RE: Measuring a writing system "economy"/"accuracy"

From: Peter Constable (
Date: Wed Jun 29 2005 - 10:35:02 CDT

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    > From: []
    > Behalf Of David Starner

    > The IPA records the exact sounds, not the underlying forms.

    A minor quibble: David states a common misconception here. The IPA
    notation *can* be used for "close phonetic" transcription, which
    attempts to distinguish fine details in pronunciation -- i.e. record the
    exact sounds. The principles applied by the Internation Phonetic
    Association, however, are phonemic: the primary intent of the IP Assoc'n
    for the IP Alphabet was to have a notation for representing the phonemes
    of any given language using a notation that was language-independent in
    order to facilitate language teaching. (See the Handbook of the IPA,
    1999, for further details.)

    Peter Constable

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