Re: Greek characters in IPA usage

From: Asmus Freytag (
Date: Tue Aug 11 2009 - 16:11:36 CDT

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    On 8/11/2009 1:34 PM, John Cowan wrote:
    > Andreas Stötzner scripsit:
    >> – to seperately encode LATIN SMALL LETTER BETA and LATIN LETTER SMALL
    >> THETA which would font producers allow to get rid of the trouble and
    >> IPAists to have their will …
    > Nearly equivalently, add GREEK BETA + VS1 and GREEK THETA + VS1 to mean
    > the IPA glyph stylings. This has the advantage of backward compatibility,
    > provided fonts ignore VS1 they don't recognize, as should be done.
    I'm inclined to agree with John's thinking here. The encoding situation
    in this case has been stable since the inception of Unicode, so to make
    changes in terms of which *character* to use this late in the game is
    difficult. There's also the issue that the wrong shape is just that, a
    wrong shape, because there's no contrasting use of various glyph
    variants of these letters within IPA. In other words, if an unsuitable
    font is used, the IPA will look odd, but still be readable.

    This could be a case where the use of a variation selector is properly
    motivated - to allow selection of an alternate glyph without always
    requiring a complete alternate font, while at the same time remaining
    both backwards compatible as well as retaining the meaning of the text,
    even when there is an occasional fallback to the base glyph.


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