Re: Greek characters in IPA usage

From: Mark E. Shoulson (
Date: Tue Aug 18 2009 - 16:00:21 CDT

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    Christoph Päper wrote:

    > Roozbeh Pournader:
    >> On Tue, 2009-08-18 at 10:51 +0100, Julian Bradfield wrote:
    >>> Is it really the case that Arabic and Hindi speakers *can't read*
    >>> unshaped script?
    >> Yes. Most of them can't. Disjoint Arabic script is very hard to read
    >> by the average person (...). It's *not* comparable to, say, reading
    >> Latin in ALL CAPS.
    > I won’t disagree that people who have Arabic as a first script are not
    > used to and would rather not read it segmentally[1], but I don’t
    > believe they’re unable to read it. Do you know studies to back up this
    > claim or is it just your experience?
    > The situation may be different for Brahmi-derived Indic scripts.
    I would think things would be at least a little different with
    Devanagari (the only Brahmi-derived script I can read). After all, in
    theory, a letter with a visible virama after it would be read as
    vowelless, and a string of virama'd consonants could conceivably
    substitute for a conjunct consonant (indeed, that's how Unicode encodes
    conjuncts). I've seen some weaker rendering systems use this
    (presumably because that's what the characters are). I would think this
    would be a pain to read, but I would guess not quite as arduous as
    reading Arabic not joined up and shaped.

    See also: and related
    fonts by the same manufacturer. The plan here is to devise an Arabic
    font that remains legible (with only some retraining) with no shaping,
    and in this particular case with reversal to LTR ordering.


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