So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Latin Alphabet: unifying diverse peoples.

Wikipedia says it well enough.
The Roman or Latin alphabet is the alphabet used to write many modern-day languages. It is the most used alphabet and writing system in the world today. It is the official script for nearly all the languages of Western Europe, and of some Eastern Europe languages. It is also used by some non-European languages such as Turkish, Vietnamese, Bahasa Melayu, Bahasa Indonesia, Swahili, and Tagalog. It is an alternative writing system for languages such as Hindi, Urdu, and Somali.
Latin Alphabet Distribution | Wikipedia
The Roman alphabet is a writing system which evolved from a western variety of the Greek alphabet. It was the Etruscans who first developed it after borrowing the Greek alphabet, and the Romans developed it further. The sounds of some letters changed, some letters were lost and gained, and several writing styles ('hands') developed. Two such styles were combined into one script with upper and lower case letters ('capitals' and 'small letters'). Modern capital letters differ only slightly from their Roman counterparts. There are few regional variations.
The Roman alphabet adapts well:
Japanese uses the Roman alphabet as well as kanji, hiragana, and katakana. It is often used to put Japanese words on a computer. When Romanized text is used for Japanese words, this is called romaji (see also: Hepburn Romanization).

Some ideologues might consider the romanization of a language a form of cultural imperialism. That tendency to demonize a highly effective bridge between cultures only serves to give scholars and media muddlers the opportunity to line their pockets with the fruit of needless controversy.

Rather than crushing a culture, the Latin alphabet has enabled languages and cultures to survive and in many cases thrive.

Thanks to the pragmatic Romans, diverse cultures can be approached by those who, coming from diverse cultures themselves, wish to dip their toes in the various rivers of thought and experience that flow around this planet. The Latin alphabet provides seekers the means by which the culture-thirsty seeker can enter into a new encounter through recognizable symbols that are adapted to local use but which taste something like the seeker's own sounds.

In the Pacific Northwest, on Vancouver Island in particular, the languages or dialects of the First Peoples make use of the Latin alphabet. Let's take a brief look and, because it is brief, an inadequate but loving look at the language of the W̱SÁNEĆ people of what is now commonly known as the Saanich Peninsula on southern Vancouver Island.
The First Nations that speak this language do not have a single name for the language. Instead, there is a different name for the language in each (Salish) dialect: SENĆOŦEN, Malchosen, Lkwungen, Semiahmoo, and T’Sou-ke. Although the First Nations prefer their own names for their language, linguists have called these five dialects "Northern Straits Salish". These five dialects are spoken by the W̱SÁNEĆ (Saanich) peoples and their closely related neighbours from the north coast of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, the Gulf and San Juan Islands, southern Vancouver Island and the southern edge of the Lower Mainland in British Columbia. 
Dave Elliott, a Saanich fisherman (and elder of his people) who almost single-handedly resurrected the dying language of his people - SENĆOŦEN - created an alphabet system, recording the elders and developing a language curriculum for local schools.
The alphabet Mr. Elliott created:

Sencoten | Omniglot
Hear a few words of SENĆOŦEN and watch a brief introduction to the story of the W̱SÁNEĆ people in a video.
The Latin alphabet lends itself well to a variety of sounds. It is very forgiving, which is to say it welcomes many pronunciations. Keep in mind that the Latin pronunciation we most commonly hear in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass is Ecclesiastical Latin, which differs from Classical Latin pronunciation.
Ecclesiastical or Church Latin has slight variations in pronunciation from region to region. Listen to the following renditions of Salve Regina.

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