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2013-12-18 01:50, Gary Shannon skrev:
> Here's a thought for a future project. The lexicon should be designed
> so that in typical conlang text each letter of the alphabet gets used
> an equal number of times.
>
> English (and all other natlangs as far as I know) have oddly skewed
> letter distributions. For example, _Moby Dick_ contains 117,051 of the
> letter "e", but only 644 of the letter "z". A lot of perfectly good
> letters, like {v,k,q,j,x,z} are seriously under-utilized. This seems
> like a waste of perfectly good letters.


Of course different phonemes have different frequencies in any
language -- there really were a lot of /e/s in Middle English,
and there really are a lot of /a/s and rather few //s in
Swedish, for example.

>
> (Granted, there aren't too many "z"s in English since Polish used up
> most of them after the invention of the printing press. I'm told
> medieval printers either had to pay a premium to import the hard to
> find "Z" slugs from Poland, or learn to do without them. The result is
> the relative rarity of "Z" in English.)  ;-) ;-) ;-)

Did you know that Welsh actually replaced _k_ with _c_ because
the printers, whose assortments were adapted to English and
Latin, didn't have enough _k_ types?

>
> At any rate, having a language with balanced alphabet usage would make
> it harder on cryptographers too.

In fact you'd have to make orthography a cryptography even worse
than current English orthography, since you'd have to come up
with some really creative spellings to make up for differences in
phoneme frequency! :-)

/bpj