Posted by Daan Goedkoop on 19:03 4/22/02
In reply to: (none)
Some time ago, I read something about the Dutch spelling: in Dutch there are three important "spelling bases". Those are:
Sound - write a word as you pronounce it
Shape - different morphemes should not modify in spelling
Etymology - write recent borrowings as they were written in the source language.
Some examples (the Sound basis should be clear)
Shape: word (become) + t (present tense second/third person) -> wordt
Etymology: bureau /byro/; computer /kOmpjut@r/
Then, the book tells that most languages have such "spelling basics" - for example: Hungarian has some kind of "assimilation basis"
And then I visited Virtual Verduria again, and I wondered: do you have any "spelling bases" for Verdurian (or any other Almean language)? Or is it just write-as-you-pronounce-it?
Verdurian spelling is largely phonemic, which is what I advocate in the Language Construction Kit: a conlang is hard enough without making the pronunciation unpredictable from the spelling. :)
There are some etymological spellings-- the retention of silent <h>, for instance, or tshur for 'fire', pronounced chur. (Cadhinor was turos; the Verdurian spelling retains the initial T, because it was important as an alchemical symbol.
Verdurian tends to assimilate prefixes, e.g. im- + dobre = indobren 'adjust'. But roots are treated morphophonemically (your 'shape' rule), as in sramdonec 'shame-giving'.
I may get into this angle more if and when I get around to documenting Old Verdurian, since before Elena's spelling reform Verdurian had a much more archaic spelling system.