From: Jukka K. Korpela (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Jun 08 2011 - 15:03:42 CDT
8.6.2011 14:21, Otto Stolz wrote:
> • Many IPA symbols are unified with small Latin, or Greek, letters
That’s somewhat odd because it makes IPA symbols belong to different
scripts. But that’s basically just odd, not problematic.
> e. g., the IPA Open Front Unrounded Vowel, and the Latin Small
> Letter A are unified as *U+0061*. As the Latin Small Letter A
> covers a wide range of glyph designs, including some like the
> IPA Open *Back* Unrounded Vowel (e. g. in the Comic Sans MS font),
> you may get the wrong glyph (belonging to some other character!)
> if you display IPA data in a font not designed for IPA.
I wouldn’t go that far. There are large fonts that cover IPA without
being particularly designed “for IPA.” And while some fonts indeed are
unsuitable for presenting IPA, partly due to the shape of “a,” there are
many fonts that are unsuitable for presenting many types of text. The
glyph for “a” in Comic Sans is as such no more wrong than Comic Sans in
general; but it implies that Comic Sans is unsuitable for IPA. This is
evident for an even more obvious reason: Comic Sans lacks IPA extensions.
Using IPA, you should consistently use one font for all IPA text, if at
all possible. Otherwise there is a risk of gross stylistic mismatch and
even misunderstandings, as the IPA symbols are rather special.
>If IPA characters cannot be dis-unified from
> Latin, and Greek, characters, eventually the text-processing, and
> the rendering, software should solve the problem via language data,
> as outlined above; i. e., IPA should be handled as a ‘language’,
> in its own right.
That would be an odd move, for any normal meaning of “language.” There
is already a lot of confusion around that word; let’s not add to it. IPA
text is a presentation of a human language and specifically designed for
presenting _any_ language, or at least a very wide range of languages.
English written in IPA is still English, German written in IPA is still
German, and a piece of multilingual IPA text still contains words in
different languages. It is a special writing system, or orthography. It
would be a category error in principle and greatly confusing in practice
to call it a language.
IPA is no more a language than the Latin alphabet is a language.
(Actually less, since the original version of the Latin alphabet was
developed for writing a particular language; IPA wasn’t.)
Whatever you mean by handling IPA as a “language,” please find another
word for the concept.
-- Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
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