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Subject: Consistency-checking manual transcriptions
Question: For languages with no writing system or no very standardized
writing system, are there any tools that support consistency-
checking of manually created transcriptions? For example, I
was reading a text in a grammar for an endangered language,
and the writer had glossed and translated both uwE and iwE as
''2SG/you''; and I wasn't sure if that was intentional or a typo
(iwE was much more frequent in the text than uwE).

If not, how do linguists working with languages without
standardized orthographies achieve transcription consistency,
for approximately phonemic transcriptions?


Reply: This is part of a broader question, the question of orthography development. An orthography is as much a social phenomenon as linguistic. That is, it must conform to the local cultures concept of what writing is like. So writing systems for languages in Spanish speaking countries will use letters for sounds as Spanish does. Thus the value of <j> in an indigenous Mexican language will be phonetically [h], while in an indigenous language in the US it would be more like the <j> in "job." Once rules of orthography have been agreed upon by the indigenous people and the developers, then it's not too hard to spellcheck texts.


Reply From: Herbert Frederic Stahlke      click here to access email
Date: 29-Aug-2012
Other Replies:
  1. Re: Consistency-checking manual transcriptions    Nancy J. Frishberg     (29-Aug-2012)
  2. Re: Consistency-checking manual transcriptions    James L Fidelholtz     (29-Aug-2012)
  3. Re: Consistency-checking manual transcriptions    Madalena Cruz-Ferreira     (29-Aug-2012)

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