Questions tagged [orthography]

Orthography is a set of rules that determine the correct way of writing in a certain language, including norms about spelling, punctuation and word breaks. Orthography is usually not considered part of natural language or grammar itself and therefore not strictly a subject of linguistics, but sometimes of interest in investigating individual languages' pronunciation and writing systems.

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31 views

How to go from Akkadian romanization to Cuneiform here [on hold]

Looking at an example like this, copy/paste is this: ṭeḫû [TE : , DA : ] (vb. e/e) How do I get the Cuneiform, what is the encoding with TEDA, etc.?
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How different is Old Persian / Avestan / Farsi from each other?

I am looking at dictionaries of the avesta and old persian of which there isn't much, and would like to collect words in the old persian cuneiform and avestan script. First part of the question is, ...
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How to convert http://psd.museum.upenn.edu Sumerian dictionary words into Cuneiform?

I am looking at http://psd.museum.upenn.edu/nepsd-frame.html and wondering the algorithm (or where I can find the algorithm) that converts the words to Cuneiform script.
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Can you write Japanese in only Hiragana, or only Katakana, or only Chinese characters?

I don't know Japanese, but I notice they have a mixture of Hiragana, Katakana, and Chinese characters. Instead of a mixture, could you write a whole article in just one of them? Does this ever occur? ...
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How do Egyptologist layout the Hieroglyphs when they print it in books?

I am looking for a layout system for the Egyptian hieroglyphs. For example, here are some. Do they lay it out pretty much exactly like it appears in the stone? And do they have a system or are they ...
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53 views

If either there exists an Avesta book online in Avestan Script, or if you can transfer back romanized Avestan to Avestan Script reliably

I have been trying to find a copy of the Avesta in Avestan Script, but the closest I could find was from http://www.avesta.org/avesta.html, which is written in some sort of romanized script: ashem ...
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A Lesson in Transcribing Egyptian Hieroglyphics

I am trying to transcribe some images of illustrations of hieroglyphics into Unicode. I am having a hard time and right off the bat there seem to be slight variations in the structure of the ...
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Runic punctuation [closed]

If you write an old norse document using some sort of runes, what do you do with the punctuation? For example: Þá var honum svarat ok heldr óframliga: ‘Höttr heiti ek, bokki sæll.’ ‘Því ...
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How do you translate academic runic encodings to runes (ᚠᚢᚦᚨᚱᚲ)?

I have not been able to find a single resource online that has (unicode encoded) Runic inscriptions like a full text of ᚠᚢᚦᚨᚱᚲ, or even a dictionary. This site lists some resources, most of which are ...
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Historical pronunciation of Hindi यह and वह

The Hindi 3rd person singular proximal and distal pronouns यह and वह are commonly pronounced [jeː] and [ʋoː], in contrast to the [hyper-correct?] pronunciations [jəɦ(ə)] and [ʋəɦ(ə)] one might expect ...
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Shoud a Semicolon Be Used Before Both a Coordinating Conjunction and a Conjunctive Adverb? [migrated]

Please see: http://academics.smcvt.edu/writingctr/semicolons.htm for reference. Now I understand that a semicolon could be used before a conjunctive adverb (eg: also, furthermore, therefore, etc..) ...
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What’s the standard way of showing phonemic inventory and orthography in the same table?

I’m describing the phonology of an Asian language. I put all the phonemes in a clear table. Since I use a local (Roman letter-based) orthography in my transcribed examples, I think it’d be handy to ...
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Why did Moti Lieberman associate 子 with onset, and 了 with coda?

Screenshot's from YouTube. I don't speak Chinese and don't understand the relevance of these ideograms. I emailed him twice, but after 5 months, got no reply.
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Why did Old English lose both thorn and eth?

