpose of discussion, of exploring ideas with people. If you truly didn't understand what he meant by his analogy then it would make sense to ask him to clarify. You've taken neither of these paths.

As is often the case with Chas, and which makes you a horrible person to try and discuss anything with, you leap towards being anally retentive and arrogant, leap towards the path of telling the other person they are wrong, even on things that aren't really pertinent to the conversation.

From my observations, people can have conversations with you as long as they agree with what you state, but if their position conflicts with yours, you go all anal.

I was just as baffled and annoyed by that example as Chas.

The point was to address the fact that Glossophile's example actually hurt his argument. The discussion that ensued between you and Chas was about clarifying what Glossophile meant exactly (which he never personally did) in order to see if it really was a successful example for his argument or not and not about trying to understand his whole argument.

Chas was 100% justified to push it, as I would have, had I not gotten tired of it. We perfectly got the analogy Glossophile was trying to make. We really did. We were just saying that his example was off.

And I'm sorry, but changes in volume do change the melody if they make it disappear completely. A song is not just one line of melody. It's a shame you don't know that.

"Behind every great pirate, there is a great butt."
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14-02-2016, 11:58 AM
RE: English Spelling Reform
(14-02-2016 05:51 AM)undergroundp Wrote:  I was just as baffled and annoyed by that example as Chas.
Yes, and you demonstrated that you don't know what a melody is when you started talking about bells.

Like I say, lets forget about melody, seeing as it may be unclear for some. But instead focus on his statement that the message in the lyrics are unchanged.

When we hear a phrase spoken out loud or written down, in both mediums, the message is the same. We don't need to see it written down, we don't need to see the spelling of it.
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14-02-2016, 12:45 PM (This post was last modified: 14-02-2016 12:53 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: English Spelling Reform
(14-02-2016 11:58 AM)Stevil Wrote:  Yes, and you demonstrated that you don't know what a melody is when you started talking about bells.






bemore turned me on to Mooji. Blame him.




#sigh
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14-02-2016, 12:58 PM (This post was last modified: 14-02-2016 01:04 PM by ClydeLee.)
RE: English Spelling Reform
(14-02-2016 12:45 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(14-02-2016 11:58 AM)Stevil Wrote:  Yes, and you demonstrated that you don't know what a melody is when you started talking about bells.






bemore turned me on to Mooji. Blame him.



Good so I'm now aware to blame bemore not you when I have my youtube subscription box filled with 15 videos of his stuff because they decide to mass upload in mornings all in one big push.

My questions of implications from these reforms aren't so much of an issue only of adults resisting or not understanding the changed language keys, for many won't have issues but it's how do the kids learning it themselves grow into the world outside of their school life as in reading material abd interacting online or in texts to adults with quick reciprocal communication.

It just seems the argument is kids learn the language too slowly but the corrections would give then slower adjustments to the language and use of it textually at similar rates, just at different points of growth.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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