Orþography for Dental Fricatives

A Proposal

Tagged: Proposals

Ðis is a proposal (petition?) to reinstate phonetic orþography for dental fricatives in written English. Ðe letter “t”—ðe most common consonant and second-most common letter in ðe English language—has at least six possible phones (depending on dialect). Complicating matters is ðat ðe proper phone is dependent on context; digraphs like “th” can dictate phoneme, as can ðe position of ðe letter within a word and position in relation to ðe stressed syllable (dictating aspiration, as in “tomato”). Ðe phone for “t” is sometimes even word-dependent (þree examples: “connection” vs.time” vs. “rotting”). Special cases abound.

Ðe “th” digraph alone can represent þree different phones: ðe voiced dental fricative (e.g., “this” and “the”), ðe unvoiced dental fricative (e.g., “thing” and “with”), or sometimes even ðe voiceless alveolar plosive (e.g., “Thailand” and “lighthouse”).

By reinstating ðe letters “ð” (Eth) and “þ” (Thorn) into ðe English alphabet (for, respectively, ðe voiced and unvoiced dental fricatives) we can eliminate much ambiguity.

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