I have just finished heading up an orthography course, so orthography is on my mind. Now I need help with the testing of a new orthography proposal for English. All you need to do is read the proposal and then read the titles of the Christmas carols below.
- The orthography is produced from the phonetics of the text spoken by a Brit. So that means fewer ‘r’s than you may be used to. (Sorry, no intrusive ‘r’s in these data.)
- Only letters in the English alphabet are allowed so that means some digraphs and a bit of creativity that I won’t bore you with. (That should cover any typos.)
- Vowels and glottal stops are too complicated so they are left out. And word breaks use up too much space, so they are left out, too.
- Tone is marked at the end of the phrase with numbers for relative pitch changes (1 is low), based on the British (Southern English) dialect. Tone levels are reset for each phrase, and so are not necessarily the same.
- For the analytical among you, you may notice that the British and US tonal melodies, where they differ, are almost the inverse of each other. This may be an argument for polar tones.
If you think you’ve figured out more than a few of these carols, send your solutions to the editors of SpecGram by December 15th, 2012 and you could win a SpecGram magnet of your choice. The correct solution and winners, if any, will be announced in the upcoming January issue.
Now for the solution to last month’s puzzle, “IPAlindromes III
Emily Davis • Cole Perry
A sample of possible answers are provided below: