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 Post subject: Irish Cyrillic alphabet
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:22 am 
Smeric
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Irish spelling is, in a word, ridiculous. There are few languages written in the Roman alphabet that are as singularly unsuited for it as Irish (though Vietnamese comes to mind). Clearly what it needs is a less crazy spelling system, one that will better handle its bewildering alternations between "broad" and "slender". In short, it should be written in Cyrillic.

It operates by means of "broad" and "slender" consonants, which for the most part are velarized and palatalized versions of the same (or similar) consonants. Like in many of the Slavic languages, these different versions of the consonants will be indicated by the vowel that follows them. Each of the five standard vowel sounds has two versions: one that indicates a preceding broad consonant, and one that indicates a preceding slender consonant.

phone BR SL
/a/ а я
/e/ э е
/i/ ы и
/o/ о ё
/u/ у ю

Long vowels are indicated by adding the broad form of the vowel letter (long form of broad /a/ is аа, long form of slender /a/ is яа).

The consonants themselves remain stable (inasmuch as any Celtic consonants can be called "stable"). They are:
б /bˠ/, /bʲ/
в /w/, /vʲ/
г /g/, /ɟ/
ҕ /ɣ/, /j/
д /d̪ˠ/, /dʲ/
к /k/, /c/
л /l̪ˠ/, /lʲ/
м /mˠ/, /mʲ/
н /n̪ˠ/, /nʲ/
ҥ /ŋ/, /ɲ/
п /pˠ/, /pʲ/
р /ɾˠ/, /ɾʲ/
с /sˠ/, /ʃ/
т /t̪ˠ/, /tʲ
ф /fˠ/, /fʲ/
х /x/, /ç/
ҳ /h/

When consonants are in an environment where their broadness/slenderness must be explicitly indicated, it is done with a following ъ (for broad) or ь (for slender).

Disclaimer: I don't know a goddamn thing about anything I'm talking about


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:49 am 
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GreenBowTie wrote:
Disclaimer: I don't know a goddamn thing about anything I'm talking about


Yeah.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:57 am 
Avisaru
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Legion wrote:
GreenBowTie wrote:
Disclaimer: I don't know a goddamn thing about anything I'm talking about


Yeah.

Second


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:58 am 
Osän
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I dont know much about Irish either, but I think it has some consonants where palatalization is at the end of a word, so you cant use vowels. Would the ъ / ь go after the consonants there, or before (as in Irish) ?

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:48 am 
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Soap wrote:
I dont know much about Irish either, but I think it has some consonants where palatalization is at the end of a word, so you cant use vowels. Would the ъ / ь go after the consonants there, or before (as in Irish) ?


This depends on whether you want it to be "Irish spelled as if it were Russian" or not.

Anyway, I remember trying something similar a while ago, and I used ь finally and didn't use ъ at all.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:46 am 
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Neither Irish nor Vietnamese orthography are bad in any sense; they're just complicated. Both are almost completely regular.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:49 am 
Smeric
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You've outdone me...

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:42 pm 
Avisaru
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Theta wrote:
Neither Irish nor Vietnamese orthography are bad in any sense; they're just complicated. Both are almost completely regular.


Vietnamese is regular, but doesn't follow patterns set by other latin-based alphabets. The orthography is better suited for Middle Vietnamese.

Irish Spelling has rules, but there are so many dialectal conflicts that it's phenomenally easier to just learn it as if they're weren't any.

@GreenBowTie What about lenited d, f, m, and p?

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Last edited by Zontas on Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:39 pm 
Smeric
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Soap wrote:
I dont know much about Irish either, but I think it has some consonants where palatalization is at the end of a word, so you cant use vowels. Would the ъ / ь go after the consonants there, or before (as in Irish) ?

After

Helios wrote:
Theta wrote:
@GreenBowTie What about lenited d,f,m, and p?

write it how you say it


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:08 pm 
Avisaru
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Not to mention that, despite the spelling reform, there are still quite a lot of words spelled according to archaic pronunciation.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:44 am 
Niš
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It's an interesting idea, but I'd be immensely opposed to any such change. Sure, Irish is not the most apparently phonetic language in the world, but in truth, it's rather more systematic than English, and has had reforms as recently as the late forties (consider modern beiriú versus prior beirbhiughadh). Whereas English has countless exceptions, learning how to pronounce Irish Gaelic correctly is a matter of learning a bunch of largely consistent rules. There's a load of them, and it can be tiresome and difficult to remember them all (the myriad pronunciations of <ei> come to mind), but it's not horrible.

