- Initial Teaching Alphabet
The Initial Teaching Alphabet (I.T.A.) was developed by Sir
James Pitman(the grandson of Sir Isaac Pitman, the inventor of a system of shorthand, who took up the issue of spelling reform with a variant typeface) as a tool for teaching children to read English. Although it was popular in the 1960s, it has fallen into disuse. It originally had 44 symbols, each of which is intended to represent a single sound.
There are two main uses of the concept: one that uses the distinct
typeface, whose characters are all minuscule, and one that attempts to use both minuscule and capital letters of the existing typewriterkeyboard or the basic ASCII character setto take the place of the distinct characters.
The special typeface does have some letters used as capitals. These are simply of the same form as the minuscules, only expanded in size so as to extend beyond
x-heightboth above the mean-lineand below the base-line.
The special typeface has ligatures in the form of digraphs for each of the
long vowels, and for "wh", "ng," "sh", and "ch". There are two distinct digraph ligatures for the voicedand unvoiced"th". There is a variant of the "r" to end syllables, which is essentially silent in received pronunciationbut with a special sound in General American, Scots English and some other British regional accents. Each of the letters has a name the pronunciation of which includes the sound that the character stands for. For example, there is a backwards "z" to replace the "s" where it is voiced. The name of this letter is " zess".
There was later a little-known modification of the character set Fact|date=October 2007 to accommodate local ways of pronouncing English, a form of "disambiguation". In the original set, a "hook a" or "two-storey a" was used for the sound in "cat", and a "round a" or "one-storey a" for the sound in "father". But Americans and Canadians generally do not pronounce the words "rather", "dance", and "half" with this latter sound, so a 45th character, the "half-hook a", was devised that could be taken either way by the appropriate linguistic community.
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1523708.stm BBC News story: Educashunal lunacie or wizdom?]
* [http://www.omniglot.com/writing/ita.htm Pitman Initial Teaching Alphabet (i.t.a.) page on Omniglot]
* [http://www.phonicsontheweb.com Phonics on the Web] — Phonics rules including letter sounds, digraphs, r-controlled vowels, and more.
* [http://www.edsanders.com/phonics/ Forgotten Phonics rules from the early 1800s. Organized in printable sections to use as "cheat sheets" when figuring out how to pronounce words. Includes individual letter rules, diphthongs, tripthongs, silent letter rules and substitute letter rules.]
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Initial Teaching Alphabet — a writing system based on an expanded English alphabet, consisting of 43 characters representing different phonemes of spoken English, used for teaching beginners to read. Abbr.: I.T.A., i.t.a. Also called augmented roman. * * * alphabet of 44… … Universalium
initial teaching alphabet — noun Etymology: so called because it is used only in the initial stages of teaching reading : a 44 symbol alphabet designed especially for children who are learning to read English * * * a writing system based on an expanded English alphabet,… … Useful english dictionary
initial — adj., n., & v. adj. of, existing, or occurring at the beginning (initial stage; initial expenses). n. 1 = initial letter. 2 (usu. in pl.) the first letter or letters of the words of a (esp. a person s) name or names. v.tr. (initialled,… … Useful english dictionary
alphabet — Synonyms and related words: IPA, ITA, Initial Teaching Alphabet, International Phonetic Alphabet, alphabetics, art, basics, beginning, blueprint, charactering, characterization, chart, choreography, commencement, conventional representation,… … Moby Thesaurus
alphabet — /al feuh bet , bit/, n. 1. the letters of a language in their customary order. 2. any system of characters or signs with which a language is written: the Greek alphabet. 3. any such system for representing the sounds of a language: the phonetic… … Universalium
initialteaching alphabet — initial teaching alphabet n. An alphabet with 44 symbols, each of which represents a single sound, that is used to teach beginning reading of English. * * * … Universalium
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