LINGUIST List 9.1537

Tue Nov 3 1998

Disc: German Spelling Reform

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <karenlinguistlist.org>


Directory

  1. Ralf, Re: 9.1520, Disc: German Spelling Reform
  2. A.F. GUPTA, Re: 9.1528, Disc: German Spelling Reform
  3. Rick Mc Callister, Re: 9.1528, Disc: German Spelling Reform
  4. A.F. GUPTA, Re: 9.1518, Disc: German Spelling Reform

Message 1: Re: 9.1520, Disc: German Spelling Reform

Date: Tue, 03 Nov 1998 11:48:09 +0100
From: Ralf <Ralf.Vollmannkfunigraz.ac.at>
Subject: Re: 9.1520, Disc: German Spelling Reform

Betreff: 9.1520, Disc: German Spelling Reform

Mr. Ryan, 

after having read one of the postings on the spelling reform, I was
inspired to think about the sociological aspects of a normative
orthographic consciousness in readers and linguistic normativity as
such. There are other aspects of orthography as well which I left out
completely, thus my statement was not able to cover all the pros and
cons, and I regret having posted on this topic anyway -- on which I have
never come to a consistent personal opinion...; especially that I
started my argumentation with the term "right-wing" (which I quoted from
an earlier posting!); and unfortunately I did not manage to argue
without emotions (which does not, however, distinguish my posting from
some other postings).

As a father of children in the school age, orthography is at the moment
rather a practical problem to me -- John Rennison already mentioned this
strange teacher behavior of teaching kids "phonetic" differences which
are merely orthographic. And I had in mind how persons not able to spell
correctly (for whatever reason) are ridiculised because of that. This is
similar to discrimination on the basis of dialect or on the basis of
speaking a minority language. When I was young, our teacher wrote
dialect words from our essays on the chalkboard and openly ridiculised
the writer; that's the way we learned orthography and standard
language... and this is the aspect of orthography about which I was
thinking in the first place. This makes the topic emotional, probably.

- ------

Coming back to the orthographic reform of German, I would like to sum up
my view that I cannot see real advantages of the actual reform EXCEPT
PERHAPS for the liberalisation of some rules (there are pros and cons).
And I have the impression that linguistic considerations aren't the
basis of most of the proposed changes; thus I would prefer not to have a
reform at all. 

Ralf Vollmann <Ralf.Vollmannkfunigraz.ac.at>
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Message 2: Re: 9.1528, Disc: German Spelling Reform

Date: Tue, 3 Nov 1998 13:10:31 GMT
From: A.F. GUPTA <engafgARTS-01.NOVELL.LEEDS.AC.UK>
Subject: Re: 9.1528, Disc: German Spelling Reform

 "John R. Rennison" <johnling.univie.ac.at> wrote: 

> But assuming that a standard language also
> has a pronunciation, then the standard spelling will be the spelling
> of that "dialect".

This is a big assumption -- Standard English CERTAINLY doesn't have a 
single pronunciation attached to it. Indeed there are very major 
differences between high prestige varieties around the world, the 
biggest being the treatment of post-vocalic r.

Anthea
 * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Anthea Fraser GUPTA : http://www.leeds.ac.uk/english/$staff/afg
School of English
University of Leeds
LEEDS LS2 9JT
UK
 * * * * * * * * * * * *
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Message 3: Re: 9.1528, Disc: German Spelling Reform

Date: Mon, 2 Nov 1998 16:04:05 -0600
From: Rick Mc Callister <rmccallisunmuw1.MUW.Edu>
Subject: Re: 9.1528, Disc: German Spelling Reform

	Shaw was a writer and given that writers are occasionally known to
have a sense of humor, it might could be that the GHOTI fish rule was meant
as a tongue in cheek remark.
	Since books never achieved a rational spelling for English, maybe
the Internet will with all its talk about warez and worx and WhAtNoT


>> > <GHOTI> cannot be read as /fiS/, regardless of what the ill-informed
>> > Shaw suggested.
>>
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Message 4: Re: 9.1518, Disc: German Spelling Reform

Date: Mon, 2 Nov 1998 19:10:39 GMT
From: A.F. GUPTA <engafgARTS-01.NOVELL.LEEDS.AC.UK>
Subject: Re: 9.1518, Disc: German Spelling Reform

> Date: Fri, 30 Oct 1998 08:50:07 +0000
> From: Martin Haspelmath <haspelmatheva.mpg.de>
> Subject: Disc: Spelling Reform

> I find a spelling system more democratic that gives everyone equal
> access to reading AND writing. 

What sort of spelling system would be democratic? Because a reform 
of English spelling to bring it in line with pronunciation would 
bring it in line with SOMEONE's pronunciation, requiring that those 
who don't share the pronunciation would have to remember how someone 
else pronounced it.

gras / cat / ant / ant? graas / cat / ant / aant?????

post vocalic r????

The German spelling reform is a minor and not a complete spelling 
reform, I gather, a sort of tidying up of the edges. A complete 
spelling reform only comes in in revolutionary circumstances, I feel.

The learning of the conventions for written language require time and 
teaching, but I do not see that a writing system like the English 
one, which has a phonological / morphological sort of mix is any 
less democratic than anything else.

Anthea
 * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Anthea Fraser GUPTA : http://www.leeds.ac.uk/english/$staff/afg
School of English
University of Leeds
LEEDS LS2 9JT
UK
 * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue