When marking tone reduces fluency: an orthography experiment in Cameroon

Authors:
Date:
1998
Publisher:
SIL Cameroon
Extent:
31 pages
Abstract:
Should an alphabetic orthography for a tone language include tone marks? Opinion and practice are divided along three lines: zero marking, phonemic marking and various reduced marking schemes. This paper examines the success of phonemic tone marking for Dschang, a Grassfields Bantu language which uses tone to distinguish lexical items and some grammatical constructions. ... The experiment raises serious doubts about the suitability of the phonemic method of marking tone for languages having widespread tone sandhi effects, and lends support to the notion that a writing system should have ‘fixed word images’. A critical review of other experimental work on African tone orthography lays the groundwork for the experiment, and contributes to the establishment of a uniform experimental paradigm.
Publication Status:
Published
Country:
Cameroon
Subject Languages:
Content Language:
Work Type:
Subject:
Africa
orthographic depth
orthography design
reading fluency
tone language
Nature of Work:
Entry Number:
47890