Why incomplete subscript/superscript alphabet ?

Doug Ewell doug at ewellic.org
Mon Oct 10 16:39:33 CDT 2016

Hans Åberg wrote:

>>>> What do you mean? The IPA in narrow transcription is intended to
>>>> provide as detailed a description as a human mind can manage of
>>>> sounds.
>>> It is designed for phonemic transcriptions, cf.,
>>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_International_Phonetic_Alphabet
>> It *was* designed, in 1870-something. Try reading the Handbook of the
>> IPA. It contains many samples of languages transcribed both in a
>> broad phonemic transcription appropriate for the language, and in a
>> narrow phonetic transcription which should allow a competent
>> phonetician to produce an understandable and reasonably accurate
>> rendition of the passage.
> But the alveolar clicks requires an extension.

You've found ONE instance of non-distorted speech where IPA does not
distinguish between two allophones. That is very different from saying
that IPA is unsuitable for phonetic transcription.
Doug Ewell | Thornton, CO, US | ewellic.org

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