Re: gamma as a phonetic symbol

From: Jukka K. Korpela (
Date: Sat Sep 27 2008 - 12:32:00 CDT

  • Next message: Jim Allan: "Re: gamma as a phonetic symbol"

    Julian Bradfield wrote:

    > Can anybody shed light for me on why Unicode includes
    > in the IPA Extensions block, but does not include special IPA versions
    > of chi, phi, theta, which are no less typographically distinct from
    > their Greek counterparts?

    Looking at
    I would say that chi and theta are rather typical appearances of Greek
    letters. The phi is different, but to my eye, it's pretty normal _capital_
    phi. The "LATIN SMALL LETTER GAMMA" (voiced velar fricative), U+0263, is
    different from any rendering of the Greek letter gamma I've seen.

    These are of course a matter of judgment, but I would expect that most
    people familiar with Greek letters (as used in modern writing) would see the
    situation as the Unicode standard sees them: some IPA symbols are actually
    Greek letters used in a special meaning, whereas the symbol for the voiced
    velar fricative is of its own kind - perhaps somewhat _similar_ to the
    gamma, but it is not intuitively evident that it is even based on the gamma.

    Calling it LATIN SMALL LETTER GAMMA is perhaps the most artificial part of
    the solution. Well, maybe it is even more artificial that it has a mapping
    to uppercase. After all, it is in the IPA Extensions block, IPA usage is the
    only usage mentioned, and IPA is essentially caseless (though it includes
    characters that are lowercase or uppercase letters in usage outside the


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