BBC Text Spelling

Tom Zurinskas truespel at HOTMAIL.COM
Sun Jul 19 22:36:46 UTC 2009

The term "text spellling" looks like it should apply to texting.  If the notation is a phonetic notation is should be called a "phonetic spelling".

Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL5+

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> Sender: American Dialect Society
> Poster: Tom Zurinskas
> Subject: BBC Text Spelling
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> The BBC is into pronunciation guide spelling. It's not called phonetic or phonemic but "text spelling." I put truespel next to it with comments.
> Written pronunciations are given in a text spelling system based on English spelling conventions.
> It is based on English sounds with the addition of some other sounds such as Welsh ll and the front rounded vowels found in French and German.
> Syllables are separated by hyphens. Stressed syllables are given in CAPITALS.
> Example: the word pronunciation would be respelt pruh-nun-si-AY-shuhn.
> Vowels (Note truespel, inserted, has 17 vowels for USA English)
> BBC ~ truespel
> 1 a as in hat same ~a
> 2 aa as in father same ~aa
> 3 arr as in marry ?( is this the same sound as 1 above or as “hair”5)
> 4 ar as in bar ? (is this not the same as 2 ~baar
> 5 air as in hair same (but why not same as 3? No need)
> 6 aw as in law ?~au (best not to use consonants as vowels))
> 7 ay as in day ? ~ae (as in Mae)
> 8 e as in get same
> 9 err as in merry ? (in USA same as Mary,marry ~air)
> 10 ee as in meet same ~ee
> 11 eer as in deer same (why include it – same as 10)
> 12 i as in sit same ~i
> 13 irr as in mirror ? (seems like ~eer)
> 14 o as in top ? (seems same as ~aa)
> 15 orr as in sorry ? (why the two r’s, only one will do ~or)
> 16 oh as in no ? ~oe (best not to use consonants as vowels)
> 17 oo as in boot ? ~ue (~oo is best as “short oo” as in “wood”
> 18 oor as in poor ? can be ~poor (short oo) or ~por with ~or
> 19 or as in corn same (but isn’t it same sound as 15?)
> 20 ow as in now ? ~ou (“ou” is most used for this sound in English)
> 21 oy as in boy ? ~oi (“oi” is most used for this sound in English)
> 22 u as in cup same ~u
> 23 uh as in ago / the ? (why is this not same as 22)
> 24 ur as in fur ? ~er (“er” is most used for this sound in English)
> 25 urr as in hurry ? (why is this not same as ~er)
> 26 uu as in book ? ~oo (“oo” is most used for this sound in English))
> 27 y as in cry (also igh as in high) ? ~ie (“y” takes the ~ee sound mostly)
> oe as in French peu or coeur
> oey as in French fauteuil
> ue as in French vu or German fünf
> Consonants
> b as in bat same ~b
> ch or tch as in church same ~ch (no need for tch)
> d as in day same ~d
> f as in fat same ~f
> g as in get same ~g
> h as in hat same ~h
> hl as in Welsh llan ?
> j as in Jack same ~j
> k as in king same ~k
> kh as in Scottish loch ? ~x (or xh if trilled)
> or German ich
> l as in leg same ~l
> m as in man same ~m
> n as in not same ~n
> ng as in sing same ~ng
> ng-g as in finger ? ( just ~ng sill do)
> nk as in thank same ~nk
> p as in pen same ~p
> r as in red same ~r
> s as in sit same ~s
> sh as in shop same ~sh
> t as in top same ~t
> th as in thin ? ~thh (this form looks like “th” at least)
> dh as in there ~th (don’t voiced “th”, it’s far more frequent in text)
> v as in van same ~v
> w as in will same ~w
> y as in yes same ~y
> z as in zebra same ~z
> zh as in measure same ~zh
> (ng) after a vowel indicates nasalization; as in French un bon vin blanc: oe(ng) bo(ng) va(ng) blaa(ng).
> y between a consonant and a vowel is a glide: e.g. mute: myoot; manual: MAN-yoo-uhl.
> Our respellings acknowledge word-final or pre-consonantal R, as in words like party and hair, which is pronounced in some accents of English (rhotic) and not in others (non-rhotic). Therefore Parker is transcribed as PAR-kuhr, not PAA-kuh, and the rs will be pronounced or not according to the speaker's accent.
> The way the words are broken into syllables in the respelling is not an attempt to reflect actual syllabification in a given language. Instead, it is a tool to reinforce vowel pronunciations and to ensure the most intuitive transcription. When a vowel is long, the following consonant will be placed after the hyphen, as in PEE-tuhr for Peter. When a vowel is short, the consonant goes immediately after the vowel, before the hyphen, as in JEN-i for Jenny.
> Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL5+
> see
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