Phonetic orthographies

Peter Constable petercon at
Thu Nov 23 00:37:53 CET 2006

> From: Kenneth Whistler [mailto:kenw at]

> Martin Hosken said, in reference to J.P. Harrington's orthography:

> John Peabody Harrington was ...

[snip -- lots of interesting info]

> > In contrast, something like "IPA transcription" or "Latin-based
> > phonetic transcriptions" are applicable across all languages,
> > and so can more-appropriately be considered for coding in ISO 15924.
> There's no "in contrast" about it. JPH's orthographic conventions
> were applicable and *applied* to dozens and dozens of languages
> of all types...

In which case, Martin's comments about a language-specific orthography -- or, at least, my interpretation of Martin's comments in that regard -- are not applicable.

I think my main points are still valid: 

- There may well be a need to tag orthography distinctions that are particular to specific languages, but IMO the fact that they are language-specific automatically disqualifies them from any possible coding in ISO 15924 (with or without some re-statement of its scope and purpose).

- A system for written notation of language that is not specific to one particular language is, IMO, a potential candidate for coding in ISO 15924 (with or without some re-statement of its scope and purpose). 

- And, more specifically (this is a bit of an amplification of what I had said in the earlier message), I don't think it is an unreasonable stretch of the scope and purpose of ISO 15924 to codify as a script variant "Latin-based phonetic transcriptions". 

I think you'd probably agree with the first point. 

The second point is vague enough that it's probably not worth debating, though I think you probably wouldn't object to that statement given its vagueness. 

The third is my particular variant of a proposal to code something in ISO 15924 -- I am not inclined in favour of coding specifically IPA (or Harrington's system) in ISO 15924. And clearly this is subject to debate. 

Peter Constable

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