[Spelling Progress Bulletin, Spring 1983 p20]
[Arnold Rupert: see Anthology, Bulletins.]
AN ALPHABET FOR EASIER FRENCH-ENGLISH BILINGUALISM.- With the same letter values, etc. in both, so far as possible, a real necessity here in Canada. Changing those keyboards is a trivial item, compared to coping with unrelated spelling systems, even if both were made phonetically consistent. Let's both bend a bit!
The NS6 alphabet uses a dotted i and a dotted or grave j to indicate their French values, with the undotted letters used for the English values. The é also has a French value (long a), while a shorter undotted i serves as the schwa, so that all stressed, clear syllables stand out distinctly. The sharp-top printed o comes closer to what is now traced in longhand; the name o is the round one and is traced anti-clockwise, to keep it round; the broad, open ɔ (broad a) is traced the other way and kept round on top to distinguish it from script s, which is a closed form. The round or script a (ɑ) is reserved for the soft sound as in the IPA while the short a is traced like Greek Alpha. The left and right risers of the u are easy to shorten in longhand, to provide symbols for the uu-oo pair of related vowels, while the ç indicates the ch sound as in Turkish.
In a one to one phonetic French, soft c would, of course, be spelled as s & nasal vowels could be marked (garçon - garsɔ, the n only being added when sounded, before a vowel. In Canada, it becomes simply gar.
As shown above, the French keyboard can have 34 bars unchanged and 2 just moved, to make room, under the 2 'smartest' fingers, for 4 very frequent vowels now lacking. A wider keyboard would be better, but the 88 place machine could hav n for & and 1/2 etc. for the fractions and other little used, old symbols lacking. This Remington electric will be altered thus very shortly.
Write: Arn Rupert, Lunenburg, Ont. Can.
Back to the top.