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March 1917/1 Part 3.

"TH" AND "DH."

In the Ferst Reeder we hav euzd the dygraf dh to reprezent the voist sound of th in "the, this, that, thai, thair, breeth, then," ets., restrikting th tu the voisles sound of th in "thik, thin, thing, think, breth," etc. This haz led tu a good deel of inkwyri, and we mai giv our reezonz for introdeusing this dygraaf in a book intended az a ferst reeder for yung children.

It haz serpryzd us sumwhot tu fynd hou meni thair ar hoo had never realyzd that thair wer too th soundz befor thair atenshon woz kauld tu it by our eus ov dh. The diskuveri haz given them a shok, and thai fynd it hard tu beleev that thair iz az much diferens between th and dh az between f and v, s and z, or sh and zh. This dygraaf zh, which we hav long euzd, haz arouzd litel kritisizm, if eni; yet it haz been chœzen on just the saim prinsipelz az dh - naimli,
s iz tu z az sh iz tu zh;
t iz tu d az th iz tu dh.
In teeching yung children it seemz wel not tu obskeur the distinkshon ov voist and voisles th. Why shood this be the œnli pair ov soundz (kompair p and b, t and d, k and g, f and v, s and z, sh and zh) in which the saim leterz doo deuti for boeth varyetiz?

But, when we konsider the kwestion from a jeneral point ov veu, we mai wel wunder whether it iz nesesari tu introdeus dh into our skeem ov speling. It iz troo that zh haz given no trubel; but then it iz by no meenz.a komon sound. On the uther band, dh iz ekstreemli komon, az our good frend Mr. Joseph Hogarth, ov Johannesburg, points out in a leter which we hav just reseevd. He ryts:
Refering to R. C. Eldridge'z book, Six Thousand Common English Words, which aulso inkloodz the Rev. J. Knowles'z list, I fynd thair ar 15,701 kaisez ov th in every 100,000 werdz. Of theez 14,338 kontain the voist sound (dh) - that iz, on an averij, everi seventh werd. The artikel "the" okerz no les than 8,131 tymz.
We agree with Mr. Hogarth that the grait chainj in the outwerd apeerans ov the speling rezulting from the jeneral eus ov dh wood not be kompensaited by the gain in fonetik akeurasi. Everi praktikal speling kontainz, and must kontain, such kompromyzez. Aafter aul, the diferens iz hardli ever signifikant. We kood not euz the saim simbol for voist b and voisles p, bekauz thair presens ofen servz tu diferenshiait werdz, e.g. "bit" and "pit," "bet" and "pet"; but the œnli paralel kais with th iz in the werdz "thy" and "thigh," and that iz neglijibel.

But for the ferst instrukshon ov children and forinerz it iz wel tu maik the diferens kleer; utherwyz thai mai hav sum difikulti with "breedh, breedhz, breth, breths, trooth, troodhs, smith, smidhi," ets.


MR. GUNDRY, ov the Wissa Skool, Asyut (Egypt), hoo haz so ofen sent us akeut kritisizm az wel az enkurijment, ryts:
I see with plezher that eu shœ sum synz ov relenting in eur ambigeuus eus ov oo. When I send out a man tu kleer of the stœnz and brikbats that misteeriusli gather in our roodimentari footbaul ground, he invairiabli, with troo Egyptian inkompleetnes, leevz wun hevi stumbling-blok in the senter ov the feeld. This regeularli remyndz me ov the dubel funkshon ov oo in S.S. - the wun singeular kais in which wun syn iz aloud tu stand for too soundz. Shoorli this must be remedid. Ov the dygraafs sujested for the kais ui seem tu me the best, but it iz not, I think, pronounst in Scotland lyk the short oo, tho it ofen taiks its plais. Yet I stil kontend that eni dygraaf iz by its naiteur unseutabel for a short prymari vouel, and thairfor that v hœldz the plais ov the best aulternativ. I hav maintaind its kauz for sum tym, and I kan not provœk a fyt. No wun wil stait an objekshon tu it eksept a veri vaig wun - az that it iz "un-English" or "not veri hapi." Kood eu not giv it a tryal, sai, on wun paij, that it mai be seen in akshon, and so drau the kritiks out? Personali I am konvinst that it wood shœ itself kwyt adekwait.
Let us stait the difikulti.

