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Re: sibilants

From:Tristan McLeay <conlang@...>
Date:Thursday, August 21, 2008, 0:24
David McCann wrote:
> On Tue, 2008-08-19 at 10:54 -0400, Mark J. Reed wrote: > >> On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 12:07 PM, David McCann <david@...> wrote: >>> I don't care about all this #!*$ CXS stuff, >> Oookay. I don't think the tone is necessary. CXS may seem >> superfluous to you, but it does have the advantage of being easy to >> type, even for those of us who rarely have cause to enter IPA symbols >> outside of email to this very list... > > My distaste for CXS and the like was not intended as a reflection in its > users (we're *nice* people on this list!); it just reflects my inability > to remember it and my utter bafflement as to why people are still using > it after a decade of Unicode and configurable keyboards.
Why are you baffled? People often use computers they don't have enough control over to alter the keyboard layout, either because they lack the skill, they lack the permission or they lack the time. Until such a time as it's a default feature (and keyboard layouts are freely changeable, even on restricted machines), people will still need to use CXS or other similar systems. Also, last I heard the Listserv here still has issues with UTF-8, so I always use CXS on this list for that reason.
>> Those extra symbols allow for greater precision when providing a >> phonetic transcription out of context, which, coincidentally, happens >> a lot with conlangs, where we're not just transliterating phonemic >> writing systems or presenting transcribed speech to someone familiar >> with the language. Obviously you can't have enough symbols to >> represent every possible articulation precisely, but where there are >> obvious distinctions to be made, creating obvious gaps in the IPA, it >> makes sense to fill those gaps. > > My point was that you only need such precision in an initial > description, and you can do it with diacritics added to familiar > symbols. The more symbols you have in general use, the more people will > grumble that it's a bother to type them and baffle me with Klingonese.
In an initial description, you're better off doing it with text and graphs. The diacritic will be largely meaningless without them anyway (what does [ð̟] mean? how retracted [or advanced, the symbol is too fuzzy with this font smoothing to make out --- and has an evil red "you're-an-idiot" mark under it to boot, and I just copied it from elsewhere]? relative to what standard?), hence the diacritic is superfluous if it's limited to that context. Obviously these same concerns apply to additional symbols (or the current ones); IPA is useful for phonemic and broad phonetic transcriptions, but if you're trying to anything more precise, symbols are necessarily too simplistic. -- Tristan.


Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>