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On Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 5:59 PM, Alex Fink <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 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
>>alphabet.
>
> Agreed.
>
>>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.

Only if those vowels never follow a consonant, if we're staying syllabic.

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

He did say that the harmony is not always predictable.

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

That would probably help.

Heck, with a better idea of the phonotactics we could probably come up
with a tengwar mode just for the hell of it.