LINGUIST List 2.569

Fri 27 Sep 1991

Disc: Fonts and IPA

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  1. Circle Noetic Svc, A Nizhnikov,PAS, Macs and IPA
  2. Eric Schiller, Re: 2.560 Responses: Professeure, IPA fonts

Message 1: Macs and IPA

Date: 25 Sep 91 21:26 GMT
From: Circle Noetic Svc, A Nizhnikov,PAS <>
Subject: Macs and IPA
Concerning IPA and the Macintosh for Leslie Barratt...
I have for some time been using IPA with the Mac. Thought you might be
interested in our experience. We have a central laser printer, but I have
recently acquired my own StyleWriter, which cost us as official Mac developers
under $250. I believe academic discounts are similar. The StyleWriter for most
fonts has a higher resolution than the LaserWriter, but it prints more slowly.
For IPA, however, it works, but has considerably lower resolution - more like
an old ImageWriter. I think we have the font from Ecological Linguistics, but
others are available. You might check also Casady and Greene and Linguist's
Software, both of which specialize in fonts for non-Roman alphabets. Otherwise
a PostScript laser printer will cost you a lot more. There are cheaper
alternatives to the LaserWriter with slightly lower resolution manufactured by
people other than Apple. There are good ink jet printers and very high
resolution dot matrix printers.
The cheapest Mac is the Mac Classic, which has what I consider to be a big
disadvantage in not having open architecture, but list price is under $1000 -
less with a university discount, and if all you do is run a word processor or
publishing program to write your linguistics papers and send electronic mail,
it's perfectly serviceable... But if you have $3000-$4000, why not get the best
Mac you can? I wouldn't automatically assume, however, that you need to buy a
We have a small company that has been doing natural languages and computers in
various forms since 1984. Prior to that as a linguistics graduate student and
working as a programmer, I was more involved with computers like you probably
are - typing up papers. We license our software to companies using all kinds of
computers... IBM PC's, Macs, Sun, Apollo, Amiga, IBM mainframes, Vax... So we
have to have our software available for all of them and we make money from all
of them... But by a huge margin, we prefer working on the Mac when we can. We
have to process millions of words on a regular basis in all kinds of fonts for
all kinds of languages, there's just no comparison in ease of use. My
impression is that when all these computer companies started out in the States,
they didn't take word processing seriously, and they didn't take any language
but English seriously. Back in 1985, publishing companies would regularly tell
us that people in Europe who use computers would be tired of their native
languages within the next decade or two anyway, and would all switch over to
English... Therefore they didn't need European language spelling checkers.
Yes... This is what they said. You wouldn't believe it. I didn't believe it.
French would be a dying language by 2005. It's as if English were obviously so
much easier to speak, that these other people couldn't really be serious about
persisting in these other alternatives. The industry has gotten a lot smarter,
mainly because it turned out that Europe did pay money to write in their own
languages, but to this day when we license spelling checkers for French, it's
not unusual that the customers ask whether our spelling checker takes into
account accented characters... as if you could somehow remotely function
without accent grave when writing French, and we might consider selling such a
thing commercially.
Apple was the only company that seemed to act as if this speedy disappearance
of every language but English weren't likely. And I think that was the case
only because they had a technical advantage in producing fonts for languages
other than English, and so they pushed their advantage. They've made reasonable
character mappings, and been relatively consistent. In my opinion, Macs simply
are easier to use for general word processing types of work, especially if
you're using multiple fonts and/or languages. PC's have advantages in certain
domains, but not that one. If you haven't already, you'll learn to use a Mac
word processor within a couple of hours.
Good luck to you.
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Message 2: Re: 2.560 Responses: Professeure, IPA fonts

Date: Thu, 26 Sep 91 18:02:48 CDT
From: Eric Schiller <>
Subject: Re: 2.560 Responses: Professeure, IPA fonts
I have developed matching linguistic fonts for Mac and
Windows (Postscript Type 1), but still have to make
a few cuts to conform to Windows reduced ANSI set. They
will be shareware when finished - quite cheap.
First set is like Stone Sans.
I have lots of Mac only fonts with IPA and syntax symbols,
styled after Cheltenham, etc. Free for the asking, including
Send an 800K disk to
Eric Schiller
Department of Linguistics
University of Chicago
1010 East 59th Street
Chicago IL 60637
For info:
Presently available:
Cotswold (Cheltenham clone)
Kentung (Hiroshige clone)
SapirSans (shareware - includes matching italic and bold - 10/91)
Sourcecode for any font available for a nominal fee, or trade,
or linguistic books I don't have, or whatever. Fontographer 3.3
Windows fonts to match these will be avaiable as soon as I overcome
translation problems involving zero-width characters.
Eric Schiller
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