Re: The Geejay

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Fri Jan 04 2008 - 18:13:11 CST

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    Dominikus Scherkl wrote:

    > > I presume that a systematic survey on dictionaries using other
    > > phonetic systems than IPA will "unearth" a lot of other symbols of
    > > this kind.
    > Yes, I would agree.
    > Wouldn't it a better idea to use the modern IPA charakters which
    > represent the described sounds, and use a specialized font in which
    > those IPA characters have the glyphs used to present the historic book?

    I disagree. That would be a misrepresentation of the content of
    the text. And in some cases -- particularly the earlier you go
    historically -- the very interpretation of the description of
    pronunciation symbols in terms of IPA will become problematical.
    Early usage of pronunciation and transliteration symbols tended
    to be very inexact and problematical -- not at all like the
    nature of more rigorous (particularly German ;-) ) usages of
    the 20th century.

    Doing what you suggest might be appropriate for a redacted,
    *interpreted* version of such text, but reinterpreting symbols
    in terms of IPA values *does* constitute an editorial interpretation
    of the text.

    > That has two advantages: the text keeps readable even if a different
    > font is used, while the original book can be presented as plain text
    > as close to the original as possible.

    It isn't as close to the original as possible that way -- and
    encoding text in ways where the identity of the characters
    depends on fonts chosen is precisely what we are developing
    Unicode to get away from.


    > The only problem would be if the modern IPA glyphs are also used in
    > the historic text by contrast, but that's very unlikely because than
    > the authors wouldn't have needed to invent such new glyphs.
    > Best regards,
    > --
    > Dominikus Scherkl

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