The main thing your reform targets, broad and slender, is pretty well represented in the language already - getting used to the idea of reading bean as [bʲan̪ˠ] rather than [be.an], and gardaí as [ɡɑːɾˠd̪ˠi] rather than [gardai] is about as difficult as getting used to how c/g vs ch/gh in Italian - instead of a h being used to preserve a particular sound in front of certain vowels, you've got another vowel. The language's spelling could be systematised a bit less drastically by reducing the number of digraphs (so that ae, aei, ei, ao, é, éa, éi - when pronounced /e:/ - would be written é, or (a)é(a) to keep the preceding or following consonant broad) and by getting rid of silent letters that do not have a phonetic purpose. Take all the very many ways that one can write the sounds /əu/ and /əi/ and write them with one combination each, and the language would already be fairly easier, though it must be said that I would miss these features.

The thing about a switch to Cyrillic that I would oppose is that Ireland and the Irish language don't really have anything to do with Russian language or culture, or Cyrillic. An adapted version of Cyrillic may have the advantage of being more phonetic, but similarly, an adapted version of Hangeul may be a more phonetic way of writing English - it does not mean that it would be appropriate for that culture. It'd be entertaining to go back to Connemara and find that it had become Конамара, though, that I will grant.

Since, despite being against it, I'm interested in how you'd go about this, I have a few questions:

- Irish Gaelic's vowel phonology is much richer than a e i o u. Most dialects have the long a: e: i: o: u: and short a ɛ ɪ ɔ ʊ. How would you differentiate for vowel quality? Often, this can have a big impact on how a word is understood (think potaire - potter vs pótaire - lush, wino).

- How would you deal with ecliptic mutation? Would you retain Irish's manner of showing the original consonant and the mutated one together (e.g. cara > gcara but pronounced as gara) or would you go for the Welsh approach?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:29 am 
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Celinceithir wrote:
phonetic language

<nitpick>
The only languages that aren't phonetic are those not spoken :| You mean it doesn't have an obviously phonemic orthography.
</nitpick>


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:34 am 
Niš
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Jipí wrote:
Celinceithir wrote:
phonetic language

<nitpick>
The only languages that aren't phonetic are those not spoken :| You mean it doesn't have an obviously phonemic orthography.
</nitpick>


Indeed ~__~


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:17 am 
Avisaru
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Ouagadougou wrote:
Not to mention that, despite the spelling reform, there are still quite a lot of words spelled according to archaic pronunciation.


The reason is some dialects actually pronounce those words that way. Irish is to dialect unification as English is to spelling.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:12 am 
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A big problem here is the long vowels. Combinations like NbI (sorry, no cyrillic support on work computer) look indescribably hideous to me. And using [bI] to denote a front vowel is awkward in general. Since Irish long vowels are much more than just elongated short vowels, why not treat them as such? Use an acute over the vowel instead of doubling the vowel, as is done in Irish currently. And as for the high vowels, why not use some of the other letters available? There are loads of cyrillic letters out there, but you don't use them. I suspect that what you mean when you say "cyrillic" is actually "Russian."

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:42 pm 
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We could instead take the vowels from Ukrainian. And I think that яя looks better than яа.

GreenBowTie wrote:
phone BR SL
/a/ а я
/e/ є е
/i/ і ї
/o/ о ё
/u/ у ю


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:47 pm 
Niš
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Parenthetically, I interrupted watching Irish Gaelic videos to register for this blog because I came on a search across Greenbow Tie's post proposing Cyrillic spelling of Gaelic. I don't use the dichotomy "Gaelic versus Irish" because I've studied both varieties of Gaelic and think of them as Mundarten (linguistic term from German for "a way of speaking") of one Gaelic language, as opposed to dialects-- and certainly not essentially separate languages. I don't think Greenbow Tie has a half-bad idea: I just think it's backwards. What I'd suggest is writing Russian (and other languages that use Cyrillic) with Gaelic spelling.