My understanding is that Old English had two letters, thorn and eth, which were used interchangeably to represent the sound th as in thin or father. Intuitively, one might think that one of these ...
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How Thai Vowels Work

I am trying to put together a worksheet to understand how the Thai script works. I am looking here and here. The wiki page seems to suggest that there are two types of symbols: combining characters ...
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Why do we write read for both present and past tense, but we pronounce them differently? [duplicate]

read verb \ ˈrēd \ read\ ˈred \ The words have the same spelling, but they are pronounced differently, and one of the words is pronounced exactly the same as a color’s name, “red,” yet its ...
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Parabens vs. parabéns [closed]

Is there an etymological link between the word parabens in English (ex. Soap without parabens) and parabéns (congratulations) in Portuguese?
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Which part of linguistics concerns/is responsible for “capitalization”?

Is it orthography in general, maybe punctuation, or something else?
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When was the first bicameral script developed?

The Wikipedia article on letter case says this without citing any references: Both majuscule and minuscule letters existed, but the difference between the two variants was initially stylistic ...
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Do any modern orthographies use capital esh?

The letter "esh" (ʃ) is well-known from the IPA, and is also used in some languages' orthographies. Because of this second use case, Unicode includes a capital esh at U+01A9 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER ESH (...
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Is there any language where each character is pronounced differently depending on the word it's in?

Languages like Japanese have different pronunciations for each character (in the kanji system in this case) , a kanji character can have up to 20 different pronunciations depending on the the word it ...
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Why is “ß” not used in Swiss German?

What are some of the historical reasons why the orthographic symbol ß is not used in Swiss Standard German and “ss” is used instead?
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Origin of h as a modifier letter

A silly what-if question that sounds a bit mad: I am curious as to why the letter "H" in English and some other European languages is used as a modifier to make diglyphs represent a single phoneme (ch,...
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146 views

What is a loan creation?

How is it different from a loanword? One example given was mitkind created on stimulus of English sibling. Does this mean mitkind is a new word but with a foreign sense? Is there such thing as loaning ...
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What IPA does in these complex cases

I'm trying to think of examples where the IPA symbols get really complex, and find phonologies with those symbols. I'm not quite there in understanding all the aspects of IPA, but I wanted to see if ...
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Other languages like English whose orthography is “not quite” phonetic

Most languages it seems are pretty much phonetic. (I'm only focusing on alphabet languages, so not Chinese for example). From what I've seen, Spanish is phonetic, Cherokee too, Finnish, Inuktitut, and ...
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System for intermixing IPA with Orthography

So in English the word hi sounds like /haɪ/, but can be spelled "hi", "high", etc. So if you wanted to define the word "high" in English you would have to write two things: high (the spelling/...
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Would anything bad happen if we made our alphabet represent the phonemes more accurately?

Using it to represent phones is of course bonkers, it would make much more likely for an unitary language to be split apart. When we are dealing with phonemes that problem is inexistent in my opinion, ...
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In what ways does Arabic use letters as orthographic signs without phonetic significance?

ا (alif) and و when used as orthographic signs without phonetic significance are not represented in romanization. fa‘alū فعلوا ulā’ika أوقية ūqīyah أولائك — ALA-LC guide to ...
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123 views

Languages without orthographic stress marks that still have words that differ based on stress

Wondering about languages with stress that don't mark it orthographically. For example, the only two languages I know of that actually mark stress are Ancient Greek and Spanish. It seems that marking ...
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If romanization can be reversed (back to original script) in some languages

So it turns out that pinyin can't be reversed back to Chinese characters. However, I keep seeing images like the ones below for different languages (the images below are for Hindi and Japanese, but ...
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How to annotate “popping” vs. non-popping sounds of sequential consonants

How to write (orthography) words in a distinct way to capture the essence of these pronunciations (I'll try to use IPA but probably will do it wrong so adding another variation). hip /hɪp/ hipo /hɪpo/...
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83 views

Verifying these resources are accurate written representations for each language using Latin script

I am a bit confused by the languages that use the Latin script, not sure if the version of the Latin script they are using is a transliteration of something else, or if that is actually what the ...
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52 views

Example of a language with tones, stress, and umlauts all in one (or something more complex)

Wondering what the languages have the most bells and whistles added to latin characters. For example, pinyin has ǘ which has the umlaut and the acute accent (just 2 additions). But I'm wondering if ...
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What is the technical term for alternative spellings?

