Suggestion: Tag or Sub- tag for Scientific names

Peter_Constable at Peter_Constable at
Mon Feb 3 12:28:28 CET 2003

On 02/03/2003 11:53:57 AM Martin Duerst wrote:

>A baseline English,... spell checker won't know how to handle that text.
>Same for many other very specific terms. But many spell checkers come
>with add-ons for specific vocabularies (e.g. legal, medical,

True, though it's not an unreasonable question to ask whether that's the
most sensible solution if we've got some set of terminology that is
pan-linguistic, e.g. spelled the same across languages.

Of course, as has been mentioned, there is also the issue of URIs, but
arguably they are another thing altogether: the scientific terms are
untranslatable but can be spell checked. URIs, on the other hand, are both
untranslatable and un-spellcheckable (let's hear it for productive English
morphology! :-) They may differ in relation to other processes as well. For
instance, in speech synthesis, there is probably some acceptable range of
pronunciations used by Russian biologists for some plant name (or perhaps
standard Latin pronunciations are acceptable to any audience) but the only
reasonable way to deal with URIs in speech synthesis is to spell the thing
out. URIs are truly non-linguistic (though they may contain sub-strings
that are interpretable linguistically), but scientific terms are linguistic
-- it's just that they have some interesting linguistic properties that
create some potential challenges for us.

- Peter

Peter Constable

Non-Roman Script Initiative, SIL International
7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Dallas, TX 75236, USA
Tel: +1 972 708 7485

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