Re: English Spelling

From: Rick McGowan (
Date: Thu Dec 09 1999 - 13:37:43 EST

"Mark E. Davis" <> opined...

> Irregularity is certainly a matter of degree
> English quite irregular, and Japanese even more so.

I think actually the situation in Japanese is not comparable at all because
there really isn't any "spelling" as such in the normal written language.
Japanese is exceptionally regular, if you reduce it to the phonetic system;
and it's also grammatically very regular.

What is "irregular" and complicated about written Japanese is not the
relationship of "phonetic" symbols to spoken word, but the relationship
between Chinese characters and phonetics. Even there, I actually think that
taken as a whole, the written form of the language is far more regular than
English. I.e., for any "word" taken at random from a corpus of text, the
probability of it's being an irregular form is very much lower than for


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