[Spellyans] More on bys/bes words and diacritical marks

Eddie Climo eddie_climo at yahoo.co.uk
Thu Jul 10 07:44:26 IST 2008


On 9 Jul 2008, at 21:49, A. J. Trim wrote:

> I know that we have covered this topic previously but some further  
> discussion is required.
>
> I assume that we want to write bÿs/bës & bys in KS because the SWF  
> has bys/bes & bys, and we consider that to be “broken”, i.e. a poor  
> feature of the SWF.
>
> Firstly, this is because bys [bi:z]~[be:z] “world” or “finger”  
> could also mean [biz] “until”, so we should like to spell them  
> differently from each other.
>
> However, Mary said, “I don't think I've ever muddled up these  
> words, I don't know the clever way to say it, but they're just not  
> words you confuse, they don't come in the same places if you follow  
> me.”
>
We might learn a useful lesson from Scots Gaelic, and the official  
spelling reforms introduced a couple of decades ago. Under the new  
spelling, two words that used to spelt differently are now spelt the  
same:
gu'n > gun (='to the')
gun > gun (without)

One of the other changes was the replacement of the grave accent by  
the acute, even though <e> and <o> (the only 2 letters affected by  
this measure). This simplification was recommended despite 2 facts:
(1) a few words would no longer be distinguished in writing by their  
accent,
)2) the two accents each denoted a slightly different sound in the  
speech of many native speakers.

The moral is that this Gaelic has gone for a simpler notational  
system which encodes less information, rather than a more detailed,  
complex and discriminating one.

Perhaps we should follow the same path, and not try over hard to  
notate too much in KS


Eddie Foirbeis Climo
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Ahes an forth hyr hep wothvos y tremenynyn.

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