Post Reply Alphabetical system that distinguish homophones
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Posted 9/2/17 , edited 9/2/17
In this topic, I will propose an orthographic system that use the Latin letters and can distinguish homophones by indicating the meanings of the word alongside its pronounciation. By distinguishing homophones in a systematic way, this hypothetical orthography could finally displace the Chinese characters in everyday communication. In theory, this could allow anime, manga, and Japanese novel to be learned and translated more easily into English.

Chinese characters had recently been replaced by the Latin letters in many East Asian countries; the exception is in China and Japan where it is needed to distinguish homophones. The Chinese characters face several problems like the need of a software aid to input the characters in computer and the need to modify the software to accommodate new or rare characters.

The Chinese characters indicate the pronunciation and meaning of the words in a systematic way but this is no longer obvious due to language change. My idea is to create an alphabetical system that incorporate some aspects of the phonetic-semantic system in the Chinese characters. I will list the idea in steps:

1) The spelling of a word comes in two parts: the first part use small case letters to indicate the pronunciation of the word while the second part use capital letters to indicate the meaning of the word.

2) The conventional romanization is used to decide how the small case letters relate to the pronunciation of the word.

3) To indicate the meaning of a target word, insert the capitalized spelling of another word with related meaning. If practical, the capitalized spelling of multiple words could also be used to indicate the meaning of the target word.
relt95 
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Posted 9/2/17 , edited 9/2/17
I have to politely disagree.

I think that built in ambiguity adds to a language. It allows for multiple perspectives to phrases which can create fun wordplay.

I personally enjoy phrasing things in a way that can easily be misconstrued and watching people's reactions (at least around friends and family).
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Posted 9/2/17 , edited 9/2/17
You don't even need latin characters you just need a limited character set and use it like an alphabet. I heard Korea has their own unique asian alphabet that they used to replace their old chinese system and it seems to be working well.
Posted 9/2/17 , edited 9/2/17
Asian characters often look like what they mean, so I can see a system in which we take further advantage of that idea.

Now, imagine hentai with such a system in place.
Posted 9/2/17 , edited 9/3/17
BUT THINK OF THE PUNS
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Posted 9/9/17 , edited 9/9/17
I should revise my ideas, I had state that a capitalized word should be used as a semantic (or meaning) written component of another word but I had allowed some ambiguity in the steps. To explain the revision, the words would be segregated based on their commonality. The most common words would lack a semantic component and act as a basic semantic component of the second most common words. The second most common words would then be used as the semantic component of the third most common word and the process repeat with the less common words. I had allowed several words to act as the semantic component of a word but this would create ambiguity so I would not recommend this procedure until this hypothetical writing system is being tested.
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Posted 10/23/17 , edited 10/23/17
I will recontinue the discussion now that I have gathered enough points to add.


relt95 wrote:

I have to politely disagree.

I think that built in ambiguity adds to a language. It allows for multiple perspectives to phrases which can create fun wordplay.

I personally enjoy phrasing things in a way that can easily be misconstrued and watching people's reactions (at least around friends and family).


There are situations where ambiguity cause major problems; this ambiguity is the one of the top barrier for implementation of pinyin.


Rujikin wrote:

You don't even need latin characters you just need a limited character set and use it like an alphabet. I heard Korea has their own unique asian alphabet that they used to replace their old chinese system and it seems to be working well.


The Chinese governments had been debating on the romanization issue for a long time before they decided to use Latin letters and they should, in theory, had already considered Korean alphabet especially when it would result in less humiliation. I do not know why they choose romanization over Hangul but it is likely due to practical concerns.
Personally, I do not see a shame in using Latin letters since the Western civilization own their modern advancement to several key Chinese technologies. The Chinese invent the printing press which allow the Enlightenment movement in European civilization. The Chinese invent the firearms which allow the Europeans to expand their empires across the world. The Chinese invent the rockets which had, along with firearms, become the vital weapons of modern European military.


wrote:

Asian characters often look like what they mean, so I can see a system in which we take further advantage of that idea.

Now, imagine hentai with such a system in place.


You must be talking about pictograms and icons. This would be problematic when it requires the memorization of too many characters. If there is a method to restrict the total characters to 50 then it might be festible.
Ejanss 
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Posted 10/23/17 , edited 10/23/17

sinoakayumi wrote:

In this topic, I will propose an orthographic system that use the Latin letters and can distinguish homophones by indicating the meanings of the word alongside its pronounciation.


