English Spelling Simplification
Simplifying English spelling has long been a passion of mine. But consider this: Everyone bitches about it, but no new system has been adopted. Why is this? In my opinion, the problem is that none of the numerous systems that have been proposed are marketable. Here is a document that explains some of my thoughts on how to create a system to simplify English spelling, and get it accepted in the real world.
English Phrasal Verbs (Particle Verbs)
English phrasal verbs are bizarro. Maybe that’s why they fascinate me. Many other languages have separate words that change the lexical content, aspect, tense, voice, and other features of the verb, but none do it the way English does with its verb particles. The main problem with English phrasal verbs is that the particles do different things. Native speakers use particles with verbs flawlessly and without giving it a thought. Foreign students of English throw up their hands in despair. One thing I know is that human languages are patterns. If native speakers use verbs and particles flawlessly, there must be patterns. That we linguists have not yet figured out the patterns does not mean that they are not there. Something I would like to do is tease out all the patterns. Not only would this give us a new insight into English syntactic structures, but it would be a godsend for teachers and students in ESL classes. Here is a short little paper that I wrote outlining the issues.
Creating Feature Matrix Brackets in OpenOffice.org
You know how you see feature matrixes in brackets like this:
Well, Professor Bruce Hayes at UCLA created a Word document explaining how to do it in Word and put it on his website for his students (http://www.linguistics.ucla.edu/people/hayes/120a/Brackets.htm). But he didn’t include a comparable document for us fans of OpenOffice.org. So I did and you can download it here:
The link below will take you to ipa4linguists. This is a site that was lovingly created by a team of Portland State University graduate students to assist students, professors, and others interested in linguistics and phonetics to use real IPA characters on their computers. Here you will find complete and thorough instructions for all popular word professors, all popular web browsers, and on all versions of Windows, MacOS and Linux.