Re: Hooks and Curls and Bars, oh my (was: New contribution)

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Fri May 07 2004 - 07:01:17 CDT

From: "Ernest Cline" <>
> (Besides, I think unifying the phonetic
> symbols with Latin was a mistake done solely to ease the transition
> from legacy encodings.)

But the phonetics notation allowed by IPA is still useful to represent languages
that still don't have a defined orthography. When time elapses, and litteracy
levels in that language progresses, such phonetic notations will tend to be
borrowed as a standard way to write that language, and then extended to include
other Latin script features such as letter cases.

Some time in the future, I bet that most IPA symbols will evolve into plain
Latin cased letter pairs, if they are kept in the orthograph.

Nobody knows how a newly written language will evolve: historically, the
difficulty to use some complex combinations promoted the use of digraphs, but
when Unicode and font technologies allow supporting more characters, it seems
less urgent now to adopt digraph if it is just simpler to keep the phonetic
distinctions within the adopted orthography, avoiding initially the many
spelling ambiguities that exist in English or French and result from a long
history of fast evolution of spoken languages but with very slowly evolving

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