In eni praktikal alfabet, az opœzd tu a striktli fonetik reprezentaishon ov the soundz, mynor shaidz ov diferens ar neglekted, and it iz important tu reprezent œnli such soundz by separait leterz az serv tu diferenshiait werdz, az iz pointed out on anuther paij ov this iseu in the diskushon about th and dh. Nou the long and short vouelz ov oo, az in "food" and "foot," ar sertinli signifikant in sertin kaisez; it iz œnli the kwontiti ov the vouel that diferenshiaits O.S. "pull" and "pool," "full" and "fool," "wood " or "would" and "wooed," "could" and "cooed," and thair ar feu kaisez konseevabel in which wun ov eech pair kood be taiken for the uther: the kontekst wil jenerali maik it kleer which meening the werd bairz. At the saim tym we agree with Mr. Gundry that it is undezyrabel that a short vouel shood be represented by a dygraaf. We then konsider which ov the singel leterz iz availabel. The vouel leterz a, e, i, o, u ar rekwyrd for the vouelz in "bat, bet, bit, pot, but." Ov the konsonant leterz the œnli wunz that hav a klaim for konsideraishon ar v (which mai be regarded az an œld aulternativ ov u) and w (which, az our frend Mr. Hugo Davis haz remynded us) iz euzd in Welsh for the short oo sound. The eus ov v or w with the valeu ov a vouel iz, houever, kwyt unfamiliar in modern English. Iz this objekshon such a veri vaig wun az Mr. Gundry sujests? If we euz v, ar we not then dooing egzaktli whot he objekts tu in this anuther part ov hiz leter - giving wun leter a dubel funkshon? Thair iz a klœs relaishon between short oo and long oo, but the relaishon ov short oo and the konsonant v iz by no meenz klœs; from this point ov veu mor myt be sed for w.

Nou for sum egzaampelz:
(a)The good boi stood on wun foot.
The gvd boi stvd on wun fvt.
The gwd boi stwd on wun fwt.
(b)Shood the boocher poot on hiz hood?
Shvd the bvcher pvt on hiz hvd?
Shwd the bwcher pwt on hiz hwd?
(c)He kood not poosh it œver if he wood.
He kvd not pvsh it œver if he wvd.
He kwd not pwsh it œver if he wwd.
Mr. Gundry wil forgiv us if the abuv sentensez ar not veri briliant eforts ov the imajinaishon, but he wil rekognyz that we hav chœzn fairli komon werdz in our egzaampelz. Thai giv us a number ov werdz that konsist œnli ov whot ar jenerali regarded az konsonant leterz; and such werdz ar felt by mœst peepel tu be "un-English." Perhaps the cheef reezon why English peepel speek foolishli ov Welsh speling iz the eus ov werdz maid up aparentli ov konsonants œnli. It iz foolish; but it afordz an indikaishon ov a raather strong feeling.

Ov kors we mai be mistaiken. Our reederz ar invyted tu giv the mater thair ernest konsideraishon. Perhaps mor ov them ar in agreement with Mr. Gundry than we hav hithertu beleevd.


The membership ov the Sosyeti nou numbers 2805.

N.U.T. Rezoleushonz in Suport ov Reform.

On paij 44 ov Vol. V we printed a rezoleushon paast by the Nottingham and Distrikt Braanch ov the N.U.T. We hav reesentli reseevd with plezher kopiz ov similar rezoleushonz paast by the Whitby and Distrikt Braanch, the Northampton and Distrikt Asœsiaishon, and the Norfolk Kounti Asœsiaishon.

The Abolishon ov Speling.

Dr. Wilfrid Perrett haz reesentli publisht Part I ov a book ov grait interest tu fonetishanz, entyteld Some Questions of Phonetic Theory, (Euniversiti ov London Pres). Our reederz wil look forwerd with grait keuriositi tu Part II, which, so Dr. Perrett telz us, wil bair the sub-tytel ov An Essay towards the Abolition of Speling, and wil prezent a "Rectified Alphabet." We welkum Dr. Perrett az a felœ-werker in a good kauz, but ar kwyt prepaird tu fynd that he iz much mor radikal in hiz rekomendaishonz than we ov the S.S.S. We too look forwerd tu the dai when "schoolrooms throughout the Empire will not resound to the doleful litany of 'double-you eye jee, wig,' and suchlike incongruous formulae."

A real Pronounsing Dikshonari at laast.

That iz tu sai, not fansiz, but fakts; no theoryzing az tu hou peepel aut tu speek, but a rekord ov hou thai doo speek - not imajinari peepel, elokeushonists, oratorz, and so on, but ordinari edeukaited peepel. That iz whot eu wil fynd in An English Pronouncing Dictionary on Strictly Phonetic Principles, by Mr. Daniel Jones, publisht by Mesrz. J. M. Dent & Sons at 6s. net. The pronunsiaishon ov sum 50,000 werdz iz given in the transkripshon ov the Internashonal Fonetik Asœsiaishon. Tu thœz hoo ar not familiar with it it mai be eksplaind that this iz a fonetik alfabet far mor wydli euzd than eni uther, and that it iz ekstreemli simpel. Meni ov our reederz mai hav kum akros it in lerning or in teeching French; or perhaps thai nœ it from reeding Mr. Rippmann'z Sounds of Spoken English, with Specimens, ov which the saim publisher hav reesentli iseud a revyzd and much enlarjd vershon.

