On Tue, 28 Feb 2012 13:37:40 -0800, Garth Wallace <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>On Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 3:28 AM, Paul Bennett <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> What intrigues me, though, is a writing system that would let someone
>> literate in Hamer be more or less literate in the rest of Ethiopia. To this
>> end, I'm thinking of a Ge'ez based writing system.
>> Questions, comments, suggestions?
>Personally, I'd try to keep it as similar to standard Ge'ez as
>possible, so keeping it syllabic instead of turning it into an


>A virama of some kind could be introduced for consonants not
>followed by a vowel; a second virama-like diacritic would be used for
>unreleased final consonants. 

Conveniently, if /a e i o u/ are the only spelled vowels, there remain two
unused vowels which could be used for viramas!  No need to introduce more
diacritics.  Taking Ge'ez C@ for C0 is a perfectly logical thing to do, I
think, especially as the C@ graphemes are the formally basic ones.  

[And let me be the record as saying that contrastive releasedness is
completely hatstand.  I'm sure I've read at least one phonology text
asserting that it's impossible; I'd been planning to leave it out of Gleb
for that reason...]

>I'm not quite sure I understand how the vowels work from your previous
>post. Can all of those vowels follow any consonant? If so, new
>diacritics may be required for glottalized and laryngeal vowels. 

I think Paul's original idea works fine here: just find two unused consonant
series, let me symbolise them as h*V and ?*V, and write glottal vowels as CV
?*V and laryngeal ones as CV h*V.  

Given the harmony, perhaps it is only necessary to use this spelling once in
a root, and the rest will be inferrable.  

By the way, Paul, would you mind quoting some transcribed text in Hamer so
we can see how this phonology plays out in practice?