Re: Greek characters in IPA usage

From: verdy_p (
Date: Wed Aug 12 2009 - 11:08:53 CDT

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    "Asmus Freytag" wrote:
    > 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.

    I completely agree here. A variation selector can fit the demand for those that really want a IPA style for these
    letters, something that is still not absolutely necessary for avoiding ambiguities and make the notation really
    awafull to read, if Greek typesetting is ever used for these IPA symbols.

    On the opposite, the precedent for the IPA-specific g symbol (single-eyed rather than double-eyed in some Latin
    typographic styles) is interesting:

    Encoding it was not really moticated by constrasting uses in IPA of these symbols. And a variation selector could
    have been used as well for the IPA purists (at the same time, most users of IPA absolutely don't care about these
    variants and properly read and process IPA notations typesetted with a standard Latin small g letter, instead of the
    IPA symbol, which is not used elsewhere with a contrasting use).

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