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On 19 Jun 2004 14:40:50 Andreas Johansson <andjo@FR...> wrote:

> This suggests a high level of common sense among Hungarian-speakers, that cannot
> be expected to be found in other language communities. My native Swedish has
> adopted English "web", in the Internet sense, as [vEb:]

  I have some comments on this issue:

1. I do not know much about on Swedish orthography, but I guess
that according to the general Germanic spelling conventions, "web"
and "webb" is to be pronounced differently, the first with long
vowel, the latter with a short one. Am I right?
  If I am right the difference between "b" and "bb" serves to
signify phonemic contrast. But this is not true for Rotokas. Since
the closed syllables are seems to be forbidden in this language,
the written form "wilwil" is pronounced automatically with inserted
inorganic i's (cf. the English pronunciation of an ordinary
Japanese). Therefore, as opposed to Swedish "web" and "webb", there
is no phonemic contrast between written forms "wilwil" and
"wiliwili" in Rotokas. Thus there is no need for partial
orthographical localization.

2. There are about 4000-5000 Rotokas speaker on the world. I wonder
if there are any Rotokas books, news papers, web pages, etc at all.
I think only ethnographists write in Rotokas for documentation
purposes. These are highly qualified experts and I do not think
that they are about break the supposed almost-phonemicity of the
Rotokas spelling in order to maintain the foreign spelling of
words. The irregularities of the spelling comes from the partial
insistence of the previous orthography habits. But does the Rotokas
have previous orthography habits?

3. Borrowing like "web(b)" come from the wtitten form of the source
language. Can we expect that the interethnic relations between
Rotokas and Tok Pisin are based on writing? I supposed there are
almost only oral borrowings. In this case there is no foreign
pattern for the foreign words. Just an etymologist could reveal the
origin of "wiliwili" as a borrowing from Tok Pisin.

4. The form "wiliwili" was found in a professional textbook
published by SIL. I do not think that these professionalist want to
increase the difficulty of Rotokas orthography to introduce
etymological considerations in addition to phonemic and/or phonetic
principles.