Phonetic orthographies

Michael Everson everson at
Sat Nov 11 11:15:34 CET 2006

At 12:08 -0800 2006-11-10, Randy Presuhn wrote:

>I don't know about the specific cases of Finnish & Estonian,
>but for the languages I've studied, it makes a big difference
>where the transcription lies on the range from broad phonemic
>to narrow phonetic transcriptions.  If the transcription is narrow
>enough to describe regional "accent" differences, chances are
>good that it will be quite far removed from the standard

The point is that the "difference" between ordinary Latin orthography 
and transcription in International Phonetic Alphabet is *not* a 
difference of script identity. It is a difference of character set. 
Ordinary orthography uses some more familiar

I don't know how to understand the problem people have with the IPA. 
I have a hypothesis, not intended to offend anyone. Some people who 
only learned 26-35 letters when they were children playing with their 
building blocks and refrigerator magnets and so on apparently have 
difficulty learning new letters when they encounter them later on. 
They look at a run of IPA or UPA or something and say "I can't read 
that" without really trying. But of course they can. Most of the 
letters are familiar. Some runs of text will look identical whether 
written in traditional orthography or in IPA orthography.

But unfamiliarity does not a separate script make.
Michael Everson *

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