Re: IPA and Unicode

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Wed Sep 16 1998 - 14:43:21 EDT

Ar 10:46 -0700 1998-09-16, scríobh Kenneth Whistler:

>Unicode allows for use of whatever characters are encoded in it,
>whether they be those for current IPA practice or for various
>traditional transcriptions. Numerous characters were added to
>the collection of regular Latin letters and IPA letters to
>try to cover Americanist, Africanist, or Sinologist traditions,
>for example. Some of these are still in current use, and others
>represent obsolete practice.

The number of obsolete "phonetic letterforms" is fairly large, depending on
what language the letters are used for. There is probably a good case for
adding an archaic phonetic character block -- maybe even in Plane 1 -- for
some of these. The "bucket" for this -- unlike the bucket for IPA or
Uralicist phonetics -- should be slowly and comprehensively assembled.

>My suggestion is that you work with the Unicode Technical Committee
>to develop a proposal for the addition of additional non-IPA
>phonetic symbols in current use (or obsolete, for that matter)
>for addition to the Unicode Standard.

I agree with Ken. I'd be interested to compare your obsolete characters
with some that I have been collecting.

Michael Everson, Everson Gunn Teoranta **
15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2; Éire/Ireland
Guthán: +353 1 478-2597 ** Facsa: +353 1 478-2597 (by arrangement)
27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn;  Baile an Bhóthair;  Co. Átha Cliath; Éire

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