And in this response, I will point out how schools in the early 70's tried to teach kids to read with experimental new easy reader books written in Dictionary-Pronounciation alphabet, and it was a disastrous flop.

The lesson learned was that Western kids, who don't draw funny pictures to write, needed to learn phonics of the, ahem, ROMAN letters they needed to read, before they were going to learn any weird new others.

And then, of course, The Electric Company came along only a couple years later:
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Posted 12/15/17 , edited 12/15/17
I should extent this discussion to Japanese orthography. I would not suggest a fully alphabetic writing for the Japanese language especially when the kana orthographies is learnable enough; the Japanese people do not fully replace kana for roomaji in everyday communication and no reform on the kana orthographies toward a fully alphabetical system is attempted.
On the topic of distinguishing homophones, the Japanese use multiple writing systems so one writing system could be used to indicate pronunciation while another writing system could be used to indicate the meaning. Hiragana, due to its function relative to the other two writing systems, could be used for the pronunciation while the meaning could be represented by kanji or katakana. Katakana has a function similar to italicized font in English and this function would be affected by the proposed change. However, some other orthography symbol like an obsolete kana could take this orginal function of katakana by being inserted after the word that is originally written in katakana.
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Posted 12/16/17 , edited 12/17/17

Ejanss wrote:

And in this response, I will point out how schools in the early 70's tried to teach kids to read with experimental new easy reader books written in Dictionary-Pronounciation alphabet, and it was a disastrous flop.

The lesson learned was that Western kids, who don't draw funny pictures to write, needed to learn phonics of the, ahem, ROMAN letters they needed to read, before they were going to learn any weird new others.

And then, of course, The Electric Company came along only a couple years later:


I am wondering about something in your trolling: are you creating inaccurate derogatory stereotype of African American with your picture? This derogatory stereotype had discourage employers from employing African Americans, encourage people to ostrach African American, and make racism against black seem more fashonable. Could you be even more shameful and offensive to human rights and equality?
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Posted 12/16/17 , edited 12/16/17

Ejanss wrote:


sinoakayumi wrote:



And then, of course, The Electric Company came along only a couple years later:



OT:

I stole this gif soooo fast lmao
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Posted 12/16/17 , edited 12/17/17
on topic:

you mean well sinoakayumibro or broette, cant tell these days

but I'd advise you start a little smaller or perhaps refine your idea a little, least you get it killed out there before it can stand on its own against counter-laboratories and trails of strength.

Perhaps pick up some work by Bruno Latour some time, to get more of what I mean about your construct and its ability to withstand the efforts of others who set up spaces (counter laboratories) in which they exert energy and other nasty magic voodoo in efforts to break (trials of strength) your construct. Do be sure to include plenty of what paths you've taken and prototypes you've purposed to support your newborn baby. This is how Latour argues we observe the true strength of a fact - observing science in action.

Not a, what he labels, "ready-made science" fact, or otherwise known as a black box fact - a fact able to be taken, shared without explaining what went into creating the fact (what Latour calls, "science in the making"). His book, "Science in Action", although dated (1984 published in France I believe?), would be of great use to you if your dreams are to indeed shake up the place.

I wish you the best of luck!!!!! Do keep dreaming!
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Posted 12/16/17 , edited 12/17/17
Also do look into the story of the Human Genome Project.. fantastic tale of scientists meaning well but encountering the harsh realities of the world outside of the safe cocoon of academia and grant project labs... they had no idea such a noble endeavour would end up like it is. It's really a fantastic tale.

From one biochemist to another, tschuss ~
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Posted 12/17/17 , edited 12/17/17

sinoakayumi wrote:I am wondering about something in your trolling: are you creating inaccurate derogatory stereotype of African American with your picture? This derogatory stereotype had discourage employers from employing African Americans, encourage people to ostrach African American, and make racism against black seem more fashonable. Could you be even more shameful and offensive to human rights and equality?


No, I'm pointing out a classic 70's show you never grew up to watch in your country.
I don't know what they were watching over there when you were kids (what, was it, like, morning exercises with guys in teddy-bear suits?), but over here, Morgan Freeman was Easy Reader to a generation, thirty-five years before he was Lucius Fox.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTqOTcdoCsY

(He was also Cool Mel Mounds, the hippest DJ around, with stax 'n stax of wax 'n wax:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K00rz73s_zU )

....So, try again, Shampoo. Better yet, don't. Go pirate something.
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