RE: IPA Null Consonant

Date: Thu May 29 2003 - 14:40:45 EDT

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    Kent Karlsson wrote on 05/29/2003 07:19:01 AM:

    > The empty set symbol is a math symbol, not expected to ever occur
    > in a word-like context. Capital O with stroke, however, is a
    > letter, and can easily
    > and without any problems occur in a word-like context.

    Which is exactly why it would be a terrible choice to indicate null in
    phonetic transcription (and why linguists would not use that unless they
    had absolutely no other choice short of putting 300 instances into a
    manuscript by hand).

    > IPA and other phonetic writings are AFAIK always lowercase

    Utterly wrong. Uppercase vowel symbols (**including **) have been used in
    Americanist phonetics to indicate voiceless vocoids; some uppercase
    consoant symbols (e.g. L, M, N, R) are used for voiceless counterparts to
    normally-voiced contoids. IPA uses several small caps (B, G, H, I, L, N, ?,
    R, Y); Uralic phonetics uses several more. Full caps have often been used
    as typographic approximations for small caps. Capitals C and V are
    regularly used to denote generic consonant and vowel. Pullum & Ladusaw
    mention use by some of D, H, P, S.

    >; so the
    > uppercase form can be used in another meaning in those contexts.

    Sorry, no go.

    Please abandon any suggestion of using U+00D8 to indicate null categories
    in linguistic transcriptions.

    - 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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