canIPA worth being encoded? [was: Re: super- and subscripted characters]

From: Charlie Ruland ☘ (
Date: Sun Mar 21 2010 - 17:25:42 CST

  • Next message: Andr Szabolcs Szelp: "Re: super- and subscripted characters"

    — — — Jukka K. Korpela wrote: — — —
    > André Szabolcs Szelp wrote:
    >>> There is a superscripted x, namely U+02E3, MODIFIER SMALL LETTER
    >>> SMALL X, “ˣ”. I don’t know why it has been included and what it is
    >>> used for, but I would guess it is used in some phonetic notations,
    >>> or maybe in the writing system(s) of some small language(s).
    >> Jukka, you should know! ;-)
    > Right, I should have remembed this notation, even though I don’t see
    > it often
    >> It's used recently in _Finnish_ phonemic notation (earlier people used
    >> the apostrophe) to mark the silent phoneme which only appears as
    >> sandhi gemination of the following initial consonant at the end of
    >> words (mostly ending [orthographically] in -e, so phonemically in
    >> [-eˣ]. (Historically -ˣ < -ʔ < -k).
    > Well, it’s not a phoneme, it’s normally not silent, the word
    > orthographically ends more often with some other vowel than -e, it has
    > several origins (though -k is probably most common), and there is
    > hardly a reason to postulate an intermediate phase of “-ʔ”, but most
    > descriptions of the phenomenon are equally or more incorrect. But this
    > is off-topic in the list, so I’ll just mention my treatise on the
    > topic:

    The Venetian phonetician Luciano Canepari calls a similar phenomenon in
    standard Italian ‘co-gemination’, for which see chapter 3.3.2 (pp.
    138ff.) of this document:

    Professor Canepari uses —and this is more topical in this mail list— a
    much expanded system of phonetic notation, with 52 basic vocoid symbols
    (see fig. 8.3., p. 115, of ) and several hundred
    contoid symbols (see fig. 10.1., pp. 166ff., of et passim, as
    well as a minor expansion in ), let alone
    other symbols (the most frequent of which are listed in fig. 1.35., p.
    38f., of ).

    He calls his approach ‘Natural Phonetics’ and this style of notation
    ‘canIPA’. It seems that he and his students/alumni/followers have
    published a number of books and other printed matter using canIPA, which
    might therefore be sufficiently widespread to warrant encoding in Unicode.

    You can visit Professor Canepari’s home page at .

    >> e.g.
    >> o.: vaatekauppa, pht.: [vaatekkauppa], phm.: /vaateˣ + kauppa/
    > The phonetic notation is probably sufficient for the illustrative
    > purpose, but in IPA notation, it would rather be [ˈʋɑːtekˌkɑuppɑ].
    > Anyway, “ˣ” can indeed be regarded as a modifier letter here even in
    > the concrete sense that an intuitive reading of the words “modifier
    > letter” suggests. It does not modify the preceding letter, as
    > modifiers often do, but it indicates a modification (gemination) of
    > the pronunciation of the _following_ letter.

    孔曰 書不盡言 言不盡意
    Confucius said:
    Writing cannot express all words,
    words cannot encompass all ideas.

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