LINGUIST List 6.380

Sat 18 Mar 1995

Disc: IPA

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. , Re: 6.199 IPA

Message 1: Re: 6.199 IPA

Date: Wed, 22 Feb 95 10:36:16 ESRe: 6.199 IPA
From: <>
Subject: Re: 6.199 IPA

Why must this kind of stuff be decided by a vote? Since obviously
IPA membership does not equal interest in the matter and never will,
all that will be achieved if some of us join the IPA just to force
this issue, is that it will be "packed" in some other way than the
way it is now, but it will never be representative. Why not let the
invisible hand of the "market" of ideas operate freely instead? As
fewer and fewer people use IPA's made-up symbols, either that organization
will become completely irrelevant, or it will make up its own mind to
respond to the "market forces", or perhaps some other group will step
in and by proposing a system that is manifestly better than anyone
else's, achieve standardization that way. I really think that if a few
of the top names in phonetics got together with the editors of a few
journals, they could probably come up with something. It could also
simply come from anywhere else: if someone were to publish a truly
superior system and people started using it. Finally, in reality,
it seems that certain trends are occurring anyway and that in particular
the resistance to the hachek and the use of the corresponding IPA
symbols are on the wane. If we can put up with the inconsistencies of
American vs. Canadian vs. British spelling, we can probably do just as well

And if we are gonna worry about something, I would worry more about
those cases where te same symbols have different commonly used meanings
like 'j' and 'y'.

Alexis MR
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