Re: ITA Characters

From: Steven Brent (
Date: Sat Apr 15 2000 - 19:34:10 EDT

Michael Everson wrote:

>WG2 has not approved Shavian, and considering that it has hardly more
>utility than the Phaistos disk, I wonder if they will. At least in the
>short term.

>There are a number of phonetic notations of various kinds. Possibly they
>should be collected into a big bucket. As far as ITA is concerned, is there
>a requirement to exchange data in it? Are people doing this now? Are >there

Please help me - I'm new to this. I saw the following at the site:

"Shavian has been accepted by the UTC for encoding in Unicode using
surrogates (June 1997). It has not yet been considered by WG2."

What does it mean that UTC has accepted for encoding in Unicode, but it has
not been considered by WG2? What is the process here?

I am not aware of anyone exchanging data in ITA. There are number of
publications in ITA - all out of print - but probably never made
machine-readable. I successfully used ITA to teach my son to read when he
was 3 yrs old (4 years ago), and simply created a set of .GIF files for the
characters. I made some macros in Word to enter text.

But I am not aware of general use of ITA since the 60s or 70s after which it
fell into disuse.

I have not been able to find any postscript fonts for ITA, although I did
approach the creator of the LeedsBit PS accented font sets to see if he
intended to add ITA, but the answer was no.

I agree that Shavian - or a similar non-romanic script, though a nice
theoretical concept, will never come into common use as writer's script,
which was the original intention. ITA, on the other hand, has a pedagogic
value, but never purported to be a replacement of the traditional
orthography, merely a supplement for young or remedial learners.

I personally believe that it would also have considerable value to
non-native speakers learning English from written material who were not
familiar with IPA, and perhaps as a standard notation of pronunciation in
English dictionaries which would be less fine-grain and cryptic than IPA and
yet more precise than the various schemes used today in dictionaries.

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