Re: Transcriptions of "Unicode"

Date: Fri Jan 12 2001 - 10:52:11 EST

On 01/12/2001 05:11:49 AM Marco Cimarosti wrote:

>I don't fully agree with Mark Davis' API transcription of "Unicode":

>1) I think that IPA transcriptions should be in [square brackets], while
>phonemic transcriptions should be in /slashes/. If neither enclosing is
>present, the transcription is ambiguous.

Indeed, Marco is right. Question, though: did Mark intend a phonetic or
phonemic transcription.

>2) AFAIK, the phoneme [o:] (a long version of "o" in "got") does not exist
>in any standard pronunciation of contemporary English. It should rather be
>the diphthong [ou] (where the [u] would probably better be U+028A).

According to the IPA Handbook, some alternative conventions are allowed and
can still be considered IPA. One allowed convention is to suppress details
in voice quality and to indicate length only, as Mark did. IPA is
supposedly phonemically based, which this reflects. In the circles I'm
familiar with, though, linguists distinguish phonemic and phonetic
representations, though, and while phonemic transcriptions are most oftenly
used, something that is called a phonetic transcription would add the kind
of detail Marco expected. I'd add to what he said that the velar stop is

All this to say that Mark's transcription is valid given certain
assumptions. A closer phonetic transcription looks a lot more interesting,
though. I'd add the square brackets, an off-glide on the "o", and
aspiration (02b0) after the "k".

>3) The transcription shows the primary stress on the first syllable, and a
>secondary stress on the last one. In the few occasions when I heard native
>English speakers saying "Unicode", I had the impression that it rather was
>the other way round.

No, this time, Mark got it right.

One other point:

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