From: Peter Constable (email@example.com)
Date: Fri Aug 14 2009 - 10:09:36 CDT
I'd venture a guess that most linguists aren't too concerned about the exact shape of the beta and theta for daily work, but are concerned only when publishing. (And, in many cases, it won't be the linguist themself but rather the journal editor who cares.)
When typesetting for print publication, one selects fonts to suit the specific requirements of the publication. Perhaps Greek-speaking linguists have problems. I don't know how many linguistic papers are written and published in Greek. I also don't know what Greek IPAists expect in their publications: Do they really want the minor inconsistencies that arise from the differences for beta and theta, or do they expect typographic consistency?
Publishing on the Web may be more challenging given the current widely-utilized model for Web typography in which only a small number of fonts are commonly used. But a lot of those fonts don't fully support IPA, so perhaps they are not commonly used for publishing linguistics papers. (I'll bet a lot of PDF is used rather than HTML.)
I would think that, at some point, the CSS working group within W3C will want to embrace OpenType. And in OpenType there are a few different ways these glyph variants could be accommodated. But until then, Unicode variation sequences are a possible alternative - if there truly is a need.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Andreas Stötzner
Sent: Thursday, August 13, 2009 5:31 AM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; MUFI-fonts
Subject: Re: Greek characters in IPA usage
Am 13.08.2009 um 12:16 schrieb Asmus Freytag:
Yes, but Greek and IPA-Phonetic may well happen to appear side-by-side in one text in which case a demand of rendering the difference of Greek and Latin beta would surely have some merits. What would you do then?
It's not a question of whether there's merit in being able to display the beta using different glyphs for IPA and regular text. Let's all agree that this is useful. What I meant to point out (and others have confirmed) is that IPA users would view a display using the other shape as
a glyph issue, not a character issue.
In practice and business it doesn't matter what you call it. The current situation blocks fontists and scholars to get on with each other. Nobody cares wether this is a glyph or a char. issue. It IS an issue which should get solved anyway.
There *are two beta glyphs* already in the standard (03B2, 03D0). And the latter has been included although it's exactly the same borderline case.
Not really. I know that for the theta, where there are two glyphs, those two shapes mean something different in physics. Substituting one for the other in a physics paper or text book is not merely a glyph issue, but has become a character distinction (even though it's not a character distinction for ordinary Greek text). I believe the case for the beta is equivalent, so there are contexts where the two shapes really mean something different and thus it's a character issue.
In other words, if an unsuitable font is used,
The font must not be blamed for what is going wrong between standardisation and user requirements.
the IPA will look odd, but still be readable.
It's not been a design point for the standard to support "single font" display of IPA intermixed with regular text. The idea was that the IPA would use a font suitable for IPA (i.e. using all the shapes as best for IPA) while all the text portions would use a font that had the other shapes (and therefore is unsuitable for IPA).
I don't see any point in this kind of secessionism. Why parting IPA text from the rest of the world? One major benefit of 16-bit encoding and Unicode is that you *can* do multiscriptive text with one font. This what publishing practice demands and what font providers want to serve. Even if IPAists fail to recognize it as their very own business.
Remark: Andron Mega has been used for the German edition of a linguistic handbook (ed. Odd Einar Haugen). It contains Latin, Greek, IPA, Runic and Ogham in mixed composing. The font replaced 15 different fonts which have been neccessary for the original edition. This I say not for sake of self-promotion, many colleagues do similar work.
Even if your request gets accepted, you can still have fonts that are "unsuitable for IPA", which includes any and all fonts that don't contain these special glyph shapes (whether accessed via variation selector or not).
It's actual not me who makes the request. In my fonts Latin and Greek and IPA harmonize perfectly, but in other quality fonts which are designed according to other principles that match can not be perceived.
I was confronted with IPA-related criticism about some glyphs in my fonts (which is of best glyphics you can imagine). Also Peter Baker encountered that debate, more than once.
No, this is not a text data storage problem but a matter of encoding-based text rendering for the human eye (also referred to as "typography").
If it's not an encoding problem, then be satisfied using rich text, and separate fonts for IPA and text.
Sorry, IPA *is* text, as other text is text. To seperate it is simply an unlogical and wrong approach. And not everybody is in the position to handle rich text functionality.
But, clearly, what you are asking for is a way to remove the limitation that requires rich text to fully support mixed IPA and standard text. I'm prepared to accept your evidence that font designers are getting presssure to provide single-font solutions (in other words plain text).
As I said, Peter Baker just recently reported a request to place extra beta and theta in the PUA. I was told "these glyphs in your font are not satisfying" which is absurd yet embarrassing enough. Extensive discussion took place at Typophile ( http://typophile.com/node/58725 ).
I think it was Peter Farago who proposed to think about encoding beta and theta seperately.
Adding a new character code for the shape is a non-starter. It would make all existing IPA either invalid or ambiguous. Not something you can do 20 years after the first draft of the standard that contained both Greek and IPA.
Your reasoning is orthodox (as always ;-) but won't convince a hard-minded IPAist, I believe.
In the IPA block there are Latinized doubles for Greek alpha, epsilon, gamma, iota, closed omega, phi and upsilon; that makes *a third* of the entire alphabet (!). Now comes the phoneticist and asks for another two of it. On grounds of what argument do you think to win him over that his request is not justified -?
Andreas Stötzner Signographie
Signographisches Institut Andreas Stötzner i.A. (Pegau/Sa.)
email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> Tel. +49-34296-74849 Fax +49-34296-74815
Willkommen auf www.signographie.de<http://www.signographie.de>
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Aug 14 2009 - 10:13:32 CDT