[Spellyans] dictionnaire de l'Académie française

Eddie Climo eddie_climo at yahoo.co.uk
Sun Jan 30 13:15:25 GMT 2011


On 2011 Gen 30, at 11:20, Michael Everson wrote:
> Eddie proposed:
>> =====
>> "In KS, diacritics are highly recommended for use in lexicographical, reference and didactic material, where the highest possible degree of phonological precision is desirable. In less formal writings, or in those aimed at more fluent readers, some or all of the diacritics may be omitted at the discretion of the writer or publisher."
>> =====
> 
> And this is the same as Nance's approach.

You misrepresent my statement and Nances's approach as well, Michael; it is NOT the same as Nance's, as I shall explain below.

> Nance said:
>> =====
>> "Certain vowels are given diacritical signs in the dictionary, but like the accents and the diacritical numerals referring to mutation, these markings are not suggested for limitation in ordinary use."

This is not an accurate transcription of Nance's words on the  first page of his Introduction to the 1938 'Gerlyver Noweth K-S', where he actually said:
>> "Certain vowels are given diacritical signs in the dictionary, but like the accents and the diacritical numerals referring to mutation, these markings are not suggested for imitation  [sic] in ordinary use."

I agree with Nance (and the KS proposal) that in lexicographic, reference and didactic material the use of diacritics is a good idea.

However, unlike Nance, I propose that KS suggests diacritics MAY be for 'imitation in ordinary use', entirely at the discretion of the witer or publisher. Which means, of course, that they sometimes will not employed  'for imitation in ordinary use.'

But for 'ordinary use', I agree with Jenner's very balanced view (Handbook, 1904, pp.ix-x, para.2):
> …and to modern learners, whose ovject in linguistic rather than philological, a fairly regular system of orthography is almost a necessity. The present system is not the phonetic  ideal of "one sound to each symbol, and one symbol for each sound," but it aims at being fairly consistent with itself, not too difficult to understand, not too much encumbered with diacritical signs, and not too startlingly different from the spellings of earlier times…"

Notice how his statements are qualified rather than absolute: "…fairly regular … fairly consistent … not too difficult … not too much encumbered with diacritical marks … not too startlingly different …". He shows no sign of the dogmatic orthodoxy expressed in the present-day Revival by both extreme diacritophiles and diacritophobes alike.

In the view of some of us on this forum, KS as currently proposed is (to quote Jenner) 'too much encumbered with diacritical marks'. I, for one, shall not support it being so excessively encumbered.

If you've not yet contributed your views to this thread, fellow Spellyans members, please speak up so that we can arrive at a consensus on this issue.

gans gorhemmynadow a'n gwella,

Eddie Foirbeis Climo
Gwask an Orlewen
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