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--- On Thu, 1/17/13, Herman Miller <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> In my normal Romanization of Tirelat
> (and other recent languages), I tend to use diacritics so
> that each phoneme of the language is represented by a single
> letter. E.g. [...]
> 
> But recently I've been working on a map of the world, with
> lots of tentative names for places where I don't even know
> what languages are spoken. I decided to use a consistent
> spelling for all place names, rather than trying to figure
> out the phonology for all the languages ahead of time. E.g.,
> there's a name "Lanyamets", but I don't have a clue whether
> "ny" represents two phonemes /nj/ or a single phoneme /ɲ/
> in whatever language is spoken there, or whether "ts" is
> considered as one or two phonemes.

You don't necessarily need to know, either. Just keep in the back of your
mind who the cartographer is: if it's the semi-omniscient you, then you
will at least have a clue that the NY is something to consider when it
comes to making the language that goes with that country. If the map was
drawn from the perspective of a Tirelatian cartographer, then I'd suggest
that the names will be in good Tirelat orthography, but perhaps mangled
with respect to their native names, e.g., Bangkok v. Krung Thep.

I tend to make maps from the semi-omniscient perspective, and thus place
names will be more or less native in form. When I make maps from the
perspective of one country or another, the names might be different, being
in the native language of the cartographer, not the people depicted in the
map.

Padraic