Different types of Spelling and Pronunciation

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      Spelling may be of three main types Phonetic (representing the actual sounds of the language by symbols), or ideographic (showing the idea or thing, but giving no indication of pronunciation) or it may be mixed - it may have something of the nature of both phonetic and ideographic. A phonetic spelling may sooner or later go out of date but ideographic method has the advantage of being quite independent of the fluctuations of pronunciations.

A phonetic spelling may sooner or later go out of date but ideographic method has the advantage of being quite independent of the fluctuations of pronunciations.
Spelling tree

      Pronunciation depends on speech-organs of mouth and larynx and on psychological factors. Pronunciation can never be stationary because it is always changing in individuals, in groups of people and in nations. Half a century ago the word vase was pronounced (vo:z) while in America it is sounded as (veiz). More and more the modern English spelling tends to become ideographic. It means that we transfer the idea conveyed by a group of letters seen on the page direct to our brains without the medium of sound. Many words exist only in books and have no received pronunciation because the reader has not heard them spoken or said them himself. Words are symbol groups which convey an idea without the intermediary of sound. Yet, on the other hand, letters are still associated with sound in modern English, specially in the more familiar and traditional words, and for this reason it may perhaps be fair to describe its spelling as mixed, partly phonetic and partly ideographic.

      Difficulties in fixing a standard pronunciation, English spelling is fixed by the printers in the 17th century and clinched by the rise of dictionaries in the next century. It is largely symbolical and independent of pronunciation. People all over the World pronounce English in different ways and some of them are unintelligible in Britain. They can communicate satisfactorily in written form, since the groups ot letters are the symbols of words and not of sounds. The changing nature of pronunciation makes the chief objection to any phonetic reform of English spelling. Simplified spelling or 'reformed spelling' is a far more complex and uncertain problem than those who have not studied the language scientifically can easily realise.

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