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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29 views

Ellipsis of noun phrase head when modifiers have different parts of speech

These sentences occur in the Mozilla UI strings: EN The sentence has a grammatical or spelling error. DE Der Satz beinhaltet einen grammatikalischen oder Rechtschreibfehler. The ...
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Can all scripts be used to write all different languages?

I am thinking about making an introductory book to some different "languages", for self learning. But I realize I'm blending the writing system with the pronunciation system, and am starting to get ...
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Do any languages use distinct graphemes for vowels with different tones?

As far as I know, most writing systems for tonal languages fall into one of four groups: The writing system is not phonetic (e.g. Han logograms) Tone is not generally indicated in writing (e.g. many ...
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Are there formal linguistic understandings of misspelled words?

For example, I will assume that people make mistakes in spelling because, often, the misspelled words look similar enough to the intended words, so the communication can be made smoothly, but I wonder ...
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Are there languages where a change of character casing can lead to a different meaning of a word?

I'm no expert on linguistics. In fact I'm no even a proper amateur but please, bear with me on this: Are there any languages where a word would change its meaning depending on the casing of one or ...
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Looking for references about the orthographic transparency

I need to have two tables as showing both grapheme-phoneme and phoneme-grapheme relationships in a couple of languages to be compared mathematically. In fact, I want to know how many phonemes stand ...
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How do we know that Sumerian determinatives were not pronounced?

I've read the following in Edzard's "Sumerian Grammar" from 2003: Determinatives: these are signs which precede or follow words or names in order to specify them as belonging to semantic groups. ...
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Why do we make a distinction between letters and punctuation marks?

In English, for example, the word "don't" is made up of 4 letters ("d", "o", "n" and "t"), and one punctuation mark ("'"). However, there seems to me to be no reason for this distinction. Without any ...
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How should the Sumerian ergative marker be read?

In Foxvog's Sumerian grammar, he assumes that the ergative marker -e was pronounced as -e, even after the possessives -(a)ni and -bi. For example, he transcribes "her king" in the ergative as lugal-(a)...
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Was the “a” glyph ever used for ajV in Hittite?

As fdb mentioned in a comment: The sequence a-a is a scribal convention for ajV [in Akkadian]. Some Assyriologists treat it as a single sign with the “Lautwert” aju, aji, aja In Hittite, ...
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What percentage of words or queries are misspelled in search queries?

What percentage of words or queries are misspelled in search queries? I couldn't find any decently recent study. {3} states: Dalianis measured that 10% of web search engine queries were misspelled ...
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A possible diacritic for a silent و in Persian? [closed]

In modern Persian the و of "خوا" in many words is silent. خواب xāb ‘sleep, asleep; dream; the nap (of a cloth)’ خوابیدن xābidan infinitive: ‘to sleep, lie down’ Examples from the link ...
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Why are the orthographies of Ancient/Proto Languages so Impractical?

For example: In the Romanization of Sumerian, /ŋ/ is written as ⟨g̃⟩ or ⟨ĝ⟩ instead of ⟨ng⟩ or even ⟨ŋ⟩. Also in Sumerian /t͡sʰ/ is written ⟨ř⟩ or ⟨dr⟩. The list goes on with Sumerian. In Proto-Indo-...
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How were glottal stops indicated in Akkadian cuneiform?

According to Huehnergard, Akkadian had a phonemic glottal stop. This makes sense, given the language's heritage. However, he doesn't seem to mention it anywhere in the chapters on orthography, and I ...
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What is the use or quality of the orthography-to-IPA mapping charts?

In relation to How to build a robust transliteration scheme across languages? I am now confused about orthography-to-IPA mappings, such as for Turkish. When you see the orthograph like the letter a ...
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How to build a robust transliteration scheme across languages?

So I am trying to imagine building a transliterator across languages that takes any language and converts it into IPA or some less-detailed equivalent (like a Romanization). I am thinking about ...
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How to convert Old Irish Latin script to Ogham?

If you look on at an online Ogham Translator, it converts words like "crann" to ᚉᚏᚐᚅᚅ, which seems to be a letter-for-letter translation. The only guide I've seen to Old Irish pronunciation is this. ...
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117 views

Why does the NATO Spelling alphabet contain words with more than two syllables

I always wondered why the NATO Spelling Alphabet has words with three syllables in it. I know it was extensively researched, so there must be a reason, but it seems odd to me. One syllable seems ...
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103 views

How consistent are the Egyptian Hieroglyph carvings orthographically?

We design the snake to look like this, and the bird to look like that, and the human figure to look like this other. Does it have to be exactly like that, or can we have some freedom when designing a ...
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How can we trace the source of orthographic inconsistency?

It is known that orthography has both positive and negative effects on second language acquisition. However, I can't really figure out when the effect is due to the L1, the L2 or both. For example, ...
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What is a “Phonetic Language”?

Once I've spoke with a friend of mine and I've asked him why in the french language there are so many discrepancies (or incongruities, inconformities...) between the written and the spoken words and ...
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How are cuneiform glyphs numbered?

In Sumerian (and thus Akkadian, Hittite, etc) cuneiform, there are often several glyphs which have the same pronunciation (as far as we can tell). So the glyphs pronounced /u/ will be transliterated ...
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Is there good evidence for five vowel phonemes in Hittite?

The Hittite writing system generally distinguishes three, sometimes four vowels: /a i u/ and sometimes /e/. However, I've seen it suggested that the language actually had five vowel phonemes, ...
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Why is almost every word misspelled? [closed]

Why is almost every word misspelled? Considering, the fact that a sound should be represented by a single symbol or letter. So, I do not get confused spelling and its easy for a person to become ...
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“Romanticism” in different languages

I noticed that "Romanticism" in French is "romantisme," contrary to my guess of "romanticisme." I was curious how other the word was spelled in other European languages. Similar to English ("icism") ...
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How do you break words across lines in Arabic?

I have been searching for this for a few hours today and haven't found anything but this really, well maybe this is as close as it gets. Just found this, too, which is nice. I've asked this on the ...
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Were long vowels distinguished in cuneiform?

Hittite cuneiform occasionally shows "plene" spellings, with extra vowel signs that might indicate vowel length, or show the height of back vowels, or distinguish homophones (like the French grave ...
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How is French written in telegraphy and other settings in which diacritics are not possible?

The French alphabet has 5 diacritics and 2 orthographic ligatures, to make 16 extra letters. In Latin scripts, letters with diacritics like ä, å or à, ñ, ö, and ü can be transcribed as ae, aa, gn, oe, ...
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How can I tell if a vowel is “empty”?

In Hittite cuneiform, every glyph with a phonetic meaning is either V (a vowel), CV (a consonant followed by a vowel), VC, or CVC. As a result, there's no way to represent three consonants in a row ...
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Where can I find a list of pronunciation rules for different languages?

I'm finding stuff like this in every language, but it's all written in sentence form scattered all over the place. Is there a central database of this sort of stuff for each language, or a book of ...
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Why do some written languages have multiple symbols for a single sound?

For some written languages, there are multiple symbols to stand for one sound. Here are a few examples: tibetan ཨ [a] ⟨ꞏa⟩ འ [a] ⟨ʼa⟩ hebrew ך [χ] כ [...
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What is known about the voicing of Hittite consonants?

Most consonants in Hittite appear in two variants, conventionally called "voiced" and "voiceless": "voiceless" consonants are written twice in a row, while "voiced" consonants are written only once. ...
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226 views

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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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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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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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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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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207 views

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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