[Spellyans] <y Y> + diacritical

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Wed Jun 25 14:05:36 BST 2008

At 08:55 -0400 2008-06-25, stinney at sas.upenn.edu wrote:

>  > Making this distinction is good orthography design.
>But it is necessary for the othography to bear 
>the entire burden of these distinctions?

I believe so.

>For one thing, learners are routinely taught 
>exceptions, and if the list of bys/bes words is 
>short, they can simply learn them.

The list isn't short. There are other lists which 
are short. This isn't one of them.

>For another, information of this kind really 
>belongs in the lexicon, not in the spelling.

As I said, we have mabm/mamm because 
pre-occluders want to write pre-occlusion and 
non-pre-occluders don't, and as orthography 
designers we wanted to make sure that speakers of 
one dialect would recognize texts written by 
speakers of the other dialect.

Similarly, we have bÿs/bës because some people 
say and want to write [bi:z] and some say and 
want to write [be:z]. But here we have an 
additional problem: there are [e:z] words which 
are not part of the alternating class, which 
everyone pronounces the same.
Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com

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