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CXS changes

From:Tristan Mc Leay <conlang@...>
Date:Monday, November 8, 2004, 1:54
I'm back! (With a new email address---I got a domain name for my
birthday as part of my plot to take over the world; see my new webpage
at <>.) Have given maybe twenty minutes
total thought to conlanging, so no big news from that front. God this
has been a horrible semester. Five subjects (I'm doing a double degree).
Won't be doing that again...

Thankyou very muchly Yitzik for filling me in on the details.

My view is this:
In general, I don't like swapping things around, and I'm particularly
unhappy with two sounds so close as <j\> and <J\>. On the other hand,
<j\> and <J\> are a bit stupid as it stands... (CXS did move <&> from OE
to ae because we thought it made sense, but it was already a standard
part of CXS when I standardised it; and anyway, <}> or <{>, whichever it
was, left the scene so it wasn't a swap anyway...)

Now, codifying CXS was meant to provide a nice way for newbies to learn
what we meant and be understood, it wasn't meant to stop it evolving. Of
course, I realise now---and should've then---that
documenting something automatically makes it an unchangeable standard,
hence prescriptivist grammar. It would also be somewhat difficult to say
'Yeah, we have CXS, but we use it with the following changes'... that'd
sound silly. So I will accept changes to CXS.

However: For those people who care:

    - If there is an essentially unanamous decision to swap <J\> and
      <j\>, I will do it.
    - If however anyone provides a reasonable argument against it, I
      would prefer considerable use (by posts, not by people). I will
      ignore any arguments like 'I would prefer we changed <!> into
      <~>'; to me that means you don't care about the issue at hand (try
      and get others to your cause). Of course I've been offlist for a
      while so I don't know what the current situation is but when I get
      back to having a bit of time, I'll look into it...
    - If anyone can think of a replacement symbol for one of them, and
      then have <J\> and <j\> as synonyms, that's my preferred choice in
      my role as maintainer of CXS. This would probably be the same idea
      as how <t_s> and <ts)> are synonyms, but no-one ever uses <t_s>
      anymore and I might as well remove it from my chart now that <ts)>
      has been so successful. (Unless I've forgotten anyone?)

Email me, either onlist or privately at,
with your opinion if you have one. So far I assume that Jan, Yitzik and
Philip Newton are all in favor of the swap, and that J. 'Mach' Wust
isn't for it---but can I point out that although CXS is based on X-Sampa
which is based on the IPA, CXS is motivated more by
ease-of-use-and-memorisation, independent of the IPA. Does that affect
your objection, Mach?

My personal opinion is that the current situation is a bit shitty so I'm
probably biased towards changing them. On the other hand, I think I'm
getting conservative in my old age...

(BTW And, the reason CXS is so good isn't because I did a really good
job, it's because it's what we wanted to use---what we were
using---anyway. All I did was modify an image and told everyone about
it, started calling it CXS instead of X-Sampa-but-with-these-changes,
and refused to accept every change thrown at me.* I certainly had no
intention to snub anyone, I just wanted to stop calling something that
wasn't X-Sampa 'X-Sampa' and make it easier for newbies. And make myself
a little bit famous :)

My brief history of CXS as I recall it is: People here mostly used
X-Sampa, except with a few changes. I made the CXS chart with those
changes I could remember, and created the digraph <&\> to replace
X-Sampa <&>, usurped for the ae ligature. I forgot a couple of things
and was quickly reminded of them and added them to the image. The close
bracket-for-tiebar was suggested by Yitzik, didn't cause any major
upsets to the standard (an addition rather than a replacement), and was
well-received, so it got added to the image and very quickly became the
primary method. I think a couple of other things have been suggested but
I never added them and they didn't get major use...)

* If CXS is good, it's all of our fault. If CXS is bad, it's my fault
   for not accepting the changes sooner.



H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
Herman Miller <hmiller@...>