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En réponse à David Peterson <[log in to unmask]>:

>     You know, we're all trying to write to each other with things that
> sort
> of represent different versions of the IPA, and it's really confusing
> (at
> least to me).  I have a solution (that is, if everyone is writing from
> either
> a Mac or IBM clone).  There's this website:
>
>                             <http://user.dtcc.edu/~berlin/fonts.html>
>
> It's called Dr. Berlin's Foreign Font archive.  Aside from having every
> script known to man (except Klingon), it has IPA fonts.  There are two.
> The
> first package (the SIL package) has three fonts which have easy access
> to all
> the symbols.  It's the best IPA font there is.  But, the other package,
> which
> has one font (Kansas University Linguistics IPA; it'll show up as
> Kuldipa) is
> fantastic in another way.  In it, you can write all the Roman characters
> (upper and lower case, numbers and punctuation), AND all the IPA
> symbols.
> The only drawback is that the IPA symbols are in weird, out of the way
> places.  Nevertheless, if you're willing to learn how to use it (you can
> even
> make a little chart as to how to make what characters; I did myself), I
> think
> it could greatly improve our communication if we all wrote in that font.
>     If you go to the website and download the font, it will be in
> Windows
> format.  If you're a Mac user (like me), they have a font converter
> program
> called "TTF Converter", I believe, and all you have to do is drag the
> font
> over the icon and it will change any Windows font into a Mac, suitcased
> font.
>  It's wonderful.  Anyway, this is my idea, and I think it would really
> benefit us all if we at least tried it.
>
> -Jenesis
>

There is more than one drawback with this proposition. First, many of us around
receive e-mail in 7-bit ASCII, which means that they receive correctly only the
first 128 characters of the ASCII chart. Second, even among the people (like me)
who can receive 8-bit ASCII, there are so many different e-mail programs and
such which make so many different things with the 127 remaining characters that
8-bit ASCII posts can be completely mangled and unreadable (depending on whether
I read my e-mail on a Mac or a Windows computer, I often get different things,
and depending on the sender it is not always the same computer which mangles
things). Third, I don't know about you but I cannot read e-mails using multiple
fonts. One post has to use only one font or I just cannot read it. Fourth, there
are people (like me) who don't own a computer (sorry, I'm much too poor for
that) and thus use shared computers to read their e-mails, computers on which
they cannot download any font because it's forbidden by the administrator
(that's my case at least).

For all these reasons resorting to other fonts is not a good idea, as we can't
all have access to it. So until Unicode is present everywhere, even in e-mail,
we have to stick to the ASCII, and write IPA with what is called a system of
IPA-ASCII transcription. There are already people who have thought of this
problem and made different transcription systems (see
http://www.cs.brown.edu/~dpb/ascii-ipa.html for a review of the most common
schemes) and on the list we commonly use the SAMPA system (or a variation of it,
for instance changing /}/ to /&/ to represent the IPA ae-ligature) or more
rarely the Kirshenbaum system (they are pretty similar anyway). You can see them
on the URL I gave you and thus won't be left behind when we transcribe IPA into
ASCII. You'll see, when I arrived on this list I knew nothing about the
transcription systems and was as lost as you, but it's easy to learn, if you
already know the IPA of course.

> P.S.: I decided to do a quick rundown of my first language (the one I've
> been
> working on since last November), and, by doing some estimating (my
> dictionary
> has entries by triconsonantal root, so I counted up the roots, estimated
> 5-7
> lexemes per root), my first language (called Megdevi) has 3,855 words
> (low
> end) to 5,335 words (high end).  The document itself on my computer is
> about
> 110 pages long.  And I used the Kansas University font for the whole
> thing
> <plug>
>

Wow! I wish one of my languages had such a dictionary! Unfortunately, growing
lexicons is very boring to me and usually my langs end up as a full-fledged
grammar with a poor 200-words lexicon :( . Moten which is most developped has
only 600 entries in its dictionary (which thanks to its versatility corresponds
to approximately 1500 different meanings).

Christophe.

http://rainbow.conlang.free.fr