Ray: > At 7:15 pm +0100 20/4/02, And Rosta wrote: > >The distinction between (b) & (c) seems -- to use your words! -- > >overly nice. > > Probably so. I think (c) might be a permitted, tho not favored > variant of (b). > > >I prefer b to a. > > Good - that's another vote for (b), and still none for (a). > > >But without vowel harmony. > > But both Dirk & I seem to like v.h. :) > > When I came across Turkish in my teens, I became fascinated with the > language and its vowel harmony; and I noticed even then that the vowels in > Turkish affixes need not written since they were entirely predictable from > the root word once you knew whether the suffixes used high or low vowels. > It occurred to me that this feature could be used to cut down on the need > for actually showing vowels in writing. Certainly since the 1970s at least, > vowel harmony has been a constant in all versions of BrSc. > > Anyway, without the concern for vowel harmony, the question whether or not >  is OK becomes redundant. One just has the 'classical 5 vowels' of > Esperanto, Ido, Novial etc etc. In purely phonological terms, that is fine. But to maximize orthographic brevity, you want to maximize the number of licit letter combinations: abc, acb, bac, bca, cab, cba, etc. Now clearly phonology can't cope with freely combinable segments, so either each letter would represent a single syllable, or else there should be an unwritten vowel. If each letter represents a single syllable, then you have only 26 syllables, which is way fewer than the number that even the most simple human phonology can comfortably cope with, so there is a needlessly severe loss of brevity. With brevity as the overriding goal, the best option would be the unwritten vowel one. Maybe something like this: aeiou = vowels bcdfghjklmnpqrstvwxyz = consonants all syllables are CV a sixth vowel is unwritten a 22nd consonant (a glottal stop, say) is unwritten the unwritten vowel and unwritten consonant cannot occur adjacent to each other (this would tend to mean that there would be either no orthographic C-final words or no orthographic V-initial words) The result makes every combination of letters licit and pronounceable. The phonotactics are an IAL-friendly CV pattern. There are (22 * 6) -1 = 131 syllables. --And.