On Jan 15, 2008 9:37 PM, Roger Mills <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Dirk Elzinga wrote:
> > Roger:
> >
> > I hesitated posting these comments because I'm leaving in the morning
> for
> > a
> > conference in NYC, and I may or may not be able to read email while I'm
> > gone. ....>
> > I've been reading (and re-reading) your short description of Prevli
> > phonology. It is very interesting, and to this Americanist, very
> strange.
> > I
> > recognize (I think) some things from Austronesian (no surprise there!),
> > and
> > I find them refreshing. I had a few comments; take them or leave them,
> as
> > they are useful to you.
> Very trenchant comments; many thanks. You've hit upon exactly the areas
> that
> bothered me..... One of my problems is how to come up with a spelling
> system
> that either reveals as many of the allophonic/morphophonemic alternations
> as
> possible-- or whether to use a more phonemic system, give the rules, and
> let
> the reader figure it out. (That's how a native speaker might view it, but
> not fair to us outlanders, I think).  I'll wait a few days before
> answering
> more fully.
> (snip the rest)

About spelling. I know there are others who have thought about this much
more than I have, but it seems to me that a successful orthography is
designed for (and by) its users, not its learners. So I think that many of
these alternations could remain unmarked in the spelling system. I guess
that means that I'm in favor of basing the orthography on a phonemicization
and then providing the interested reader (me!) with the rules.

Personally, I tend to sidestep the whole issue since I generally prefer to
work with transcriptions. The issue of spelling doesn't come up with
Miapimoquitch, being the language of a preliterate society, and the
orthography for Shemspreg is essentially a transcription. I'm having some
trouble with my third project (which right now has the unfortunate name
Ustekkli), because I am trying to design the orthography in tandem with the
phonology. It's turning out to be a lot more difficult than it ought to be.