Date: Thu, 4 Jan 1996 14:03:37 -0700


Subject: Re: Respelling

The spelling Neandertal has been around a long time in arch(a)eological

writings. The th spelling in German represents a /t/ pronunciation, which

Americans are woefully ignorant of, and thus pronounce with /Theta/ as in

English. Dropping the h helps get rid of this inaccurate spelling-pronuncia-

tion. Thanks for bringing up this example -- it will be useful in teaching.

Inka was used in the title of a book published a couple of years

ago by University of Texas Press, which has probably infected others who have

read it. Spanish generally lacks the k grapheme, and various Latin American

Indian language speakers have from time to time adopted the letter in order

to visually distinguish their language from Spanish, in a sort of linguistic

nationalism. In turn, they have been attacked as tools of the CIA trying to

overthrow the established social order, which keeps the Indians in a permanent

serfdom. Sometimes North American linguists encourage the adoption of k and

w as "more phonemically accurate", without considering the sociolinguistic

and educational aspects (easing readers in a bilingual education program into

the reading of Spanish). It's a VERY complex issue.

--Rudy Troike (rtroike[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]