Re: Greek characters in IPA usage

From: Andreas Sttzner (
Date: Mon Aug 17 2009 - 15:30:06 CDT

  • Next message: Asmus Freytag: "Re: Confusion about weak and strong disunification"

    I found the elaborate contributions from Asmus Freytag, Michael Everson
    and Julian Bradfield most valuable. I wished the phoneticians and
    IPAists would take notice of the amount of trouble we embark on here to
    do *their* business …

    Though I’m not in the position to eventually summarize all that I have
    an impression (also from contributions by others!), that the scale
    leans towards some good reasoning for disunification and hence separate
    encoding of phonetic β, θ and χ. Which does not mean that reasoning in
    another direction would not have its own merits, certainly.

    For me the core question remains: how do deal decently with a
    borderline case under practical preconditions. And practice is it what
    we’re talking about – after all.
    Yes, disunification is the standard nightmare for the “plain text geek”
    … But.

     From the typographers point of view there are two possible options:
    either Greek and Latin are harmonized in a given font so as to make a
    mixture of glyphs from both parts seeming smoothly fitting within
    IPA-text, or Greek and Latin are rendered in a more distinct way of
    graphical glyph structuring so that a mixture would prove to be rather
    disturbing for the phonetic scholar. – This is NOT the place to jugde
    between the two. Just to recognise that those two ways are legitimate
    and present in practice. Follows that encoding decisions ought to make
    proper choices viable in either cases.

    Last but not least, this is not a question of typographic *geekness*.
    It’s a systemic issue: are phonetic β, θ and χ the same characters as
    the Greek β, θ and χ?
    I think, beyond glyph shaping details, it all comes down to this simple



    Andreas Stötzner Signographie
    Signographisches Institut Andreas Stötzner i.A. (Pegau/Sa.) Tel. +49-34296-74849 Fax +49-34296-74815
    Willkommen auf

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