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#3900: Poincy continues the language/pronunciation/spelling issue




From: Jean Poincy <caineve@idt.net>

Finally, Corbettland is receiving light on the "" and "e" issue. Right
or wrong, at least some answers are provided and the issue is not pushed
under the rug by raising irrelevant ones. From Antoine's "intuitive
logic", Canal's honest take on existing rules vs. simplicity guiding the
evolution of a language to Mason's reminder of Jeff Allen's technical
explanation, there is a good feel for a satisfying exchange.

Antoine's concern is similar to mine and I voiced it at the onset. I
attributed the changes not to the non-existence of the sound in the
language, but to a sheer accommodation to the commoners' inability to
produce the closed "e" sound. This handicap is due to the people's lack
of education, a fact that makes the non-existence of the sound in
question a virtual factor.

Had they been properly taught how to read and pronounce words, the
non-existence of the sound would have not been an issue now. They would
produce the sound correctly. Rather than seeing my point, it was
interpreted as I was for the French like spelling of the language. So
much of the joy to distort one's thought for the sake of affirming
knowledge possession, meanwhile those silent "beggars" for understanding
stay in darkness. 

Excerpt of my initial post:

"The linguists' argument would be: since the closed " e " in French does
not exist in Ayitian, therefore to distinguish "  " from the "  " and
facilitate the task for the commoners the accent above "  " is dropped.
Life becomes easy. We should not talk of the non-existence of the sound
in Ayitian, but rather of the poor education of the people. Their
resolution lies in the fact that uneducated or improperly educated
Ayitians have a hard time to pronounce the closed " e " for what it
sounds like in French and render the sound of "  " instead.  For all "
 " sound are written " e "."

Excerpt of my initial post:

"They (linguists) completely dismiss the fact that an improper education
process was in place. I would sincerely appreciate any scientific
clarification from any linguist on this aspect. That would help others
to understand why they have to follow standard forms of spelling rather
than pounding on one's head for his/her choice of spelling.  Having said
this, I am asking Mr. DeGraff to reopen his linguistic 101 that he
closed before the term so he can teach us about the phonetic twist the
icons of Ayitian used to move it forward.

If all unjustified demarcations from the French spelling are due to
pride, or to dissociation of Ayitian from creole languages of others,
I've no quarrel. It will be hard to swallow a phonetic reasoning on the
items cited above."

That alone says I was receptive to any simple answer, from "I don't
know", "just for simplification" or "a technical stretch".

I just wished that Canal and Mason had spoken earlier, and that Antoine
raised his concern that is not his alone but that of so many. This is
why I accused linguists of "linguistic frivolities" for not considering
how different segments of the population feel about speaking Ayitian one
way or another. 

Being able to say why the standard Ayitian as Antoine puts it "kwit",
"diri", "ji" and "nwit" rather than "kuit", "duri", "ju" and "nuit",
will be helpful to the legacy of the language. What of "k" rather than
"c" when in some instances in French "k" and "c" share the same phonetic
territory? My question (I suppose it's the same for Antoine) is the
reasoning behind it and the absence of or rational given so far zooms my
layman's brain.


Says the Chinese master: "To say you know when you know, and to say you
do not when you do not, that is knowledge."



Ayiti has lived, lives and will live
Mozeb