What is a non-Roman script?

 
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Introduction
 

The guidelines for developing non-Roman script are not significantly different from the guidelines for developing Roman script orthographies.

 
Note:

The orthography modules in the Literacy Bookshelf are based on Roman script. Examples and case studies of non-Roman script are planned in the future.

Definition
 

A non-Roman script is any graphic form of the symbols of an orthography which are not derived from Latin, such as Arabic and Chinese.

Discussion
 

Aspects of non-Roman scripts make learning to read and write the language more difficult.

 
Examples:
  • Lack of vowel symbols
  • Lack of word breaks
  • Similarity between symbols
  • Symbols which change appearance
 
See:

Challenges of non-Roman orthographies for primer construction

Example
 

The orthography for the Northern Khmer language of eastern Thailand is based on the orthography of Standard Thai.

 

Here are some examples of adjustments made to facilitate reading and writing Northern Khmer:

 
  • Standard Thai does not use word breaks but Northern Khmer uses word breaks because of a more complex syllable structure.
  • Complexities with vowel placement in Standard Thai cause ambiguities but vowel placement is more predictable in Northern Khmer.
  • Standard Thai uses many symbols for the same consonant phoneme (overrepresentation) but Northern Khmer uses just one symbol for each phoneme.
See also
 

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Page content last modified: 18 May 1999

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