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How to distinguish [i] from [iː] in Cyrillic

Constructed Languages Asked by jastako on August 20, 2021

Renglish/Рэнглиш (not mine)
is an adaptation of Cyrillic for English. Most of the sounds seem ok, but how would you normally differentiate [i] in bit from the [iː] in beet using Cyrillic or would they both just use ‘И’?
The sample text they give is:

Ал Хйюмън бееингз ар борн фри энд еекўъл ин Дигнити энд Райтз. Ђей ар ендауед ўић Реезън энд Каншънс энд шюдд якт тъўордс ўун ънуђер ин ей Спирит ъв Бруђергхюд.

In the Latin alphabet that is:

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. (Universal declaration of human rights)

I know some characters are very differenṭ from their normal sounds, like я for ‘æ’ instead of ‘ja’ & ц for dʒ instead of ‘ts’ (стяк ексчэнц would be ‘stack exchange’.) I use џ instead of ц for dʒ. I thought about using ы for [i] and и for

I previously posted this in the Linguistics community but was told this was a better fit.

3 Answers

One potential obvious answer would be to use double letters for long vowels like Mongolian does. (And e.g. Finnish does in the Latin alphabet.)

Answered by Terpomo on August 20, 2021

This adaptation seems to use either "ее" (as in "бееингз" beings or "еекўъл" equal) or "и" (as in "фри" free) for /i/ and "и" (as in "ин" in) or "ъ" (as in "Каншънс" conscience) for /ɪ/. In particular, the word "Дигнити" dignity uses "и" for both sounds.

It seems this transcription has retained a number of etymological spellings, such as the retention of certain silent letters, like the second "е" in "ендауед" endowed or the "ъў" in "тъўордс" towards, the use of "с" and "з" seemingly interchangeably for word final /s/ and /z/ ("Райтз" rights and "бееингз" beings vs. "Каншънс" conscience and "тъўордс" towards), and the distinction between stressed ("у" as in "ўун" one or "ей" a) and unstressed /ʌ/ ("ъ" as in "ънуђер" another).

Here is a chart of how English vowels are spelled in your sample:

VOWEL  LETTER SAMPLE WORD     POTENTIAL CYRILLIC SPELLING
TRAP      э   (энд)           трэп
          я   (якт)           тряп
BATH   
PALM      а   (ал)            пам
LOT  
CLOTH     а   (Каншънс)       клађ
THOUGHT
KIT       и   (ин)            кит
          ъ   (Каншънс)       кът
DRESS     е   (ендауед)       дрес
STRUT     у   (ўун)           струт
          ей  (ей)            стрейт
          ъ   (ънуђер)        стрът
FOOT      ю   (Бруђергхюд)    фют
FACE      ей  (ђей)           фейс
GOAT
FLEECE    ее  (бееингз)       флеес
          и   (фри)           флис
GOOSE     ю   (Хйюмън)        гюс
PRICE     ай  (Райтз)         прай
CHOICE
MOUTH     ау  (ендауед)       мауђ
NURSE     
START     а  (ар)             старт
NORTH     о  (борн)           норђ
FORCE     о  (тъўордс)        форс
NEAR      и  (Спирит)         нир
SQUARE    
CURE
COMMA     
LETTER    е  (ънуђер)         летер
HAPPY

Answered by Andrew Ray on August 20, 2021

If ы is otherwise unused, it seems like the best fit here to me. It certainly seems at least as close a match as some others you've accepted (e.g. ц for dʒ)

Answered by Tristan on August 20, 2021

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