--- On Sun, 3/27/11, Michael Everson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Peterson wrote:

I don't have any specific suggestions for a romanisation scheme, except
the usual caveat to keep it simple.

> > I'd advocate having two romanization systems: A linguistic one and a 
> > reader-friendly one. The reader-friendly one shouldn't use diacritics.
> Bosh and nonsense! Tolkien used the acute, the circumflex,
> and the diaeresis and nobody moans about that. Romanization
> does not mean ASCIIfication.

And for the most part, all those circumflexes and accent marks are 
meaningless to most readers of the books. They're simply not interested
in the languages per se as much as the story itself. Even now, I haven't
been terribly interested in Quenya or Sindarin as languages. 

> > What I'm imagining, though, is that if there's an
> appendix, readers could go see how the various names and
> words are actually spelled, plus some other information
> about the language. Then the linguistic romanization could
> serve as a kind of IPA for the reader.
> A chapter on spelling and pronunciation is always welcome.
> :-) C. J. Cherryh uses it. Le Guin has. Tolkien did. 

Agreed. This puts all the linguistic burden into a separate place away
from the main narrative. If it includes some interesting bits of history
and culture as well, then so much the better for those who decide to
read it!

> >> ʔ = q
> > 
> > No English speaking reader will ever get this last one
> right—or even close.
> A fair point. Though mitigated by a section on phonology.

At least the average reader will thus be entirely confirmed in his
ignorance of all the funny symbols! ;))))

> > All of these suggestions assume a particular type of
> English speaking reader (and I am assuming that the
> readers—at least initially—are going to be English
> speakers).
> Hm, well, those English speakers (even monoglots) who are
> interested enough in reading a book with a strange language
> in it ought to be able to put up with the strange language
> being peppered with a few diacritics.

Peppered being the operative word here! 

> > The language is going to be alien enough to an average
> > English-speaker. In order to make it at least silently
> > readable, I'd suggest that the romanization be systematic,
> > transparent, and not necessarily faithful (e.g. I think it'd
> > be better not to write the glottal stops than to represent
> > it with something unintuitive).
> I'd opt for faithful. I've got a wee contribution about
> this which I'll put in another thread.

I'd go with readable, given the purpose of this romanisation. "Faithful"
could mean just about anything from marginally readable to horrifically
illegible, depending on how faithful it is to the language's phonology!

My philosophy is that the author should not burden the reader with the
mechanics of his subcreated world, and that includes how the conalngs
work. The average reader should be able to recognise the conlang as 
foreign and have a sporting go at reading the foreign words without being 
taxed by a topheavy romanisation scheme and without having to slog through 
acres of foreign text. In other words, he should get a good taste of it
without having to commit to a whole meal.

As you say above -- "pepper" the story with just enough conlang to set
the scene and make the appearance of foreignry, and make it look nice
to the eye and readable to the ear; but don't overdo it by setting before 
the reader a treatise on vowel coloration variation in the ablative vs. 
locative of the fourth aorist particple of the root verbs. This will 
guarantee that the reader will skip ahead (at best) or put the book down 
(at worse) and quite possibly leave a bad review on Amazon (at worst).

> Michael Everson *

Qouen loucariam! ica vindere al suan pneumam niscam enccanemôn en al icaica anouram an; orimdê eiodipositare al enccanemôn qouem, ica forato itan, meita qouemver etra; etti ica sa laptato al suan pneumam. Men dê semoudat al narsas qouis, ica accoreire al suan pneumam; etti ica perfere pro al ican per empodoc pro al icaica anouram per.

What a businessman! he sells his soul in exchange for everything in this world; then he will leave everything which, he bought it, with somewhom else; and he himself-ruined his soul. But truly blessed the man who, he saved his soul; and he prefers it in place of this world.