Zurinskas (one per week)

Tom Zurinskas truespel at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Dec 5 14:53:16 UTC 2006


I’ve always thought it polite to respond to each email, but there are too
many.  If you’d like I’ll limit my emails to one per week.  I do look at
things differently than usual here.

It is not my intent to attach anyone although I have been scurrilously
attacked by some, but to bring up issues germane to the “American” dialect,
which is what the ADS is all about.

Rather than catchy or regionalized phrases, my issues are basically about
pronunciation, phonetic spelling, and the teaching of reading and how these
can be linked by a simplified phonetic spelling.  This idea is not new.  It
was done before with success by IBM’s Writing to Read and is proposed now by
my system truespel.  Of these, truespel is the only “pronunciation guide
quality” system and the only keyboard friendly system (no special symbols).
It can be used in dictionaries as well as teaching guides.

Studies show that “phonemic awareness” is key for reading success.  But kids
need a simplified phonetic scheme to use that can carries them into tradspel
(traditional spelling).  The Clackmannanshire study shows that concentrating
on sounds gives such great success that all of England is changing to
“synthetic phonics.”  That system lacks a simple phonetic writing system
such as truespel provides.  But it does give students ammunition to attack
the vagaries of tradspel, which is one of the more inconsistently spelled
languages in terms of the alphabetic principle (letters stand for sounds).

I am not a linguist in the usual sense, because I’m monolingual in USA
English.  But I am expert in USA English pronunciation because I’ve spent a
few years respelled the English language (60k words) using the first
pronunciations (not linguistic notation) from The American Heritage Talking
Dictionary and secondarily m-w.com.  Not many linguists have phonetically
respelled a language.

Armed with truespel, I’ve written a “phonetic dictionary” so folks could
look up words phonetically to see how spelled in tradspel.  I’ve added a
phonetic guide to the VOA Intermediate dictionary that includes as a
secondary pronunciation the “d” for “t” substitution and the glottal stop
for “t” substitution, which may be a first.

One issue I’ve brought up is that being a native USA speaker, I found that
the “ing” and “ink” representations in dictionaries as short i is not
correct.  I tested this with spectrographs of my and a friends voice and we
visually confirmed this.  Emails with the late Dr. Peter Ladefoged also
confirmed this for USA accent in his students UCLA.  He passed away before
any testing on the “ank/ang” issue which I hold is long a not short a.  I
appeal to everyone to test this out for me.  Someone submitted a
spectrograph and said it was short i, but would not tell me how to repeat
it.  At any rate these phonetic notation switches create no intelligibility

Another issue is urging instructors to retain pronunciation in line with the
alphabetical principle (letters stand for sounds) wherever possible, such as
retaining “get” for the word “get”, instead of “git” or “geet”.  With a
quality assurance specialist as a background, I think norms should be
established and taught.  Dialects are colorful, but as the lady from
Virginia said, “I had to drop my dialect when I went into broadcasting.”

I’ve got to go.  Tennis time.

I should apologize to Ron by saying he was a liar.  Possibly not fair as the
quotes he used may have not been intended to quote a direct quote.  And
thanks for having a open mind  Ron.

I hope all will follow my innovative lead and put living place history in
posts.  Why not?

Tom Z

Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL4+
See truespel.com and the 4 truespel books at authorhouse.com.

Share your latest news with your friends with the Windows Live Spaces
friends module.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list