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maikxlx wrote:

> I think it looks oddball to use <x> for _any_ vowel, but we're trying to
> achieve the same thing, i.e., to regularize the orthography while avoiding
> inconveniences, and that means recycling unused basic letters. 

The idea wasn't new.  Rick Harrison had already used it for 
languages like Vorlin and Jigwa so I just borrowed the idea.  In the 
case of SASXSEK, maximum machinability was a high priority so I had 
to keep it all within the ASCII range.  Deini uses its own script 
but there are cases where I need Romanizations, and didn't mind 
using full Unicode there.  Normally I'd probably use <y> for <ə> but 
it was taken up by /1/.  Another option I considered there was <ë> 
but I didn't like having that many keystrokes for a common letter 
like a vowel, so yes, it was a matter of convenience even though I 
do have some other characters like <ð> <þ> <ŋ> <š> and <ž> but they 
have alternative themselves as <dd> <tt> <nn> <ss> and <zz>.

I don't mind an orthography that looks "odd".  To some extent any 
foreign orthography looks that way to some degree or another.  I 
don't think <x> for /ə/ is any worse than Welsh's use of <w> as a vowel.

<q> is one I've found multiple uses for.  In SASXSEK it's /ŋ/, Deini 
is /ɣ/.  I have one conlang using it for /dʒ/ and I've seen in used 
by others for /tʃ/ and even /θ/.


> BTW in an
> earlier stage of my conlang, I too had <x> for /@/, as a sixth vowel after
> /a e i o u/.  Later after I changed /j w/ into semivowel variants of /i u/,
> <y w> were available for /y 9/ to accommodate loans from French, German and
> classical Greek; later, <x> shifted to /M/ to give the vowel system
> symmetry; later still I swapped <x> and <w>.

The same thing happened in SASXSEK.  Originally /j/ and /w/ were <j> 
and <w>.  Then I added a couple of affricates to the phonology.  <y> 
became /j/ and <j> became /dʒ/.  Eventually /j/ and /w/ met the same 
fate as your conlang, becoming allophones of /i/ and /u/.  I should 
also note that /ə/ in SASXSEK has a special purpose.  It's only used 
as an epenthetic to prevent consonant clusters in compounds, or for 
transcribing proper nouns.

> As far as /S/, my main project Mull has <c> for /S/, but my side projects
> usually have <x> for /S/. I find the latter _much_ more attractive than the
> former, probably the best choice other than s with caron.

SASXSEK has no /ʃ/ so not an issue.  I tend to favor <š> unless it's 
an auxlang, where I'll favor <x> in those cases because of 
machinability.  <c> as /ʃ/ just never seems to work well for me but 
the Deini romanization originally used it for /x/.  I've assigned 
<ħ> to /x/, leaving <c> for /tʃ/.


> Sometimes I have considered an alternate, more ideal but less convienient
> spelling system for Mull:
> 
> <p b t d k ģ> /p b t d k g/
> <f v s z x j h> /f v s z S Z h/
> <c g> /tS dZ/ (_F) where F is a front vowel; /k g/ everywhere else
> <m n r l h> /m n r l/
> <i y w u e ø a o> /i y M u e 9 A Q/
 >
> /k g/ would be spelt with <k ģ> (ģ = g with accute) only before a front
> vowel (alas, there is no good voiced analog for k, and I refuse to use <q>);
> likewise, <tx dj> would be used only other than before a front vowel. This
> introduces a little irregularity, but it works efficiently with a vocabulary
> taken largely from Latin when one prefers affricatives for "soft" <c g>,
> which in fact Mull has; it's more pleasing than having <tx dj> and <k> pop
> up all over the place.
> 
> Also, spelling /S/ as <x> fixes another problem: /kst/ and /ksp/, common
> enough in Latin, violate Mull's phonotactics;  /St/ and /Sp/ however do
> not.  So I could borrow a lot of Latin words with a slightly different
> pronunciation but same spelling (e.g. "dexter" borrowed as <dextro> instead
> of <destro>).
> 
> Sometimes I need to remind myself that my phonology and orthography are
> frozen, so that I can work on other parts of the language!

Yeah, I try not to waste too much time on those but someimes I just 
get an idea for a "better" way to do something.  For Deini I made a 
custom script.  Once I settled on that and had all the fonts and 
keyboard drivers made, I knew I wasn't going to mess with it any 
more because it would be too much work to go back and change.  I 
suppose that's one benefit to using a custom script.  I'm still 
tinkering with the orthography and phonology for OGL.