|What is the Shaw or Shavian alphabet?|
|The Shaw alphabet is a modern, phonetically accurate
replacement for the old Roman alphabet to write English. The Shaw alphabet
has been designed to write modern English more quickly and effectively. The
Roman alphabet was designed specifically for Latin, over 2,600 years ago,
and has become the alphabet of choice for hundreds of languages. It became
the customary alphabet for written English, as Latin was the language of
education, at the time, that the writing of English.
|Who created the Shaw alphabet?|
|A contest was announced specifying the linguistic
requirements, in 1958. Four contestants submitted alphabet schemes that met
or surpassed the requirements. The Shaw Alphabet was created from an amalgam
of these 4 proposals. Kingsley Read, an architect and designer, provided the
majority of the design. He also created a script or cursive version of the
Shaw alphabet called Quickscript.
Further revisions to remove some confusing spiral letters and to streamline an overly complex
vowel design were successful and incorporated in this book by the author.
|Why was the Shaw alphabet created?|
| The Shaw alphabet was developed in the 1958 and 1959, at
the specific bequest of George Bernard Shaw, the famous playwright. As a
writer of spoken English, he believed the Roman alphabet was inadequate to
represent common spoken English. He believed that a phonetic alphabet
tailored to English would both improve and standardize English communication
around the world, and reduce class distinction based on accent. See Chapter
6, for details on the History of the Shaw alphabet.
|What makes the Shaw alphabet different from the regular alphabet?|
|Why it easier to spell words with the Shaw Alphabet?|
|What is the difference between a Shaw vowel letter and a Shaw vowel marker ?|
Both vowel letters and vowel markers are part of the Shaw alphabet, but they
have different functions. The Shaw Letters indicate the exact vowel sounds
for the key vowels of a written word. The Shaw Vowel Marker indicates just
the kind of vowel used in the written word and how the internal vowels hold
the syllables together.
The main or Primary Shaw vowel letters each represents a specific vowel sound preceded by a Glottal Stop in order to make it emphatic. A Shaw vowel marker indicates the presence of a vowel, without an associated Glottal Stop. A vowel marker does not indicate the specific vowel. It indicates the type of vowel. For example, whether it is a long, short, double, half sized vowel or Schwa. A vowel marker does not necessarily give an exact pronunciation. There may be as many as 6 different vowel sounds, represented by any one particular vowel marker. Or as few a one vowel sound in the case of a Schwa.
The Roman alphabet uses over 30 of vowel letters and vowel letter combinations made up from "a", "e", "i", "o", "u", "w" and "y" and also adds the silent "e" to the end of the word to indicate many of the various vowel sounds used by English. Unfortunately, all of those various vowel letters and vowel letter combinations are not logical and do not consistently represent the same sound. The Shaw alphabet uses a system, that can handle a wider variety of vowel sounds and their combinations and represent them accurately and consistently.