Eleven and Twelve

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by superstring01, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. rcscwc Registered Senior Member

    No practical difference unless you split hairs.

    There is nothing like a phonetic alphabet. In fact as enunciated by Gangesh, a language can exist without a script, but a script needs a language to mean anything.

    So, Roman script as linked to English is far from phenetic system. It is inconsistent. For example the same sound is produced by c and k. So, kauphy is as good a brew as coffee. But not so in Devanagri. There is one and one brew called कौफी. Unlike English, spellings are 100% consistent, provided you prounce correctly.

    And why chemistry, but char is written as kar!! c, k, ch, ck, qu etc prounce alike.
    Of course, you don't about Indian languages either.

    Symbols used in Devanagri are 62. Consonants are 52, Roman has 26 symbols, vowels and consonants included. So how can Roman be used to write Sanskrit, without complicated dicritics? Like it or not, you MUST know all the symbols if you really hope to read Sanskrit from original texts.

    Pitman created a phonetic system for his short hand system. ith and thee are different sounding.

    Of course, Gangesh is correct. No script exists without a linkage to a language.
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  3. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    The earlier posts in this thread say that's just about what happened. I suggested that the reason 12 is such an important number that it's not rendered as ten-plus-two is that its many factors make it very useful for business, and probably other domains such as religious rites.
    Spanish once, doce, etc., are merely Latin undecem, duodecem, etc., the Latin versions of ten-plus-one, ten-plus two, etc. In Latin this series went all the way to nineteen, but the Spaniards gave up after fifteen, presumably because the larger numbers weren't used often enough to remember their Latin forms. Just as we all know that a Homo sapiens by his Latin name is one of us because we discuss our own species frequently, but few of us recognize our close relative the chimpanzee by his Latin name, Pan troglodytes.

    The numbers beyond fifteen in Spanish are formed the same way: ten-and-six, ten-and-seven, etc., but in Spanish rather than Latin: dieciseis, diecisiete,, etc., their own condensed versions of diez y seis, diez y siete, etc. Spanish grammar is not as highly inflected as Latin, so they have to use a conjunction to do this instead of changing the ending on the numbers.

    Interestingly, the various Romance languages did not stop at the same point. In French, sixteen is seize from Latin, but seventeen is pure French dix-sept. Catalan goes even further with setce for seventeen.
    Surely you know that 20 is not ten-plus-ten in any Indo-European language. It's usually "two tens," as in English "twenty" from older twain-tic, but Latin has a special word viginti, whose origin I haven't been able to trace, which becomes Spanish veinte, French vingt, etc.
    The Romans built a civilization (albeit largely by helping themselves to what the Greeks had already built) so their clerks, traders and scribes had use for handy words for large numbers. Heck, they even invented writing (again, largely appropriated from the Greeks). The Germanic tribes, much later immigrants to Europe from their Stone Age origins in the Pontic Steppe, had not quite advanced that far. Roman civilization was imposed on us. So we adopted a few of their number-words like dozen, gross (twelve dozen), million and second, but we kept our native eleven-twelve-thirteen series.
    Chemistry comes to us from Latin, which took it from Greek. The CH represents the Greek letter chi, written X, and is pronounced like Russian KH, German CH or Spanish J. (I believe some or many of the Indic and/or Dravidian languages also have this phoneme, usually transliterated as KH in English spelling.) The Romans could pronounce the CH, but as the Classical era drew to a close they lost it, and by the time we borrowed all of those Latin-Greek words containing CH, it had been simplified to a K sound.
    In America we use Gregg shorthand, not Pitman, although I'm not sure anyone uses it at all anymore in the digital age. It deals with the TH digraph the same way: the voiced (or "soft") TH of thou, this, weather and bathe is represented by the same symbol as the voiceless (or "hard") TH of thing, aesthetic, mathematical and truth.

    In practice this does not cause confusion. There are very few pairs of words containing TH that are pronounced identically except for a voiced versus voiceless TH. In fact, I walked away from this composition window for ten minutes and tried to think of such a pair, and I could only find one: loathe (voiced TH, meaning to hate) and loath or loth (voiceless TH, meaning reluctant.)
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  5. rcscwc Registered Senior Member

    chi in Greek, prounced like kye, and kappa, written as K are again similar sounding. Again, kappa too should be valid.

    Problem about English is that its alphabet does not have one-to-one vocalisation rules. That creates problems when you try to transliterate Indic languages into roman. Sanskrit in Devanagri has clear vocalising rules. No confusion between kh, ch, k etc. They would be pronounced differently.

    There is a certain amount of information in a script as related to a language. If you delink a language from its native script and impose an alien one, some loss of information is inevitable, sometimes leading to funny results. Vocal sounds are passed on with an oral tradition, why else do you have English prounciation classes?

    What is 5 in Sanskrit? It is पञ्च, the sound for the half letter ञ is not available in Romance languages. Its approximate vocal is like ch. So it is PUNCH. Someone MIGHT replace ch with K, it becomes PUNK. Meaning changes drastically. So please tread cautiously while transliterating Indic language. You can PM me antime for assistance whenever you like.
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  7. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    This is not correct. In both Ancient Greek and Modern Greek, the letter X (chi) is a voiceless fricative, the sound of German acht, Russian Khrushchev, Hebrew aleichem, Dutch goud, Spanish Jaime, Irish lough, Farsi sorkh, Kazakh Kazakh, Czech čechy.

    K is a voiceless stop in Greek, as it is, most of the time, in most languages that use the letter. The difference between a fricative and a stop:
    • A stop blocks the air completely. When a stop is articulated, no more air comes out of your mouth. When you say K, P, D, etc., there is no more sound until you begin a new phoneme.
    • A fricative does not block the air but merely restricts it. When you say Z, TH, V, SH, etc., you can keep that sound going until you run out of breath--although it is not customary in most languages to actually do that.

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