Since I heard no objections to the plan to spend the next few columns continuing a review of the state of the language after the as-yet unpublished Arestada of 2012, that’s what I’ll do.  (Notwithstanding the fact that I heard no support for the plan either.)

A review of the subjects that “divided” the adherents of the pre- and post-2007 spelling systems from one another, conducted by Dama Miestrâ Schivâ and me, showed the issues to be thirteen in number.  The 2012 Arestada’s recommendations saw the two groups come to agreement on fully ten of those thirteen.  In the previous article, one of the most important of these was highlighted.  This was the universal acceptance of a “stress rule” for the language, agreement that regular stress therefore need not (but may optionally) be marked, and agreement that stress marks no longer be used on unstressed syllables.  (To be complete about it, there is one agreed-upon exception to this last item, which is that the stress mark that some writers use on the word-ending -escu – that is, writing it -escù – is recognised to be simply “stylistic”.)

The improvement and acceptance of the stress rule actually made it possible to address one of the most serious issues dividing the two communities, which was the recommendation made by the 2007 Arestada that the circumflex be used to mark stress on the umlaut-marked vowels, ä, ö, and ü (when those vowels were not positioned to take “regular” stress, per the rule).  Adherents of the pre-2007 system were using â, ô, and û for other purposes, so this was seen as a major change to the language.  As it happens, a study of the vocabulary showed that, with the new stress rule, only a very small set of words would need to stressmark their umlaut-adorned vowels.  Accordingly, it was decided to abandon the 2007 recommendation (thus putting â, ô, and û back on the table for discussion) and recommend instead that these thirty words either be listed as exceptionally stressed (without stressmarking) or be marked for stress just as other vowels are (by adding an accent above the umlaut).

With the circumflex-marked vowels once more free to be applied in other ways, the pre-2007 uses were studied, and harmonized with the post-2007 system.  First, the Committee agreed to re-introduce the original feminine-ending mark ă (a with a breve) as an optional (“stylistic”) mark, and also to recommend that â (a with a circumflex) be a recognised substitute for that mark.  Thus, the use of â to end feminine nouns and adjectives, commonly seen used by writers who adhered to pre-2007 system, is once more recognised by the Committee, as an element in the “Traditional Style” of writing.

As for other circumflex-adorned Talossan vowels, the Committee agreed to recommend that ô and û (and even ê) all be understood to be stylistic choices identical to the stressmarked vowels ó, ú, and é.  So Talossan writers can feel free to dress up their language in most of its “old hats” and be understood to be using the “Traditional Style” of writing.


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