Re: IPA Null Consonant

Date: Mon May 26 2003 - 09:42:54 EDT

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    I'm not sure what Andrew is wanting since IPA does not provide any
    prepresentation for "null consonants" -- a null has phonetic value
    (consonantal or otherwise) to be represented.

    On the other hand a null (slashed-zero or empty set) symbol is commonly
    used in linguistic notation, but in phonology, and in morphological
    analysis lines of interlinear text.

    Thomas M. Widmann wrote on 05/26/2003 06:01:39 AM:
    > Aronson, "Georgian", p. 44:
    > [...] Examples:
    > da=v-c̣er-∅-t we will write it დავწერთ
    > v-c̣er-∅-t we are writing it ვწერთ
    > a=∅-a-šen-eb you will build it ააშენებ
    > ∅-a-šen-eb you are building it აშენებ
    > [...]

    These are very likely indications of a phonologically-null morpheme --
    something that is often done when one item in a paradigm is phonologically
    unmarked (e.g. English singular as in "book" vs. "books").

    > Here we establish a correspondence set in initial position:
    > ∅/p/p
    > but in order to dertermine whether the proto-phoneme was *p or *∅
    > we must establish a further contrasting set [...]
    > Durand, "Generative and Non-Linear Phonology", p. 127:
    > [r]-insertion
    > ∅ → r / [ə, əː, iə, eə, oə, aː, oː] #₀ V

    These are other common uses, showing through diachronic change or
    synchronic derivation the development of a phone(me) where none existed
    before/in underlying representation.

    > > I agree the EMPTY SET symbol is the right character to use. It has
    > > the right semantics, and in most fonts it will look sufficiently
    > > different from the IPA vowel symbol O WITH STROKE.
    > The only alternative I can think of would be U+0030 DIGIT ZERO, but
    > that would look wrong in most fonts.

    EMPTY SET is probably the better choice for that reason.

    > If U+2205 EMPTY SET is indeed the right character, it might be an idea
    > to give it an extra name (LINGUISTIC NULL or LINGUISTIC ZERO), since
    > its meaning is of course not "empty set" but rather "empty element".

    An annotation about could be added, though I probably wouldn't suggest an
    alias: it isn't commonly known as "linguistic null" or "linguistic zero".
    If you want to see an annotation, you could make such a request to UTC.

    - Peter

    Peter Constable

    Non-Roman Script Initiative, SIL International
    7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Dallas, TX 75236, USA
    Tel: +1 972 708 7485

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