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Arabic : I agree, and apologize for it on the page for Arabic.  I also
mention that the abjad gait is based on Islamic art - the weaving of
geometric forms - not the script.

Phoneme: I discuss this on the Principles page.

Yes, Shwa (in my use of it) is not completely phonemic.  The idea is that
foreigners won't know the phonology, and so need some help with the
phonetics.  I haven't yet come up with a rock-solid principle governing
that, but my rule of thumb has been to write those transformations that a
typical non-linguist speaker can hear in his own language.  IMHO, the use of
the dark LL at the end of English syllables falls into that category, while
the aspiration of initial unvoiced plosives doesn't.

Another principle was to show all such changes in vowels, since Shwa has a
lot of vowel letters (12) but in fact only half the vowels of the IPA.  But
the application of that principle has also been difficult.

Perhaps no such principle is tenable, and Shwa should be completely
phonemic.

On Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 12:14 AM, R A Brown <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> I'm quite confused whether Schwa is meant to be phonetic or
> phonemic and, indeed, what a phoneme is in the Schwa
> context.
>
>
> On 26/07/2011 20:17, Peter Cyrus wrote:
>
>> On Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 9:55 AM, Michael
>>
> [snip]
>
>
>  The idea of a phoneme is an abstraction of phone :
>>
>
> A _set_ of phones, surely?
>
> David Crystal writes: "The notion of a phoneme allowed linguists to group
> together sets of phonetically similar
> phones as VARIANTS, or 'members', of the same underlying
> unit."
>
>
>  we
>> posit that the Ps in *pot spot top* are all
>> manifestations of a single underlying thing, even though
>> they sound different,
>>
>
> We posit that the three phones are positionally conditioned
> variants of the phoneme /p/, i.e. they are members of the
> set of phones denoted /p/.
>
>
>  and then we can play with that
>> thing, for instance recognizing it in Greek ψ
>>
>
> Wait - if we're talking of ancient Greek, where ψ was first
> used, it was a convenient way of representing three separate
> phonemic combinations, i.e. /pʰs/, /ps/ and /bs/ which were
> all pronounced [ps].  In early Greek it was generally
> written ΠΣ but they clearly felt uncomfortable with writing
> the phonemes /b/ and /pʰ/ as Π before /s/, so they went for
> a separate letter to denote a sound in which three phonemes
> were realized the same way.  I guess Schwa would not permit
> this.
>
> I'm not sure of the phonemic status of ψ in modern Greek - I
> leave that to others.
>
>  and German pf.
>>
>
> ? I understood that German <pf> represented a single
> _affricate_ sound, i.e. [[p͡f], i.e. /p/ has got as much to
> do with /p͡f/ as, in English, /t/ has to do with /ʧ/. Though
> it would appear that Schwa has symbols only for
> dental/alveolar affricates and not for any others, which
> seems to me odd in a script that it designed to be
> universal.
>
> ==============================**===========================
>
> On 26/07/2011 21:02, Peter Cyrus wrote:
> [snip]
>
> >
> > That means that the same sound (phone) is represented by
> > two different letters in the two languages.  But
> > accepting that Shwa is phonemic implies accepting that
> > Shwa is NOT phonetic.
>
> Yep - I agree: if Schwa is phonemic, it implies it is not
> phonetic.  BUT -
>
>
> > That said, English in Shwa uses a separate letter for the
> > dark LL at the end of syllables.
>
> Why?!!!!
>
> So Schwa ain't phonemic after all! Or is it phonemic with
> some sounds (e.g. plosives consonants) and not with others
> (e.g laterals)?  If so, why the different treatments?
>
> As I say, I'm not at all clear whether Schwa is meant to be
> phonemic or phonetic.  I find it very confusing.
> ==============================**=============================
>
> On another matter:
>
> n 26/07/2011 17:55, Michael Everson wrote:
> [snip]
>
> >
> >> - I hope it will turn out to be beautiful
> >
> > Which is in the eye of the beholder, of course.
>
> Yes, indeed it most certainly is.
>
>
> > Though
> > the gaits make it unbeautiful to me, since they prevent
> > inter-gait legibility.
>
> Personally, I find the Arabic script far more beautiful than
> Schwa's pseudo-abjad gait.
>
> --
> Ray
> ==============================**====
> http://www.carolandray.plus.**com <http://www.carolandray.plus.com>
> ==============================**====
> Nid rhy hen neb i ddysgu.
> There's none too old to learn.
> [WELSH PROVERB]
>