Now, you can't just itemize the letters used in Gaelic as you can in Russian (with the help of myakiy znak, the soft sign, and tvertiy znak, the hard sign). Gaelic consonants and resonants are so much tied up with the Gaelic vowels that it's hard to extricate them without employing some innovation. There are differences in the three-plus Mundarten of Irish Gaelic as it's spoken in the Republic, but we can accept a standard based on Ulster-Scottish "broad" pronunciation (actually the slender t and d are more slender here than in Connacht and Munster, if I have the situation right. Anyway, Gaelic is being promoted in Ulster (including in Donegal) more than in the south (I believe the pronunciation there to be the most authentic, but that's perhaps a stretch). If it's not obvious, I'm for promoting unity of the varieties of modern Goidelic Celtic. Manx Gaelic should be included, but I all but detest the way it's spelled currently.

For some years, I've been corresponding and commenting in Russian, and I know somewhat the Western and Southern Slavic languages, as well. I began learning Croatian because (1) it's written in Roman letters and (2) it's still close enough to the other Slavic languages to help me with those. Actually, since I have some Slovak heritage, I'd hoped to use Croatian as an entrée to Slovak. Why did I feel the need to approach Slovak from the back door and do the same with Russian when I already knew a good bit of Russian and had no problem using the Cyrillic alphabet? Well, I began to realize that I had some trouble remembering vocabulary if the word were in Cyrillic.

I may not be the first to recognize this, but it came to me that holding a word in mind that was written in my native Roman letters was a lot easier and surer than holding in mind one that was spelled in Cyrillic. I have the same problem with Arabic, although I have little problem pronouncing written Arabic words. Not with Hebrew, but I began learning Hebrew very early and that may have made the difference. I believe the psychology of some people is like this and that I'm one of them; but perhaps it's a matter of intellectual development, the stage of life in the language process.

To wrap up, I've been toying with spelling Russian with Gaelic orthography. And I couldn't do that previously because I hadn't the appreciation of Gaelic spelling that I do now. The first thing would be to make a chart for reference. As I commented before, listing the consonants (which are as much as with the Semitic the heart of the language). By the way, the authoritative archeological linguists Ivanov and Gamkrelidze, co-founders of the Glottalic Theory, are convinced that there must have been a close relationship at an early stage of development in Indo-European between the Celtic branch and the Slavic branch because of the obvious close parallel of the soft-hard with slender-broad dichotomies. Anyway, Gaelic consonants would have to be itemized something like this (giving as examples the labials and note that the word stress is not indicated):

ipe пь
apa пъ
iphe фь
apha фъ
ibe бь
aba бъ
ibhe вь
aibhea въ
ime мь
ama мъ
imhe вь
aimhae въ

There are some seemingly insurmountable problems, for instance with Irish Gaelic broad bh because Russian has no consonant nor diglyph to represent the resonant /w/. But they're probably not insurmountable. Here's a sample transliteration from a diary that was made during the Russian Civil War of 1918-21:
Основным вопросом успешного строительства Красной Армии был вопрос о правильных
Osnóbhnoim bhoprósom uispeisneogho stroidhéiliustva Cráisnoigh Áirmidh buil bhoprós o pravuíliunodh
взаимоотношениях пролетариата и крестьянства в стране. Позже, в 1923 г., была
bhdeaidhmeoghotnoiseiniuidheádh éi creistdheánstbha bh'stráine. Póighde, bh'1923 g., builea
выдумана глупейшая легенда о моей "недооценке" крестьянства. Между тем в течение
dhodúmana glúipéidhseadha legeindea o moidhéidh "neadoghodseince" creasuideánstva. Meidiudú tem bh'taeitenighe
1918 – 1921 гг.....
1918 - 1921 gg....
(from Leon Trotsky's diary)
...
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:14 am 
Smeric
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Weel, it's kind of like a dialect continumm between Scotland and Munster, except that English and Scots have replaced some the intermediary dialects. Also, where would Manx fit? From what I understand, there are some features that are universals among Scottish Gaelic and reflected in its orthography that are rare outside of Ulster. I forget which features I'm thinking of though. I've long been interested in a phonemic Cyrillic for Irish, but, knowing more about Irish than I used to know, I now question whether it really is phonologically more suited than the status quo.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:14 pm 
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Celinceithir wrote:
The thing about a switch to Cyrillic that I would oppose is that Ireland and the Irish language don't really have anything to do with Russian language or culture, or Cyrillic. An adapted version of Cyrillic may have the advantage of being more phonetic, but similarly, an adapted version of Hangeul may be a more phonetic way of writing English - it does not mean that it would be appropriate for that culture. It'd be entertaining to go back to Connemara and find that it had become Конамара, though, that I will grant.


