Re: Why incomplete subscript/superscript alphabet ?

From: Julian Bradfield <>
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2016 22:01:56 +0100 (BST)

On 2016-10-10, Hans Åberg <> wrote:
>> On 10 Oct 2016, at 22:15, Julian Bradfield <> wrote:
>> What do you mean? The IPA in narrow transcription is intended to
>> provide as detailed a description as a human mind can manage of
>> sounds. It doesn't care whether you're describing differences between
>> languages or differences within languages (a distinction that is not
>> in any case well defined).
> It is designed for phonemic transcriptions, cf.,

It *was* designed, in 1870-something. Try reading the Handbook of the
IPA. It contains many samples of languages transcribed both in a broad
phonemic transcription appropriate for the language, and in a narrow
phonetic transcription which should allow a competent phonetician to
produce an understandable and reasonably accurate rendition of the
passage. Indeed, a couple of decades ago, I participated in a public
engagement event in which a few of us attempted to do exactly that.

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Received on Mon Oct 10 2016 - 16:02:12 CDT

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