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Spanglish - an i.t.a. or initial teaching alphabet

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Spanglish is English written according to the Saxon augmented Latin alphabet (ca. 1000 ad).
It would be useful in a bilingual class that has trouble with the lack of consistency in English spelling.
Spanglish is an initial teaching alphabet - an alternative to invented spelling.

English was spelled as it was spoken prior to 1400 although middle english was messed up with some
norman french conventions - e.g. s=ce, z=s, u:=ou


Saxon-Spanglish [SS] is ambiguous in the sense that there are usually two sounds associated with each letter
The ambiguity can be removed with diacritics or digraphs such as [ae] for ash and [aa] for ah and ['a] for uh.
AMERICAN = 'americ'an

Most students have little trouble with two sounds per letter or two ways of writing a particujlar sound.
The traditional writing system spells words about the same as in 1400 but sometimes shifts the pronunciation of the vowels.
The result is a chaotic writing system with over 20 spellings for each vowel sound.

Here are the saxon vowels

short checked vowels [always followed by a consonant]
a. [ae] ash, at
e elbow
i. [y] index
o. aa in GA [general american] where faather rhymes with bo.ther
u. [w] [uu] book, hook /u/ in IPA.
'u /^/ 'up

Long free vowels - can occur at the end of a syllable or word.
'r earn 'rn
i ie eel
o ao awe
u oo hoop
'a as in ago

diphthongs or glides

ai/'y ah+ee or uh+ee eye ice high
ei/ey eh+ee ape ray
oi/oy aw+ee oil boy
au/aw ae+short u out cow house
o'/ow aw+short u oat know show ['w schwa+short u also works]

Spanglish allows one to spell any word they can pronounce and spell it more or less as they would spell it in Spanish
Latin is of course one of the spelling patterns recognized by traditional English.
The problem is that it recognizes three others as well which makes "correct" spelling a linguistic guessing game.

I don't think that many people would have trouble reading the spelling checker poem written in a more consistent orthography.

'I hav a speling chekr
thaet caem [keim] with m'y pi ci.
plein az dey it showz for m'y rivyu
miste'ks [steiks]ai can not si
'I straik a ki and t'yp a wrd
and weit for it tu sey
wethr ai am rong or r'yt
it showz mi strait awey

To write in Spanglish, one needs to memorize 18 paired associates:
sound - letter combinations. This may take 30 minutes.

What you end up with is a consistent way to match the pronunciation
guide in the dictionary. There is a one-to-one correspondence between phonemic Spanglish
and IPA [the Int'l Phonetic Alphabet] used in many pronunciation guides.
Phonemic Spanglish is an ASCII IPA much like SAMPA - no special characters or spl. fonts are required.

To match dictionary spelling, you have to
deconstruct the code by adding ideosyncratic alternatives.

In other words, you can devolve to our current spelling system the same way it was done historically.

Unlike other phonemic schemes, Spanglish can be abbreviated, it is more concise and compact that traditional spelling,
it be read without a key, and does not have to be discarded since it remains one of the common spelling patterns in English.
After the transition to traditional spelling, phonemic Spanglish can continue to be used as a pronunciation guide.

TASK: Finish writing the poem in Spanglish.

Basic rationale = This is an efficient way to introduce English spelling.
It gets accross the concept of an alphabet without the usual frustration.
It restores the Saxon alphabet and brings English in line with the letter-sound associations
used by the rest of the world.
It allows students to make use of their entire vocabularly in writing exercises
that are mastered five times faster than with non-alphabetical spelling.

There are no primers or basal readers written in Saxon-Spanglish. However,
course materials can be developed by using an online spelling converter which will automatically
rewrite traditional English texts in alphabetical Saxon-Spanglish.
You can take a book from among the over 10,000 available on line [from Project Gutenberg and others] and
convert it into SS in minutes.

Soon there will be a way to convert documents written in SS to
traditional English.

Research studies supporting this approach and free assistance available on request.

Submitted by Steve Bett, Ph.D.
[email protected]
discussion group
Steve's index page

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