LINGUIST List 6.123

Sat 28 Jan 1995

Disc: IPA history

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. "R. Hoberman", Hacek
  2. MARC PICARD, IPA symbols for clicks

Message 1: Hacek

Date: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 13:16:14 Hacek
From: "R. Hoberman" <>
Subject: Hacek

Content-Length: 810

The use of hacek in phonetic and phonological symbols is not limited to North
Americans. Besides Slavists, it is used by Semitic linguists almost
everywhere, and in particular in Germany and France, and also Britain, Italy,
and Russia. It appears very frequently in the Zeitschrift fuer arabische
Linguistik/Journal de linguistique arabe. Not only that, but the symbol _y_ is
often used instead of _j_ for the palatal semivowel even by German Arabists.

Is the same true among those who work on other language families? If so, then
if the IPA people resent anything it's not so much the refusal of North
Americans to go along with international convention as the fact that the so
called North American (but originally Slavist) convention is popular

Bob Hoberman
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Message 2: IPA symbols for clicks

Date: Thu, 26 Jan 1995 12:49:37 IPA symbols for clicks
Subject: IPA symbols for clicks

 Peter Ladefoged says that "a cursory glance at the IPA membership list
would have shown him [Stemberger] that the IPA is an international body,
with many North American members". Now I know who to blame for those
preposterous symbols for clicks that replaced the perfectly satisfactory ones
that were in use before 1989 since, according to Pullum & Ladusaw,
thingamajigs like the pipe, the exlamation point, the double-barred pipe and
the double pipe are "often American researchers who have worked on...
the Khoisan languages".
 I'm all for the North American variants of the IPA symbols which I
teach to my students and use consistently myself but these doodles have
gotta go.

Marc Picard
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