Why incomplete subscript/superscript alphabet ?

Hans Åberg haberg-1 at telia.com
Mon Oct 10 11:04:36 CDT 2016

> On 10 Oct 2016, at 15:24, Julian Bradfield <jcb+unicode at inf.ed.ac.uk> wrote:
> On 2016-10-10, Hans Åberg <haberg-1 at telia.com> wrote:
>> I think that IPA might be designed for broad phonetic transcriptions
>> [1], with a requirement to distinguish phonemes within each given
>> language. For example, the English /l/ is thicker than the Swedish,
>> but in IPA, there is only one symbol, as there is no phonemic
>> distinction with each language. The alveolar click /!/ may be
>> pronounced with or without the tongue hitting the floor of the
>> mouth, but as there is not phonemic distinction within any given
>> language, there is only one symbol [2]. 
> But the IPA has many diacritics exactly for this purpose.
> The velarized English coda /l/ is usually described as [l̴]
> with U+0334 COMBINING TILDE OVERLAY, or can be notated [lˠ]
> The alveolar click with percussive flap hasn't made it into the
> standard IPA, but in ExtIPA it's [ǃ¡] (preferably kerned together).

There is ‼ DOUBLE EXCLAMATION MARK U+203C which perhaps might be used.

>> Thus, linguists wanting to describe pronunciation in more detail are left at improvising notation. The situation is thus more like that of mathematics, where notation is somewhat in flux.
> There is improvisation when you're studying something new, of course,
> but there's a lot of standardization.

The preceding discussion was dealing additions to Unicode one-by-one—the question is what might be added so that linguists do not feel restrained.

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