Macron Discussion

The weakness of Legacy Spelling is evident as it struggles to express the 5 long vowel sounds. To communicate these 5 sounds, Legacy Spelling uses:

  • 8 graphemes (single letter)
  • 49 digraphs (2 letters)
  • 12 trigraphs (3 letters)
  • 4 quadgraphs (4 letters)
  • 8 split digraphs (ex: ae split as in cave)
  • 14 split trigraphs
  • 1 split quadgraph

That adds up to nearly one hundred different attempts to spell 5 sounds. Solar Spell returns strength and clarity to long vowels with a line over the letter (called macron— ancient greek for long). The short vowels are unadorned a, e, i, o, u and the long vowels are denoted with a macron: ā, ē, ī, ō, ū. Legacy-trained pattern recognizers may struggle here as pal / pāl both map to pal instead of pal and pail. Retraining through exposure is required for Legacy readers to “see” macrons.

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