LINGUIST List 6.166

Tue 07 Feb 1995

Disc: IPA

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. Greg Lessard, Braille IPA
  2. Hartmut Haberland, Re: 6.137 IPA
  3. Hugh Buckingham, Re: 6.137 IPA

Message 1: Braille IPA

Date: Thu, 2 Feb 1995 15:23:24 -Braille IPA
From: Greg Lessard <lessardquvinci.francais.QueensU.CA>
Subject: Braille IPA

At the end of 1994, I sent out a request for information on a Braille IPA.
A number of people responded. I will begin by thanking them here (in order
of receipt of their messages):

Richard Ogden
Sebastian Adorjan Dyhr
Martin Lange
David Hathaway
Robert Hoberman
Patrick Griffiths
Robert Englebretson

One source is the Royal National Institute for the Blind in England for which
I was given two addresses:

 Stephen Phippen, Chief Editor
 Braille Transcription
 Royal National Institute for the Blind
 PO Box 173
 Peterborough, England
 PE2 6WS
 Telephone: 0345 023153


 Royal National Institute for the Blind
 224, Great Portland Street
 Mount Pleasant
 Great Britain

In addition, Patrick Griffiths wrote:

)Alan Kemp (who has recently retired from the Linguistics Department at
)Edinburgh University) supplied me with computer versions of a braille
)phonetics system that he and Bob Ladd had devised for a student there a
)few years ago. I imagine that writing to or emailing Dr D Robert Ladd,
)Linguistics Department, Edinburgh University, 40 George Square, Edinburgh
)EH8 9LL, Scotland, UK, would be a way of pursuing this lead.

Finally, Robert Englebretson, a grad student in Linguistics at the
University of California at Santa Barbara provided a very detailed message.
He is himself blind and has used some form of transcription. Among other
things, he wrote:

)The basic source of information on the Braille IPA system is the standard
)"Code of Braille Textbook Formats and Techniques, 1977" Rule XIX, Section 45,
)which gives a complete list of IPA and other commonly-used diacritics and
)symbols, and discusses rules for Braille transcription of linguistics
)materials in general. (The basic symbols listed in this work, with some
)additions and changes, are from "A Braille Notation of the International
)Phonetic Alphabet", by W. Percy Merrick and W. Potthoff, Royal National
)Institute for the Blind, London, 1932; revised 1948). The relevant section
)from "Code of Braille Textbook Formats..." gives a good overview of each
)Braille symbol and how it is used, and describes the print symbol it
)represents. The verbal descriptions of the printed symbols are extremely
)useful, since they can provide a means of communicating about a particular
)symbol without having to see it visually. I have a copy of this section in
)both print and Braille, and have found both very useful. I can provide
)information about where to get both a Braille and a print copy of this
)section, if you are interested.

)A second work I have found useful, was compiled by a Braille transcriber
)(unfortunately now deceased) who had a great interest in linguistics. It is
)entitled "Phonetic-Phonemic Symbols in Tactile Representation", and is a list
)of raised tactile drawings of print symbols, with their Braille equivalents.
)This is a very useful work for a blind student to get a "feel" for the print
)symbols and also as a reference to the Braille symbols. The Braille edition
)of this booklet costs about $3, and I will be happy to provide contact and
)ordering information upon request.

)I would very much like to get in touch with other people who know
)and/or use the IPA Braille system (both to possibly find Braille
)transcribers who know it, as well as to "network" with others who
)either use Braille or are interested in it.

His email address is:
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Message 2: Re: 6.137 IPA

Date: Fri, 3 Feb 1995 10:55:03 +Re: 6.137 IPA
From: Hartmut Haberland <>
Subject: Re: 6.137 IPA

I didn't follow this discussion, but my reaction is: 'altus' only means its
own opposite when translated into English (or other languages). 'altus'
means)altus(, full stop. It's more a property of the sea (cf. German 'auf
hoher See') that it is 'high' and 'deep' at the same time, depending on
perspective; Latin choses to use the same expression for both
Hartmut Haberland
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Message 3: Re: 6.137 IPA

Date: Fri, 3 Feb 1995 09:59:05 -Re: 6.137 IPA
From: Hugh Buckingham <>
Subject: Re: 6.137 IPA

Hac(h)ek = little hook. Isn't the reason why so many "amerricanists"
used the hac(h)ek, especially for the two major affricates in English,
related to the fact that these affricates in English function not as
two things but as one thing? Now I am a bit confused, because I had
usually used the word "wedge" for the diacritic above the "c" and the
"j" - not "hacek." Also, if "hacek" means "little hook" as defined in
Pullum and Ladusaw (p. 29), isn't it better related to the cedilla, which
to me looks more like a little hook than the wedge??? Diacritic mania!
Hugh Buckingham
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