Re: Camion Code, new phonemic writing system

From: G. Adam Stanislav (
Date: Wed Aug 18 1999 - 22:49:40 EDT

On Wed, Aug 18, 1999 at 05:03:02PM -0700, JoAnne Marie wrote:
>The Camion Code takes various phonetic principles and puts them into a
>*simplified* 'schematic order'. For instance, 'nasal' isn't, strictly
>speaking, a 'place of articulation' but a 'manner', and the 11 or so 'place
>categories' of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) have been reduced
>to 5 (for English). The intention is to provide a new 'phonemic' way of
>writing 'one sign, one sound' - without the alphabet.

Which English would that be? One of the many varieties spoken in England?
Or perhaps Australia? United States? Where in the United States? New
England? California? Alabama? New York?

As far as I can tell, they all pronounce the same written English differently.
Switching English to a phonetic alphabet would result in the creation of
several different languages. It would also cut the next generation of
speakers of these new languages from centuries of literary treasures: They
would simply not be able to read it (this, by the way, was the motivation
behind Stalin's simplification of the Cyrillic alphabet, to make sure the
young generation would not be able to read old Russian literature).

As for that making English easier for non-English speakers to learn,
that's meant as a joke, right? One of the things that made English
fairly simple to learn for me was the fact that seeing how a word is
spelled made it intuitive to guess its meaning: All the words of Latin
origin are easier for someone with classical European education to
figure out. Simplify the spelling, lose its etymology.

BTW, I have been in the US for 15 years now, and I am still learning
to hear - and pronounce - the sounds properly. And I happen to have
the advantage of having studied stage speech, something most non-native
English speakers never get. For that matter, talk about phonemes to
many a native English speaker, and watch his face go blank.

Anyway, didn't others try this before? Didn't they all fail royally?

Just my three cents worth (expression adjusted for inflation).


Don't send me spam, I'm a vegetarian

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:20:51 EDT