From: William J Poser (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Sep 12 2005 - 10:32:00 CDT
As almost certainly the only person on this list literate
in Carrier, let me interject a few points. First, if we're
talking about phonemes, Carrier has five, not four, items with
underlining: the fricatives /s/ and /z/, and the affricates
/ts/, /dz/, and /ts'/. The glottalized affricate is written
with underlining only under the <t> and the <s> parts.
Secondly, there is no community standard for Unicode
encoding of Carrier, or for that matter any other
kind of encoding, because the number of people who
write in Carrier using a computer is tiny and most
of those who do have no knowledge of encoding
issues. The only real basis for making a decision
other than what people think looks nicest would be
the appearance of the printed materials with which
people are familiar. Here the key fact is that the
original form of the underline is the underscore
available on typewriters in the 1960s. One of the
main desiderata for the Carrier Linguistic
Committee writing system was that it be easy
to type on ordinary typewriters. The bulk of the
written material with which Carrier people are
familiar was produced by the Carrier Linguistic
Committee from typewritten originals.
Finally, in the longer term the underlining is
really going to be used only in scholrly material.
The language itself is on the verge of extinction,
but even if by some miracle the language should
survive, the distinction between the lamino-dentals
(the ones with the underlining) and the apico-alveolars
has already been lost by all but the oldest speakers.
The SIL people agonized over marking this distinction
for thirty years, but when it came time finally
to print the New Testament, they left it unmarked
because they just couldn't get agreement on it.
-- Bill Poser, Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania http://www.ling.upenn.edu/~wjposer/ firstname.lastname@example.org
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