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"Sagispeak"

Posted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:03 pm
by Dave Keenan
I thought that the drawbacks of a tuning-independent way of pronouncing the accidentals would outweigh the benefits, until George showed me the beautifully simple system he'd come up with.

In George's pronunciation system, the directions up and down are just two vowel sounds. "Ao" is pronounced exactly like the vowel sound in the word "down", and that's what it means. "Ai" is pronounced exactly like the vowel sound in the word "high", and that's what it means. Then we just put different consonants in front of these to indicate what kind of a down or a high it is. For the 5-comma (syntonic comma) left-half-arrows it's a pental down and a pental high, so we pronounce them pow(n) and pigh [we don't sound the (n)] and we spell them pao and pai. Sharp and flat stay the same, and we can also have pao sharp and pai flat.

George hasn't published the full system yet. He's still deciding on some of the consonants. I got special dispensation to release the info about "p" being used for the pronunciation of the 5-comma symbols. But don't assume the 7-comma will be "s" for septimal, since we have septendecimal (17) commas too, and commas that have the prime seven in combination with others. The consonants for all single-flag symbols (other than the 5-comma) are likely to be based on the similarity between the downward version of the symbol and a lowercase consonant letter. In fact the same letter we use for the short ASCII representation of the downward accidental. Unfortunately there is no lowercase letter that looks like the downward 5-comma symbol \! given that we want to reserve "v" for the 11-diesis down symbol \!/.

Re: "Sagispeak"

Posted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:14 am
by Juhani
Please keep in mind that the new prefixes or suffixes don't necessarily translate easily to other languages, especially those such as mine (Finnish) or German or Swedish where flats, sharps, and double flats and sharps are expressed as suffixes.( C C# Db Fbb Ax = C Cis Des Feses Aisis in Finnish.) Should I talk about music written in Sagittal with Finnish musicians, we'd be unlikely to switch to English for note names (incidentally, we also have H for B and B for Bb, as in German). So we'll have to come up with our own nomenclature, anyway, and the closer it can be to your English version, the better.

J

Re: "Sagispeak"

Posted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 11:41 am
by Dave Keenan
Thanks for raising the issue of language independence. We certainly intend for the pronunciations to be language-independent and appreciate any help you can give us in ensuring that. We believe we have chosen phonemes which are common to most languages. In my post above I only described the usage for naming intervals (in the extended Jazz interval naming system), not pitches, because we were discussing interval names when this branched off from the 22edo Workgroup thread on Facebook. Is there any problem with calling C#/ and Db\ Cispai and Despao? In English they would be C sharp pai and D flat pao.

The mnemonic I gave for English speakers, where ao = down and ai = high, was purely that -- a mnemonic invented after the fact. The vowel sounds (both dipthongs) were actually chosen because they have a language-independent mnemonic. When you pronounce "ao" the weighting of the harmonics sweeps downward in pitch. When you pronounce "ai" the weighting of the harmonics sweeps upward. You can see this in sonograms. Maybe you can come up with a mnemonic like "down/high" that works in Finnish and other languages you know.

Re: "Sagispeak"

Posted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:02 pm
by Dave Keenan
In the 22-Tone Workgroup on facebook,
cam.taylor wrote:Dave, does that mean the 64:63 accidentals will likely be tai and tao, and the 33:32 ones vai and vao? Sorry I just can't wait.

Yes! I've just received a long-awaited email from George Secor confirming this. But vai/vao is not the only pronunciation for the full arrow. /|\   \!/

We have assigned
"p" to the left barb \! (based on "pente" being Greek for 5), and
"k" to the right barb !/ (based on appearance),
so the full arrow down \!/ can be pronounced "pakao", or possibly even "kapow!" ;) .
But because it is so common, and has the short-ASCII representation "v", it can also be pronounced as the shorter "vao" in languages where this is sufficiently distinct from "phao" (pronounced "fao") which we use for the double left-barb \\!.

