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orthography reform


Subject Linguistics

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631214816.1999.x


Extract

A domain of language planning concerning deliberate changes in the writing conventions of a language without altering its script or writing system. According to this definition neither the changeover from a logographic to a phonographic writing system for Vietnamese, nor the replacement of the Arabic by the Roman alphabet for Turkish, count as orthography reforms. By contrast, the various regulation schemes of Dutch spelling adopted over the past 100 years are genuine orthography reforms. The changes that were effected pertained to grapheme-phoneme correspondences as well as individual word spellings, but did not affect the (Roman) script or the (phonographic) writing system. The principles and criteria for effecting orthography reforms are of two kinds, psycholinguistic-technical and sociolinguistic. The former have to do with the utility of an orthography, while the latter involve the social conditions of implementing reforms. The need or desire for orthography reform usually arises as a result of real or perceived discrepancies between speech and writing and inconsistent or overly opaque grapheme-phoneme correspondences. Amending such deficits requires a thorough understanding of the principles underlying the orthography in question and a clearly defined standard of excellence to be met or approximated by the reformed system. Both of these criteria are of the psycholinguistic-technical ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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