Re: Character Identity and Font Selection

From: Bill Poser <>
Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2011 10:38:09 -0700

>A final issue is that linguists are notorious for inventing new
transcription symbols informally.

I don't think that this is true. Even some decades ago when there was much
less standardization, linguists still had a strong tendency to stick to
existing symbols because they were easier to type and to set in type. That's
why so many of the IPA symbols come from the Greek alphabet or from variants
of the Roman alphabet. The greatest exception to this that I can think of
are the symbols for the clicks, but these have been around for quite a while
now. What is true is that linguists have often assigned non-standard
phonetic values to existing symbols, which is a problem for linguists but
not so much for typographers and printers.

Furthermore, my admittedly subjective impression is that there is now, in
comparison to say 30 years ago, a considerably greater tendency to conform
to the IPA when not using practical orthography, due in part to the wide
availability of IPA fonts, the increased interested in cross-linguistic
studies, and the expansion of the coverage of the IPA.
Received on Fri Jun 10 2011 - 12:40:13 CDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Fri Jun 10 2011 - 12:40:14 CDT