I note that, in the proposed system, only single-shaft symbols have sagispeak pronunciations. Multi-shaft symbols in the pure-Sagittal notation can be pronounced the same as their mixed-Sagittal counterparts, i.e. by combining sagispeak pronunciations for single-shaft symbols with "sharp" and "flat" or their equivalent in other languages (either before or after, joined or not joined, as may be conventional in the language concerned).

And I note that not all single-shaft symbols will have their own consonant, for the obvious reason that there aren't enough consonants that are sufficiently distinct in all languages. We really only need to assign a consonant to each of the 8 flags (i.e. the left and right versions of the 4 flag types: barb, arc, scroll and boathook). You can see those we've agreed on below. Please try your hand at assigning consonants to the remaining three, keeping in mind that they need to have distinct sounds in as many languages as possible. If you can't find any resemblance to the down symbol, I suppose you could use the up symbol.

SingleFlagDown.gif

When I get a chance, I will add Sagittal symbols as additional "smilies" (i.e. emoticons) in the editor for this forum, so that we can simply click on them to add them to our posts, inline with text.

Re: "Sagispeak"

Posted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 3:13 am
by Dave Keenan
We can now embed real sagittal symbols in posts, by clicking on them in a palette in the editor, as you can see below. I don't know about you, but I think this is awesome! :D

C:#::\!:
E:b::/|:
F:/|\:
B:!):

[Edit: No need for the Sagittal "smilies" to be preceded by whitespace any more. They can be preceded by an uppercase letter or another accidental.]

Re: "Sagispeak"

Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:32 am
by cam.taylor
This is totally awesome. I'm jumping on my computer to write more. I'm keen to help out with choosing the other phonemes as much as I can.

Are the sounds listed the same as in IPA? Or is "j" here actually the IPA phoneme /dʒ/, as in "judge"?
Making sure we're as universal as possible is a very good call, I feel.

Re: "Sagispeak"

Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:06 pm
by cam.taylor
I'm assuming we only want to use one of the phonemes in a voiced/unvoiced pair such as /t/,/d/ or /k,/g/, one of /l/,r/, and possibly only one or possibly two nasals to avoid confusion where there is lack of distinction in some languages.

However I'm still seeing an aspirant (/h/), a nasal (/n/, /m/, or /ŋ/), probably /l/ (easier than a jawed /r/ in most languages), and possibly semivowels /j/ and /w/ free for the taking.

When combining flags, we combine the sounds of those flags right? So what's the default two-part name for :/|):? (pai+tai)

Some consonants can be combined directly like :~|:sai+ :|):tai=:~|): "stai"?, but most obviously cannot, particularly when their vowels also differ.

I would perhaps suggest /h/ for :!(: since it's a light sound, a small adjustment, and it looks like an h. Just a suggestion.

Though, scrolling over the symbols I noticed just now all have short names, so have these already actually been decided?

Re: "Sagispeak"

Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 1:20 pm
by Dave Keenan
cam.taylor wrote:Are the sounds listed the same as in IPA? Or is "j" here actually the IPA phoneme /dʒ/, as in "judge"?

We are hoping to have fixed spelling across all languages that use latin/roman characters, and in order to do so we are happy to allow different pronunciations, with "j" being probably the widest. It has at least four different pronunciations, e.g. english /dʒ/, german /j/ (english "y"), french /zh/, and spanish /h/ (english "h"). That then means we can't use any other letter that that has the same pronunciation, in any language, as any of those. I don't think my "/zh/" above is proper IPA. Perhaps you can tell me what it should be? In reality I think we will have to allow a limited number of pronunciations for each letter, and then recommend alternative spellings for some languages. But it would be good if alternative spellings were not needed for the Spartan set: :!(: :\!: :!): :\ \!: :\!): :\!/: :(!): :(!/:.

I'm assuming we only want to use one of the phonemes in a voiced/unvoiced pair such as /t/,/d/ or /k/,/g/, one of /l/,/r/, and possibly only one or possibly two nasals to avoid confusion where there is lack of distinction in some languages.

I'm in full agreement there. We should only use a second one of each of those confusable pairs if we're forced to do so for pronouncing some of the more rarely used features of Sagittal such as diacritics.

