----- Original Message -----
From: "John Cowan" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, October 22, 2000 9:50 PM
Subject: Re: IPA (Was: Re: Hello, I'm new too)

> On Sat, 21 Oct 2000, Yoon Ha Lee wrote:
> > IPA claims that Korean "r" in certain contexts is /l/
> > but I hear two different l-like sounds in two different contexts.  Even
> > if they're allophones they sound different, darnit.  I really must ask
> > mom about it this winter.
> Remember that IPA is not meant to represent every *possible* distinction,
> but only every *necessary* distinction in existent languages.  For
> [j] represents both the approximant of English "yes" and the fricative
> of (some kinds of) Spanish "yo", because no known language makes a
> distinction between these sounds.  If one were found, a new symbol would
> be introduced into IPA.

That isn't very helpful on conglangers trying to use some slightly unusal
phonemes. What if, say, Esperanto decided it wanted to use it - would they
change IPA? :)

> --
> John Cowan                                   [log in to unmask]
> One art/there is/no less/no more/All things/to do/with sparks/galore
>         --Douglas Hofstadter

Do You Yahoo!?
Get your free address at