How to deal with -AR endings

Started by Marcel Eðo Pairescu Tafial, UrGP, January 26, 2023, 06:30:42 PM

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Marcel Eðo Pairescu Tafial, UrGP

The current spelling does not distinguish the verb ending -ar which sounds like "ahsh", from the regularly pronounced non-verb ending -ar. What that means is that neceßar can mean "to need" and be pronounced "neh-cheh-SAHSH", or "necessary" and be pronounced "neh-cheh-SAR", and that there is no way of knowing which one it is without context. For speakers of Talossan, this isn't an issue.

However, this situation makes it impossible for laypeople or algorithms to always determine how a word is pronounced, so we might want to fix this, for the sake of all the Cestourats and programmers out there.

The method that the 2007 spelling reform used was to spell the verb ending as -arh, with rh being pronounced like the English "sh" at all times. This works, but has proven extraordinarily controversial with people who were not around when the choice was made (which is to say, mostly Republicans and Sir Tomás Gariçeir, UrGP), which is why I refuse to bring it back. A similar proposal that Sir Tomás made in 2019, "if you really feel the need to have a special spelling to show the /ʃ/ pronunciation of the r here", was to spell the verb ending as -arë, which during Ben times was reserved for irregular verbs only (yes I know how silly that sounds). That also works, but I have my hesitations.

Finally, there's the proposal that I'm currently considering: keep the verb ending as -ar, but spell the non-verb ending as -ár. Back in the Ben days, there was no fixed stress rule like there is nowadays, and so you had to mark the stressed syllable in most words even when it was really obvious. It just so happened, though, that this redundant spelling was never applied to verbs, which means that a word ending in -ár was never pronounced "ahsh".

So the concrete idea is this:
* -ar is always pronounced "ahsh",
* -ár is always pronounced "ar".

Because a word can never have more than one accent mark, nouns and adjectives that already have a stressmark but end in -ar would have to be learnt as irregular words. Only seven words would be affected by this:
* Ceáiçar "Caesar; warlord",
* ísobar "isobar",
* Máxhar "Hungarian",
* Míanmar "Myanmar",
* Stáiar "Styria",
* útphar "odd" (as in numbers),
* xhágar "hunting dog".

I'm not proposing this as a rule change as per SIGN Rule 4, I've just been thinking about this issue for a while and want to know what the rest of you think about this. Which method do you prefer? Do you need to distinguish them at all?
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Carlüs Éovart Vilaçafat

Personally, I like the look and obvious pronunciation of -arh.

I didn't realize that spelling was such a contentious issue.
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Miestră Schivă, UrN

I endorse the suggestion of making the non-verb ending -ár.

I would also be happy with making the verb ending -arë. (That was one of the quirks that I remember about 1997 era Talossan.)

Bringing back -arh is right out, I literally fought and died to roll that back

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Miestră Schivă, UrN

Quote from: Carlüs Éovart Vilaçafat on January 26, 2023, 07:13:18 PMI didn't realize that spelling was such a contentious issue.

The contentious issue is that the Kingdom CÚG at the time made the change while not consulting either Republican Talossan speakers, or Sir Tomás who was a citizen of neither state at the time. This was seen as a political decision - "if you're not a Kingdom citizen, you're not a Talossan and don't have a right to be consulted".

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Ián S.G. Txaglh

i kinda liked the weird ortho of old talossan, so i would propose -ař for verb/infinitive ending ;D in upper sorbian the Ř letter is pronounced [ʃ] 8)

Marcel Eðo Pairescu Tafial, UrGP

Quote from: Ián S.G. Txaglh on January 28, 2023, 02:23:23 PMi kinda liked the weird ortho of old talossan, so i would propose -ař for verb/infinitive ending ;D in upper sorbian the Ř letter is pronounced [ʃ] 8)

No offence, but ew.
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el PARTI TAFIALISTÀ, voastra va facçal in la 56 58:téa Cosă.

Ián S.G. Txaglh

Quote from: Marcel Eðo Pairescu Tafial, UrGP on January 28, 2023, 03:34:25 PM
Quote from: Ián S.G. Txaglh on January 28, 2023, 02:23:23 PMi kinda liked the weird ortho of old talossan, so i would propose -ař for verb/infinitive ending ;D in upper sorbian the Ř letter is pronounced [ʃ] 8)

No offence, but ew.

no offence taken :D just a mere, silly proposal.

i used to be in the times of the republic organised in l'icastolâ (and was twice cultmini), and had a minor contribution to the el glheþ reform in those times. still interested in talossán, but far from actively.

personally, i do not see any problem, even in the case of not-so-deep-into-langs users of talossán, to maintain just a single ending -ar, without distinguishing the role.

if to pick smth else, i do not like the -ár solution; it is non-systematic and even more confusing. the good ol' -arh is sufficiently silly and traditional to my taste (also, it at least somehow points on the pronunciation), but i see why it gets no points neither for beauty nor for systematicity. -arë seems to be the best of the proposed solutions if it comes to aesthetics and function hinting, but it still does not feel right.

i can imagine getting [ʃ] from [ɻh] or [ɹ̠h] through [s̠], it is just a movement of the tip of a tongue in potential pronunciation shift. but i see, it is some old benian peculiarity preserved we have to deal with, i suppose.

Sir Lüc

Quote from: Marcel Eðo Pairescu Tafial, UrGP on January 26, 2023, 06:30:42 PMSo the concrete idea is this:
* -ar is always pronounced "ahsh",
* -ár is always pronounced "ar".

FWIW, I like this better than repurposing -arë in a completely different way to its original usage.

While -arh feels "familiar" to me, I'm fine with leaving it in the dustbin of Glheþ history.
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#8
Quote from: Marcel Eðo Pairescu Tafial, UrGP on January 26, 2023, 06:30:42 PMSo the concrete idea is this:
* -ar is always pronounced "ahsh",
* -ár is always pronounced "ar".

It' a bit odd though using the stress mark that should be used to denote irregular stress in words that have a regular stress and a regular pronunciation just to differentiate those perfectly regular words from words that have an irregular pronunciation. An irregular use of the rule to denote regular words. It's an easy solution, but it seems odd to me nonetheless...

If we really need to do it, I'd prefer to mark the irregularity of the verbal endings. -arë makes perfectly sense to me because (1) it was used and (2) it is consistent with a supposed Latin derivation, with the ë optional (it can be omitted) but present in the dictionary to allow coding. The trema is used to denote "strangeness" (vowel hiatus) and it will be used to denote another strangeness: a phantom vowel lost in the pronunciation but preserved in orthography because it was lost modifying the quality of the preceding consonant. So it won't be the -r to be irregularly pronounced ʃ, but the -rë "regularly" (somehow) pronounced ʃ. (Btw: this would also be able to explain why in the future tense there's -rh- for ʃ)

Préservéd in dictionaries and textbooks, but because it is a phantom vowel, usually dropped in informal and casual writings because those who speak the language wouldn't need it to know the difference between a verb and another part of speech.

(But it's true that -ar/-ár is a less intrusive change.)
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