Not a bad thought this leaf, good to get some talk anent spelling.

There are many spellings we could have, but why not keep it as near as Old English (the last time a spelling was designed by Englishmen) as we can?

In my eyes, the following:

Ðe þåtful mæn kåt his waif a kwik ænd kunning grey fisch.

would become something like:

Þe þohtful man coht his wýf a cwic and cuning gré fish.

This is not a last and whole proposal, but it is more like what I think we ought to have. But, as with words, we could also have a free approach to spelling, and let anything halfway acceptable stand. Oswax Scolere 17:56, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Nice thoughts. I think the sentence, if the system had evolved naturally, would have ended up more like this:
Þe þohtful man coht his wife a cwi(c)k and cunning grey fisch.
So, kinda a mix of what you wroite and what I wrote on the leaf. Bryan 23:45, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
your proposal looks good, though have i something else to suggest. /k/ should be k, /tʃ/ should be reverted to c, and /ʃ/ should go to sc. þohts? Bob A 04:29, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
"sc" did shift to "sch" in English and other Germanic languages. In English, it seems to have lost the "c" owing to the influence of other digraphs like gh, ch, th. We don't know what would have happened, but it seems likely that "sc" would have yielded to something else. Probably "sch" (which it did do). It's moot, tho, as we aren't gonna implement any of these proposals in the moot, anyway. IMO, the setence, as it may have been but for 1066 aso, would be more like "Þe þohtful man coht his wif/wiif/wife a cwick and cunning grei/grey fisch". Bryan 00:54, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
Furthermore, "reverted"? C *could* stand for "ch", but usually before a front vowel. It's highly likely that even without the Norman Conquest, "ch" might have supplanted "c" + front vowel, anyway. But a system I like is "c" + front vowel = /tʃ/; add "e" or "i" (not both or either) after the c before a back vowel (so, cip = chip, cialk (or whatever) = chalk; /k/ before a front vowel to be "k", but before a back vowel to be "c". This is more like English. Your proposal would yield cip, calk, king, koht, mine would yield cip cialk king coht. All fun stuff, either way. BTW, I note I already commented on what the sentence would be according to me but for 1066. The differences are brought from my subsequent reading about English spelling history. Bryan 01:01, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
Looks italianisc. Anyway, my rational for my system is that it's simpler/more logical to merely have <c> stand for soft c and <k> for hard c, and that this seems to be what the other germanisc tungs have been doing anyway. Bob A 04:53, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
Tricky, Bob. And not quite true. "Soft c" is borrowed from the Romanic languages in most other Germanic languages. This is because (original) "c" /k/ did not really soften in the other languages as it did in English. In English it softened to the "ch" sound. In Swedish it has also softened (but to a "sh"-like sound), too, but there it **IS** still spelt with a "k". Compare "kärlek" and "kung" (or "gillar" and "god"). West Saxon scribes did this. But in West Saxon, there weren't the large number of words that we now have which contrast "sh" and "sk" (cf. Swedish). In short, it IS more logical to have c for the "ch"-sound and "k" for the sound of "king". HOWEVER, that isn't historically accurate, and isn't really what would have happened if it were not for 1066. Well, we can't know what would have happened, but my best guess is it wouldn't have happened. Bryan 11:48, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
Actually, i was referring to languages like dutch/german, which has words like 'buch' which could be spelled without the <h>. Granted, soft c isn't spelled that way in swedish yet, but it would be a logical spelling. Bob A 19:50, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
Hmm, I think you are using non-standard terminology. I don't follow you. You seem to be referring to the voiceless velar/uvular fricative. This has nothing to do with "soft c" so far as I can tell. I certainly am not aware of this sound being spelt "c" in German and Dutch. I really don't understand at all what you are saying here, please elaborate. :) Bryan 11:09, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
Addendum: "ch" = the voiceless velar/uvular fricative in Dutch, German, Scots as the voiceless velar plosive was originally spelt "c". And "h" is often used as a kind of diacritic to mark frication. This is different to English. In English, our "ch" sound- the voiceless palato-alveolar affricate- was historically "soft c". "c" /k/ "softened" before front vowels. So before i, y, e, æ it became soft. IT eventually became the soudn we have to-day. The actual current soft c is imported from French and Latin where a similar change happened, but which resulted in c softening to a /s/ sound instead. In short, "ch" in German and Dutch doesn't really have anything to do with soft c in the sense that the term is (to my knowledge always) used. In other Germanic languages, "k" essentially displaced "c". Possibly because "c" was now ambiguous due to our knowledge of and being influenced by languages like French. But anyway, for whatever reason, "k" came to replace "c" in most Germanic languages. Later on, Swedish's voiceless velar plosive also underwent the same softening change as had happened in English, except in Swedish it was spelt "k" not "c". And this is as it is to-day in Swedish. "kärlek" is like "sharlek", and "kung" is as one would expect. Bryan 11:15, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
I think before anyone discusses the link between spelling and speech, one must consider that English spelling isn't supposed to represent any one dialect, but instead uses 1600s pronunciation as a kind of go-between for all the world's modern dialects. The dialect upon which spelling is mostly based, would today just be considered "just another dialect". If you want proof of this, go to the Regular English Pronunciation website and listen to the sound samples. It's a dialect extrapolated from English spelling that is more similar to RP than Standard Scottish English. I don't see anything very clever about spelling Porn the same as Pawn in England, but spelling them differently in Scotland. ~Inkstersco
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