> 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
> [1] 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.