Transcribing English in Verdurian

Posted by Philip Newton on 12:22 10/1/01

In reply to: Transcribing English in Verdurian posted by Philip Newton on 5:32 10/1/01

Mark wrote:

By the way, this is posting #200 to the VV Bulletin Board!

Wow! And #200 is one of mine... I wonder what that says about my posting habits. Maybe I should cut down on the quantity :)

And, if that weren't enough, the date, 10/1/01, is palindromic!

Yes, I had thought about that, too. Although my thoughts were along the lines of "01.10.01 reads the same way if consider D-M-Y as when considered Y-M-D". I never thought about M-D-Y order, perhaps because I don't find it logical. (Tomorrow will be palindromic, too, when expressed in ISO date format -- 2001-10-02.) And all the digits of today's date are binary digits, at least when the year is represented with only two digits. There'll be only three more such dates in this century :).


Shock, horror :)

[T]here won't be that many differences between his RP and my GA, especially when filtered through Verdurian's restricted vowel inventory.

Yes. And also because I tried to represent a rhotic dialect (by default) in the transcription.

By the way, what do you think about ör for <ir>?

For a more 'scholarly' transcription of English, you might look at the Barakhinei lax (circumflexed) vowels. Verdurian scholars use the same convention for studying dialects and foreign languages.

Ah. I was looking for a more "approachable" transliteration. Sort of the thing a newspaper would use when transcribing foreign placenames. Since it has to be readable to the average layperson, no engs or funny symbols are allowed, and I tried to stick to the letters of the basic Verdurian alphabet (which excludes Cadhinorian <th>, for example.) But that gives me something to think about when considering a more accurate transcription -- especially the Barakhinei suggestion for the vowels.

Verdurian scholars use the same convention for studying dialects and foreign languages.

Ah yes, there are circumflexed vowels in the Verdurian font.

The /I/ in 'bid' should be written î (or i-breve), no?

I thought about that. Linguistically speaking perhaps yes. However, I consider ĭ/î not a really proper letter of the Verdurian alphabet in that it occurs, in the standard language, only in final position -- and even then, it is only written in grammar books, apparently, and not in books or newspapers (a bit like vowel pointing in Hebrew or Arabic, maybe?). So I didn't want to use it in arbitrary positions in foreign words. But it would be an alternative, yes.

English /k/ should be c, not k! The latter is a uvular stop, like Arabic or Cuzco Quechua q.

Urk, yes. You're absolutely right. I knew that, but I wasn't thinking when I did that part of the table -- just thought "/k/? /k/ exists in Verdurian, so just use <k> for it", without thinking that /k/ is not represented by <k>.

It should, of course, be <c>. I'll change it in my local copy on (re-writing history :). And thanks for catching that.

J is used in quite a few language of the Plain (Flaidish, Ismaîn, Caizu), so it'd probably be an acceptable alternative to dzh. (But it would be quite foreign-looking. If Jeerio the flaid came to Verduria, he'd be well advised to write his name Dzhirio.)

Yes, the "foreign-looking" bit was what I wanted to avoid. However, if the letter is known and recogniseable to many people, then it might be a win to include it. After all, Earth newspapers sometimes try to reproduce accurately letters such as s-hachek or c-acute, in the expection that readers will know what to do with them. (A better example might be the decision to reprint an Icelandic name such as Þorgeir Guðmundsson instead of Thorgeir Gudmundsson, which uses extra letters rather than simply "known" letters with diacritics.)

I think I'll stick with dh, dzh, and i for now, but will think about using th, j, and ĭ/î (and maybe Barakhinei vowels) in a scholarly context.


Mark responds:

I thought ö for ir was clever. I've run into that before... I think my friend Daniel von Brighoff has used that, explaining English pronunciation to Germans.

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