OLAC Record

Title:Writing grammar rather than tone: An orthography experiment in Togo
Abstract:Some orthographies represent tone phonemically by means of diacritics; others favor zero marking. Neither solution is entirely satisfactory. The former leads to graphic overload; the latter to a profusion of homographs; both may reduce fluency. But there is a ‘third way’: to highlight the grammar rather than the tone system itself. To test this approach, we developed two experimental strategies for Kabiye: a grammar orthography and a tone orthography. Both are modifications of the standard orthography that does not mark tone. We tested these in a quantitative experiment involving literate L1 speakers that included dictation and spontaneous writing tasks. Writers of the grammar orthography perform faster and more accurately than writers of the tone orthography, suggesting that they have an awareness of the morphological and syntactic structure of their language that may exceed their awareness of its phonology. We conclude that languages with grammatical tone might benefit from grammatical markers in the orthography.
Contributor (author):Roberts, David
Walter, Stephen L.
Date (W3CDTF):2012
Description (URI):http://www.sil.org/resources/archives/50449
Is Part Of:Written Language and Literacy
Language (ISO639):eng
Publisher:John Benjamins Publishing Company
Subject:Kabiyè language
Tone orthography; Grammar orthography; Quantitative experiment
Subject (ISO639):kbp
Type (DCMI):Text
Type (OLAC):language_description


Archive:  SIL Language and Culture Archives
Description:  http://www.language-archives.org/archive/sil.org
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OaiIdentifier:  oai:sil.org:50449
DateStamp:  2013-04-27
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Search Info

Citation: Roberts, David; Walter, Stephen L. 2012. Written Language and Literacy.
Terms: area_Africa area_Europe country_GB country_TG dcmi_Text iso639_eng iso639_kbp olac_language_description

Inferred Metadata

Country: Togo
Area: Africa

Up-to-date as of: Mon Jun 15 5:32:43 EDT 2015