Re: 'lower case a' and 'script a' in unicode

From: John Hudson (
Date: Thu Mar 24 2005 - 22:02:53 CST

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    James Kass wrote:

    > General purpose multilingual typesetting includes IPA transcription.

    This whole thread is happening precisely because the needs of IPA transcription differ
    from conventions of general purpose typesetting. This is not surprising, since IPA
    attempts a precision of phonetic representation that is well beyond that of the normal
    alphabet of any Latin script language. One of the ways in which IPA does this is to assign
    a distinctive meaning to forms that in general purpose typography are considered purely
    stylistic variants of the same letter. As a result, IPA transcription requires fonts that
    do not follow typical typographic conventions in the distinction between roman and italic
    styles. In simple terms, an italic IPA font needs to be something akin to an obliqued
    version of the roman, rather than a distinct style of lettering. Ergo, general purpose
    multilingual typesetting cannot be said to include IPA transcription, which is a
    specialised technical kind of typesetting, not very different from e.g. mathematical
    typesetting in the way that it assigns distinct meaning to stylistic variants of letterforms.

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Vancouver, BC
    Currently reading:
    A century of philosophy, by Hans Georg Gadamer
    David Jones: artist and poet, ed. Paul Hills

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