Thursday, July 20, 2006

An extended alphabet

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z
a b c d δ θ e f g γ h χ i j k l m n o p q r s $ t u v w y z

It’s been suggested that
there are about 44 different sounds
used by the human race, but let’s just look at
some of these sounds
to begin with.

The C could be withdrawn
and not used for a period of about 5 years.
It should be replaced by the K or the S
in all spelling. This alone would help many children,
foreigners and people with learning difficulties.
How are you supposed to pronounce the word Celtic?
Keltik Seltik Keltis Seltis
and the names Cyrus, Cambyses, Cyaxares?
for some it can be daunting!

The letter X can be replaced with K and S (eg fiks). . .

Later on, with the C & X now available,
we could assign a new sound to each:

X could become the ch dipthong
as used by the Scots in loch
& the Welsh in Llanelli.

C could be brought back into use
to represent the CH sound, as in the slavonic tongues,
possibly with a vertical line through it,
to help older readers to distinguish it from former use.
we could underline letters that have a new pronunciation.
Either method could also be used
with the S for an SH sound.
Many folk throughout Europe are already familiar with
names like Milosovic Lictarovic etc.

The dipthong PH could be replaced with F,
the Greeks never used two letters for this sound,
so why do we? Why do we need to show a Greek origin?
Our TH represents two distinctive sounds.
The dipthong TH could be replaced with
δ and θ as used in this thought (δis θought)
many schoolchildren are already familiar with most, if not all,
of the Greek alphabet as used in maths and physics.
These two Greek letters fit perfectly
the two sounds that we represent with TH.
And from where did we get our current alphabet?
Most of the Latin alphabet comes from the Greek.

[The Greeks could do with borrowing our B and D characters,
sounds that they have to show by using MP and NT,
(ask some Greeks to write bumpy dent
and see how many spell it correctly)]

If we aren’t going to pronounce the p in psychiatrist, etc
then why use it, it just confounds
those who struggle with their reading.

I’m not suggesting that we create
a fourtyfour-character alphabet; yet.
Not even that we implement all of the above changes.
But we could start with some of the simpler ones
(remembering that, generally,
changes take about 70 years to be fully accepted).
Tony Ryder
01 216 931 905

August 1997