However I'm still seeing an aspirant (/h/), a nasal (/n/, /m/, or /ŋ/), probably /l/ (easier than a jawed /r/ in most languages), and possibly semivowels /j/ and /w/ free for the taking.

Agreed, except if we allow /h/ /j/ and /dʒ/ for "j" as above, we can't use the letters "h" or "y".

When combining flags, we combine the sounds of those flags right? So what's the default two-part name for :/|): ? (pai+tai)

Correct. :/|): is "patai".

Some consonants can be combined directly like :~|: sai + :|): tai = :~|): "stai"?, but most obviously cannot, particularly when their vowels also differ.

The plan so far is that you use the flag sounds in the order they appear in the symbol, and drop the "ai" or "ao" diphthong from all but the last. The diphthong is just the overall direction of the symbol. If the flags are on opposite sides of the shaft you put a short "a" between them. So :~|): would actually be "satai". Only if they are on the same side do you blend them if possible, otherwise you put an unspelled schwa between them. If they are two of the same flag (which will necessarily be on the same side of the shaft) then the plan is to replace the second occurrence with an "h". Conveniently the only such combinations are "pp" -> "ph", "ss" -> "sh" and "kk" -> "kh".

I'm sorry I haven't put up all the Sagittal glyphs as smilies yet. Only the Spartan single-shafts will ever appear beside the edit window, but you can see which others I have included so far, by clicking "View more smilies". However, if you continue to spell them as their long-ASCII form surrounded by colons they will eventually get turned into the proper symbols, and in the meantime we can see what you mean anyway. I note that the smilies are religious about using exclamation ! for a down shaft and vertical bar | for an up shaft. You can't get away with :\|/:.

I would perhaps suggest /h/ for :!(: since it's a light sound, a small adjustment, and it looks like an h. Just a suggestion.

That's one I championed for some time too. But George convinced me that it was more important to preserve the alternative pronunciation for "j", and the digraph spelling of the double-same-flags. And I think an initial "h" is silent in some languages. It is silent in some dialects of English. So George convinced me to accept "n" for :!(:, which is like the symbol with (most of) it's shaft missing, as are some other short-ASCII characters for Sagittals.

Though, scrolling over the symbols I noticed just now all have short names, so have these already actually been decided?

Nothing is set in stone at this stage. The forum software required me to give them some name. I'd be pleased if you would ignore them. I'd be happy to see what you can come up with independently. Although some of the things George has come up with so far seemed so good I couldn't help mentioning them as I have.

Re: "Sagispeak"

Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:17 pm
by Dave Keenan
We had a bug where the double backslash in ":\\!:", which was the obvious smiley code for :\ \!:, was interpreted correctly on Preview but interpreted as a single backslash on Submit, and therefore gave :\!: instead. And the colon slash slash in "://|:", which was the obvious smiley code for :/ /|:, was interpreted as part of a URL, and made an unholy mess. So now I've put a space between the two backslashes and the two slashes in the smiley codes to work around this. It won't make any difference for people who click the symbols on the palette, but unfortunately those who prefer to type them will have to remember to include the spaces in ":\ \!:" and ":/ /|:". Nothing bad will happen if you don't. They will simply remain as unconverted text.

Re: "Sagispeak"

Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:54 pm
by Dave Keenan
Juhani wrote:Please keep in mind that the new prefixes or suffixes don't necessarily translate easily to other languages, especially those such as mine (Finnish) ... So we'll have to come up with our own nomenclature, anyway, and the closer it can be to your English version, the better.

Thanks Juhani. The best way to ensure that, is for you to be involved right now in helping us to decide on the spellings and pronunciations of the various flags and their combinations. You may not have seen my previous response in this thread because I did not have the forum option turned on, to automatically subscribe users to any thread they post to. You had to manually subscribe by clicking on the "Topic tools" button (the one with the spanner icon).

I have now turned on that option, along with the one that notifies users if they are quoted. You should also check that you have notifications turned on in your User Control Panel.

I have since learned that Finnish is an extremely important test case for Sagispeak since it has fewer native phonemes even than Japanese.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_phonology
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_phonology