Re: Greek characters in IPA usage

From: Martin J. Dürst (
Date: Tue Aug 25 2009 - 22:22:38 CDT

  • Next message: Martin J. Dürst: "Re: Greek characters in IPA usage"

    I'm really not sure variant selectors are the right thing to use.
    The typical case for variant selectors is CJK, and specifically not
    distinctions between Chinese/Japanese/Korean typographic conventions and
    preferences, but specific individual variants insides these conventions,
    for names and such.

    It would be completely crazy to annotate e.g. every kanji in a Japanese
    text with a variant selector to make sure it is rendered in the right
    typographic convention.

    Variant selectors are only appropriate for very specific cases, such as
    the Sumo wrestler who added a dot to one of the characters in his names
    when being promoted to the highest rank (that character these days
    usually written without said dot, but traditionally and in some fonts
    also with said dot).

    Likewise, I think it wouldn't be a good idea to annotate every beta,...
    in an IPA text. It's much better to convey the information "this is IPA"
    for the overall text (even if that may be just a word or two). This can
    be done by explicit font selection, or by using language tagging with
    the -fonipa variant subtag (e.g. in HTML).

    Regards, Martin.

    On 2009/08/18 13:16, Doug Ewell wrote:
    > Asmus Freytag <asmusf at ix dot netcom dot com> wrote:
    >> Your simple question needs to be restated:
    >> What is more appropriate:
    >> a) continue as before
    >> b) a disruptive continuity
    >> c) a less disruptive encoding that embodies a clean fallback
    >> My vote is for "c" (realized via VS). In my take, the "latinization"
    >> of these characters in the IPA context is primarily a typographical
    >> issue. There's little else that distinguishes them from ordinary
    >> alphabetical characters that are simply part of a special notation.
    >> They are not used in contrast with other shapes of the same letters.
    >> Using a VS allows that to be expressed, retains compatible support for
    >> all tools, and users who coninue in the old ways are "punished" by
    >> poor typography rather than by failed searches.
    > I've come to agree with Asmus on this, though I'm not sure it's for
    > exactly the same reason.
    > A VS that means, essentially, "render this Greek letter using Latin
    > typographical norms" will be needed and used by almost nobody, which
    > means existing IPA content (without the VS) will continue to be valid
    > and rendered acceptably, even by VS-ignorant engines. But the "good
    > typography" solution will at least be available for those who care.
    > --
    > Doug Ewell * Thornton, Colorado, USA * RFC 4645 * UTN #14
    > ˆ

    #-# Martin J. Dürst, Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University

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