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En réponse à jesse stephen bangs <[log in to unmask]>:

>
> French (and English) can *not* be used as examples of normal
> orthography!
>

What is "normal" may I ask? Language features can only be judged as if they are
naturalistic or not, i.e. used in natlangs or not. Orthography is the same. I
never ever saw a language that uses |ei| for [e] and |e| for [E], but I have
examples of the contrary. Shouldn't that mean something?

> Besides, it makes more sense for {ei} to be high-mid.  Everyone
> generally
> agrees that {e} represents an unrounded (usually front) mid vowel.
> Everyone agrees that {i} represents an unrounded high vowel.
> Logically,
> combining them to {ei} can give an unrounded mid-high vowel, or [e],
> which
> then leaves plain {e} to represent [E] (or whatever else you need it
> for).
>

But the problem is that nobody uses it that way, so there must be a reason. In
my opinion, [e] is more "simple" than [E]. I think that if we did a frequency
survey on the use of [e] and [E], we would find that [e] is used much more
often than [E], even in languages that have both. And I don't know of any
language that has [E] without [e], while I do know the contrary. And my opinion
is also that a more frequent sound should be written down simpler than a less
frequent sound. Languages tend to agree with me, even if it's for other
reasons. Even the IPA uses |e| for [e] and not for [E]!

> Please don't write to inform me that language XYZ does something
> different.  I *know* that already.  The above phonetic values are ones
> that are general and universal, or nearly so.
>

Of single letters yes. Not of the digraph |ei| which I have absolutely never
seen used for [e], but did see used for [E]. So spare me with your "logic",
when it makes spellings that will be confusing for nearly everyone!

Christophe.

http://rainbow.conlang.free.fr

Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else play the leading role.