Maybe someone could write a science fiction novel where Brexit-related tensions spark a war in the British Isles and the devastated Ireland allies with Russia and ends up assimilating Russian influences.

GreenBowTie wrote:
Long vowels are indicated by adding the broad form of the vowel letter (long form of broad /a/ is аа, long form of slender /a/ is яа).


I wonder how Cyrillic orthographies normally write long vowels (since Russian doesn't have them)...


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:45 am 
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malloc wrote:
I wonder how Cyrillic orthographies normally write long vowels (since Russian doesn't have them)...

Most I know of (i.e. Uralic langs, Mongolian) just double the vowel in question. Don't know how they handle doubled я, ю etc. though.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:10 am 
Lebom
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malloc wrote:
Celinceithir wrote:
The thing about a switch to Cyrillic that I would oppose is that Ireland and the Irish language don't really have anything to do with Russian language or culture, or Cyrillic. An adapted version of Cyrillic may have the advantage of being more phonetic, but similarly, an adapted version of Hangeul may be a more phonetic way of writing English - it does not mean that it would be appropriate for that culture. It'd be entertaining to go back to Connemara and find that it had become Конамара, though, that I will grant.


Maybe someone could write a science fiction novel where Brexit-related tensions spark a war in the British Isles and the devastated Ireland allies with Russia and ends up assimilating Russian influences.

I'm a fan of there being an alt-universe Communist Ireland (that forms either near the Russian Revolution or during the Cold War).

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:31 am 
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Returning to the orthography of Irish for a moment: is there *any* sort of orthography, in any script at all, which would work better than either Roman or Cyrillic?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:50 pm 
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Znex wrote:
malloc wrote:
Celinceithir wrote:
The thing about a switch to Cyrillic that I would oppose is that Ireland and the Irish language don't really have anything to do with Russian language or culture, or Cyrillic. An adapted version of Cyrillic may have the advantage of being more phonetic, but similarly, an adapted version of Hangeul may be a more phonetic way of writing English - it does not mean that it would be appropriate for that culture. It'd be entertaining to go back to Connemara and find that it had become Конамара, though, that I will grant.


Maybe someone could write a science fiction novel where Brexit-related tensions spark a war in the British Isles and the devastated Ireland allies with Russia and ends up assimilating Russian influences.

I'm a fan of there being an alt-universe Communist Ireland (that forms either near the Russian Revolution or during the Cold War).


An interesting idea. The obvious thing would be to have it go communist from the beginning - there was a major communist element to the revolutionaries. One option would be to have Germany do better in WWI - so Casement is able to bring in more German guns, and the British aren't in a position to put down a full-scale rebellion in 1916. The Rising triggers the War of Independence early, so the martyrs aren't martyred, and in particular Connolly (de facto leader of the rising, and a Marxist) survives to bring about a communist (albeit De Leonist syndicalist, rather than Leninist) government. More interesting would be if it happens ten years earlier instead - perhaps Gladstone dies earlier, and there is less democratic movement toward home rule, so radicals become influential earlier on. An earlier war of independence allows Ireland to be the first communist state. It would then have considerable cultural prestige within other communist countries later on - Collins would be treated like Che Guevara. Collins was in fact a personal inspiration for communists, despite not being one himself - Mao credited him as his exemplar in waging guerilla war.


alice: well, you could have one symbol for each phoneme, that might simplify things. Or you could use a logography.

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