On Fri, 2009-06-26 at 120:47 -0400, Mark J. Reed wrote:

> It's just a convention thing.  I'm used to seeing the spelling "gh"
> used to explicitly mark a <g> as "hard" (that is, [g]) where a bare
> <g> might possibly be interpreted as "soft" ([dZ]).  So using <gh> to
> *mean* [dZ] feels exactly backwards to me.

It came to me as a solution to the demands of both the internal and
external history of Liburnes. The orthography took almost as long as the
sound changes from Latin.

I had to represent soft "c" /č/ and "g" /ǰ/. The latter couldn't be "j",
as this had become /dz/. The Italian solution of adding "i" was barred
by words like /fač/. Writing "fač" looked too Slavonic and "facy" was
blocked by the use of "y" for /ɨ/. I wanted the latter so that the
change of /luna/ to /lɨna/ would be visible: what's the use of a change
if it doesn't show? So, on the basis of Spanish "ch" and Portuguese
"nh", I created "ch gh lh nh rh".

The internal history is that Liburnes, spoken in Orsinia (see Ursula Le
Guin's Malafrena), used Glagolitic until the mid-nineteenth century.
Then they rang the changes on etymology (fact), French (fatch), Italian
plus etymology (fatiu). Finally, at the Sant-Antunh Conference in 1924,
they settled the matter. "y" /ɨ/ from Orsinian, "gu" and "qu" from
French etc, "ch" from Spanish, "nh lh" from Portuguese, "gh rh" for

/ts/ was a problem; writing "naçon" and "çarha" (< terra) looked odd, so
I (or the Conference) went Rumanian with "națon" and "țarha".