An assessment of the Unicode standard

Rhodri James rhodri at
Tue Sep 15 00:15:52 CEST 2009

On Mon, 14 Sep 2009 19:24:44 +0100, Terry Reedy <tjreedy at> wrote:

> r wrote:
>>  So how many letters do we need? 50, 100, 1000?
>  From Wikipedia IPA article:
> Occasionally symbols are added, removed, or modified by the  
> International Phonetic Association. As of 2008, there are 107 distinct  
> letters, 52 diacritics, and four prosody marks in the IPA proper.

The biggest problem for the IPA is that vowels are a two-dimensional
continuum, which is hard to map with discrete symbols.  Worse, differing
vowel sounds are the big variable in regional accents.  There's basically
too much variation within the dialectal family of English to make an
attempt to render it phonetically much use.

Rhodri James *-* Wildebeest Herder to the Masses

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