"Ai" and "Air."

A korespondent ekspresez serpryz that we "euz the saim kombinaishon, ai, tu represent the vouel soundz in 'great' and 'care.'" He rytli points out that the vouel soundz ar diferent, and maintains that we shood represent them diferentli. In aanser tu this we shood sai that when ai iz folœd by r its pronunsiaishon iz aulwaiz modifyd in this wai, and that konsekwentli we mai regard "air" az a kombinaishon ov leterz with euniform valeu. Thair iz no reezon why we shood not hav "trigraphs." Similarli, the vouel in "shoe" iz not the saim az in "sure"; but we ryt them "shoo" and "shoor," again taiking intu akount the fakt that oo iz aulwaiz afekted in this wai when folœd by r.

A Good Egzaampel.

The U.S.A. "National Council of Teachers of English" (so we lern from the "Journal of Education") haz apointed a Komiti on American Speech, which nou iz esaiing tu organyz a "National Speech League," for which suport iz saut among publik speekerz and men ov afairz. Prof. John M. Clapp, ov New York City, iz deskrybd az the leeding spirit in the werk, and apeel haz been maid tu individeualz and groops in vairius Staits. Meenwhyl the "National Council" erjez teecherz ov English tu studi fonetiks and tu train thair voisez in the produkshon ov good, kleer soundz.

It Gaiv him kwyt a Shok.

Wun ov our memberz sent a pamflet with sertin sujestionz for speling reform tu a jentelman hoo shal remain naimles. Hiz reply, houever, must be reskeud from oblivion; heer it iz:

I think it would be disingenuous on my part if I did not, while thanking you for the pamphlet so kindly sent, express my absolute abhorrence from the system it advocates, and my amazement that scholars can approve such results as are - I presume seriously - given under the head of examples! That any one who values English literature, or the classics from which it derives so much of its beauty, can approve what I dare not, and could not courteously, describe, will remain to me an abiding source of the profoundest amazement.

Thair ar meni thingz that myt be sed in reply tu this leter. Just think it œver, and then ryt a reply ov not œver 100 werdz. We shal gladli aword a pryz tu the wun hoo sendz in a reali teling aanser. Thair iz no need tu kopi the oratorikal maner ov the jentalman hoo iz so dredfooli horifyd and shokt, tho it wood doutles be ameuzing tu doo so.

A Valentyn.

"London Opinion," that sprytli weekli with a serkeulaishon eeven larjer than that ov THE PYONEER, had a nœt on our werk the uther dai - perhaps the laast plais in which eu wood hav lookt for it. The ryter, we ar glad tu lern, duz not aultugether objekt tu speling reform. He gœz on:

All the same, it worries me a little to think that when we are reformed, and "simplified spelling" has become respectable, this is the sort of Valentine that will be current even in the highest circles:
"Deer hart, I dwel 'neath yor majik spel
And rite tu tel yu this:
I luv yu so I hav maid belo
A kros wich meens a kis;
Yor par, the wiked Kurnel - wen, O wen
Wil he sa, 'Bles yu, kis and kum agen'?
Not kwyt orthodoks S.S., perhaps, but it myt be wers, konsidering that it iz a ferst atemt. An interesting leson myt be given tu a klaas on this ekstrakt, if œnli the subjekt-mater wer beter seuted for treatment in skool.

At a kair-Komiti Meeting.

Hed Mistres (not a member ov the S.S.S.), deeling with the skool-leeving form: "This gerl iz markt 'fair intelijens' on the form, but she myt be deskrybd az mentali defishent. She kan ryt and spel wel, but seemz tu hav no reezoning fakulti."

Hed Maaster (wun ov our memberz): Perhaps that iz why she spelz wel! [Sum laafter in Komiti, which nœz the hed maaster'z veuz on S.S.]

Hed Mistres: Her klaas mistres rekounts a strainj insident konekted with this chyld. The teecher woz aasking the klaas tu spel, but, on kuming tu Mabel, woz about tu paas her on akount ov preevius frootles atemts tu get eni aanser. 'I supœz you kan not spel the word dictation, Mabel?' sed she, and, tu her grait astonishment, Mabel spelt it. The mœst reemarkabel feeteur, houever, iz that from that mœment Mabel kood aulwaiz spel."

Hed Maaster: "The poor chyld'z reezoning fakulti must hav snapt kompleetli." [Much laafter in Komiti.]

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