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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
0
votes
0answers
7 views

How an Ancient, Early “Line” of Devanagari Text is Written

Reading this was super helpful. Basically, in order to render Devanagari, you have a chain of symbols. Chunks of the chain can combine into higher-order symbols, and chunks of those can combine ...
-2
votes
0answers
44 views

What was the spacing orthography of the earliest Devanagari?

When Devanagari first began, did people separate words by spaces? Did they use the । and ॥ markers for verses/stanzas/etc.? They obviously didn't use periods because I think those were invented in ...
-1
votes
0answers
56 views

Is pruning of spelling dictionaries, like in “A Note On Undetected Typing Errors” James L. Peterson (1986), have only of historical interest today?

Dear colleagues, as I realized from 9-10 and 12 pages Chapter B Spelling Correction and the Noisy Channel (Draft of October 2, 2019) pruning of spelling dictionary for better spellchecking, like in "A ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

“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") ...
3
votes
1answer
110 views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
110 views

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

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, ...
3
votes
0answers
51 views

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 ...
-1
votes
4answers
104 views

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 ...
-4
votes
3answers
60 views

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 [...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

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. ...
0
votes
1answer
66 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, ...
1
vote
4answers
178 views

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? ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
56 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
123 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

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 ...
6
votes
0answers
65 views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
50 views

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 ...
0
votes
0answers
129 views

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.
71
votes
3answers
7k views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
106 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
77 views

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 ...
0
votes
0answers
77 views

Dictionary pruning and real-word errors detecting

Dear colleagues, do you know something about experimentations similar to experiment from "An examination of undetected typing errors" by Fred J. Damerau and Eric Mays but for Russian or Ukrainian ? ...
-1
votes
1answer
93 views

Parabens vs. parabéns [closed]

Is there an etymological link between the word parabens in English (ex. Soap without parabens) and parabéns (congratulations) in Portuguese?
2
votes
2answers
92 views

Which part of linguistics concerns/is responsible for “capitalization”?

Is it orthography in general, maybe punctuation, or something else?
2
votes
2answers
124 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
164 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 (...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

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 ...
34
votes
2answers
11k views

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?
13
votes
2answers
761 views

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,...
1
vote
1answer
160 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
101 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
203 views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
107 views

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/...
1
vote
2answers
108 views

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, ...
1
vote
1answer
94 views

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 ...
-3
votes
2answers
132 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
334 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
88 views

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/...
0
votes
2answers
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
54 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
85 views

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? ...
4
votes
2answers
172 views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
862 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
159 views

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" ...
2
votes
2answers
274 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!
11
votes
2answers
1k views

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, ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

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",...
1
vote
0answers
96 views

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. ...