07 March 2008

Orthographic development

I’m writing a paper on the history of written and transcribed Tlingit which I hope to present at this year’s LSA summer conference. It’s been in the works for some time, and I’ve had a lot of fun digging through old texts and ordering weird things through interlibrary loan, feeling like a historian.

One of the fun things about Tlingit is that it’s currently written in three different orthographies, and there are still publications in two other orthographies as well. Hence my desire to develop a chrestomathy of all the various written forms of the language.

Unfortunately now I’m at the stage in the paper where I need to say substantive things about orthography design, and how certain decisions impact readability and learnability. The research on this is pretty hard to find, and very little of it has actual data, mostly being opinion and case studies.

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