If two subcultures use the same realization (pronunciation) of the same word form (particular inflection of a word) but spell it differently, what is the technical term for the alternative spellings? ...
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Is it possible to read the narrow IPA transcription of one's native/fluent language as effortlessly and quickly as its conventional orthography?

it seems there's no neurolinguistic limit on how many letters can a language's alphabet have (it varies a lot between languages), the IPA is a huge phonetic alphabet, As of the most recent change in ...
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Is calling a spelling “defective” acceptable in the linguistics of languages other than Hebrew/Aramaic?

Most of my work has been done in Hebrew where describing a spelling as "defective" is common and accepted. Is this wording current in other areas of linguistics or would something like "(not) spelled ...
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Three questions regarding the distinctions between certain broad and slender sounds in Irish

I think I've got the distinction between broad and slender consonants in Irish more or less down, but a few details keep eluding me: 1. What on earth is the difference in pronunciation between "mar" ...
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255 views

Any languages that don't have consecutive letters?

I was wondering if anyone knew of a language (real or fictional!) that did not contain any double consecutive letters (like the double t in "letters"). Thanks!
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The letter “ff” in the name “Richard ffrench”?

I have a book called "A guide to the birds of Trinidad and Tobago" and the author is named as "Richard ffrench" with a small "f". The author's name is spelled the same way by the Library of Congress, ...
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Are the diphthongs “ae” and “ea” essentially identical? [closed]

Originally, the word "tea" was pronounced "tay", which would suggest that a simple "e" is short (pronounced "eh") and by adding the "a", it becomes long "ay". However, we also have the diphthong "ae",...
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Can a written language get away without punctuation marks?

I had a thought a few days ago while I was thinking about conlangs. If a language had a strict verb-final order, it could easily get away without using punctuation to show the end of a sentence. ...
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When did Nguni languages like Zulu adopt capitalisation of proper noun roots?

Motivated by Is the lowercase first letter of a proper noun common in the Swazi language? Zulu, and the other https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nguni_languages as user@6726 reports in his answer there, ...
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Has the letter ⟨u⟩ in english ever historically represented the phonemes /y/ or /ʏ/?

English's spelling was changed after sometime and became more like French in some areas, such as the digraph ⟨ou⟩ to represent /u/, after ⟨u⟩ came to represent /ʊ~ʌ/. The reason I ask this, however, ...
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380 views

Why do we censor vowels, rather than consonants?

My first question on this site, so please be somewhat lenient :)) My question, put succinctly: Why do we asterisk the vowels in profane words, rather than the consonants? Now, just a disclaimer, ...
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805 views

Julius Caesar original name spelling?

Was Julius Caesar originally spelled with and I before "J" was invented? Or was it spelled some other way? If so, how? I'm curious.
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119 views

Initials in Greek

Does modern Greek use initials and/or initialisms? Like similarly to how we might call John Kennedy John F. Kennedy or JFK, or the Federal Bureau of Investigation the FBI.
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Why does the English Alphabet sometimes function like a syllabary?

One of the things that I never really noticed growing up until I began learning about other languages and the elegance of writing systems is how, in America for sure, we use letters like syllabic ...
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2answers
298 views

Any proposals for Modern Greek spelling reform?

The orthography of Modern Greek is to a great extent historical and, therefore, complicated. There are multiple spelling variations for [i], [e] and [o] sounds, and awkward digraphs to represent [b], [...
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Where might the given name Xelefon originate?

I was recently reading some historical records wherein a lady was mentioned, Olga Malar (née Cuch), born in "Napodiwka," Poland, in 1922. She was said to be the daughter of Xelefon Cuch and Jewdokia ...