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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:54 pm 
Niš
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Why noone uses IPA?

Just a simple but important question, every new conlang uses X-SAMPA to mark phonetic value, why not IPA which is much easier to read (for me at least).

Is it because people don't have an easy access to IPA symbols (if that's the case, use this online keyboard: http://www.lexilogos.com/clavier/fonetik.htm ), or rather because they're too lazy to use it.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 6:04 pm 
Smeric
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Too lazy, I think, and the fact that SAMPA is easy to understand and read once you get used to it. Still some of us do use IPA and I think anyone who knows SAMPA will know IPA too.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 6:07 pm 
Sanci
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For anything short, I use IPA. That said, IPA has some shortcomings that drive me nuts (mostly involving affricates). I would prefer some sort of hybridized IPA/Americanist system.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 6:15 pm 
Lebom
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Unicode doesn't work very well on the board


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 6:17 pm 
Smeric
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Oh, true. There was a software change a few years ago and essentially all non-ASCII symbols turned into question marks, even turning the username Circéus into Circ?us.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 6:39 pm 
Sumerul
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I use IPA, with plenty of diacritics to boot, for all my posts. Of course, then, I think the likes of X-SAMPA typically looks really ugly and is far too lengthy for anything of the complexity of what I normally post here. Unfortunately, due to the limitations of the board software you cannot put Unicode text in titles of threads and posts, forcing me to use X-SAMPA in those.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 6:43 pm 
Niš
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Travis B. wrote:
I use IPA, with plenty of diacritics to boot, for all my posts. Of course, then, I think the likes of X-SAMPA typically looks really ugly and is far too lengthy for anything of the complexity of what I normally post here. Unfortunately, due to the limitations of the board software you cannot put Unicode text in titles of threads and posts, forcing me to use X-SAMPA in those.


Why not use Romanization of the phoneme in thread title? (assuming it's for a conlang).


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:37 pm 
Sumerul
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Arzemju wrote:
Travis B. wrote:
I use IPA, with plenty of diacritics to boot, for all my posts. Of course, then, I think the likes of X-SAMPA typically looks really ugly and is far too lengthy for anything of the complexity of what I normally post here. Unfortunately, due to the limitations of the board software you cannot put Unicode text in titles of threads and posts, forcing me to use X-SAMPA in those.


Why not use Romanization of the phoneme in thread title? (assuming it's for a conlang).

I'm not a conlanger, that's why. Also, conventional descriptions of particular phonemes or phones as used by non-linguistically-aware individuals tend to be too vague to be of much use. If they are not, then they tend to use conventions that are highly idiosyncratic that most linguistically-aware people would have trouble with understanding, such as the range of schemes used historically to describe English phonemes in many English-language dictionaries for non-linguists.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:41 pm 
Lebom
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I'm not surprised that a lot use X-Sampa to be honest, particularly those who have no formal linguistic training (like me). It's easier to learn X-Sampa than IPA (typing at least), and once you're used to either, they're both pretty easy to read.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:02 pm 
Smeric
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because it can be input easily. IPA is a pain in the ass... what I tend to do is to input stuff in xsampa and then, if I feel like it, I use the ipa-xsampa translator.

Someone should come up with a keyboard layout that allows for easy IPA input and upload it


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:12 pm 
Lebom
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Declan wrote:
I'm not surprised that a lot use X-Sampa to be honest, particularly those who have no formal linguistic training (like me). It's easier to learn X-Sampa than IPA (typing at least), and once you're used to either, they're both pretty easy to read.

While I no longer conlang, back when I did I exclusively used the real thing for anything I intended to print out (and handwritten notes, obviously). For onscreen use like web pages and this board, X-SAMPA is better because that way you're not relying on pixel-sized distinctions, especially with diacritics. Just a matter of readability. In any case, X-SAMPA is not a phonetic alphabet in its own right, it's just a way to represent IPA in 7-bit ASCII, and the notion of learning it without first learning IPA is absurd.

I remember some years ago someone here posted a scan of bona fide handwritten X-SAMPA. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:15 pm 
Smeric
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This is the converter that Torco mentioned. Bookmark it.

Personally, I find X-SAMPA easier to type (for obvious reasons), but IPA a lot easier to read (also for obvious reasons).
Like someone else said, I might use X-SAMPA for short things, but for a presentation of some sort, or for an entire sentence, I will use IPA (writing it in X-SAMPA first, and then converting, like Torco).


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:33 pm 
Lebom
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I just worry about others being able to read Unicode. I guess that might be unfounded, but I worry about it.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:18 pm 
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In this day and age, most browsers should be able to display unicode with relative ease. However, the various ASCII representations of the IPA are generally easier to type: for most people it's quicker and easier to speak of /S/ than it is of /ʃ/- for the latter people might have to copy and paste, or enter some kind of weird code.

Personally, though, while I find SAMPA easy enough for most purposes on the board, I do have to look a lot up: I can never remember the distinction between /j\/ and /J\/ (which are /ɟ/ and /ʝ/, respectively, IIRC. It could, of course, be the other way around.) For most purposes, however, SAMPA's easy enough: if one goes overboard with diacritics, though, it's just horrific to try to parse.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:24 pm 
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Dewrad wrote:
I can never remember the distinction between /j\/ and /J\/ (which are /ɟ/ and /ʝ/, respectively, IIRC. It could, of course, be the other way around.)

yep, other way around

read some X-SAMPA transcriptions of Hungarian; seeing piles of <J\j\> is how I learned it

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:02 am 
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There are some good things about X-SAMPA that IPA cannot replicate:
1). Ease of typing; X-SAMPA utilizes ASCII (as does Z-SAMPA). No charmap hunting, copy-pasting, or Alt + Codes.
2). The board does not support certain combining diactrics. I ran into this problem with the rendering of Proto-Deithas; syllabic consonants were marked with an underscript circle, which would cause the board to refuse to display ALL special characters on that line.
3). Special characters get recycled after preview into code, then rejected on this board. This is much worse than #2, and it applies to most extended sets of a font.

Unicode is good for IPA; it makes it far more exact, and more obscure or otherwise complex phonologies look cludgey in X-SAMPA, but it's much easier to type at a good pace, and it's easier to put together than IPA.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:36 am 
Sanci
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Most of what I read about linguistics are things written on this forum, where X-SAMPA is more prevalent. I learned IPA from linguistics books/websites, but when I started lurking/posting here I got used to seeing X-SAMPA, and now when I post transcriptions on here I exclusively use X-SAMPA. If I were to write an academic paper on some linguistic topic, I would use IPA since it's more widely accepted, but for casual discussions on a board where almost everyone knows X-SAMPA, I don't need to bother with IPA.

Also, I know I've seen people post transcriptions that are a mix of IPA and X-SAMPA. I forget who it was, but I saw someone using X-SAMPA for the consonants but marked labialization/palatalization with IPA superscripts.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:39 am 
Lebom
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Personally X-Sampa is easier to type. When it comes to diacritics X-Sampa is significantly easier for me to read. I have a hard time distinguishing IPA diacritics. I also frequently use Samprosa which works well with X-Sampa. On the other hand I do use IPA when writing by hand though I didn't when I first started.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:06 am 
Smeric
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On the ZBB, most of our need for transcription is during L&L conversation about natural languages. When people post conlangs they typically use transcription only once at the top when listing vowels and consonants, and everything else is Romanized. IPA can be good for that.

In conversation though, if you have something to say you want to just say it, not spend your time mucking around with tools for special characters. If you need type with speed or in volume, dear lord does simple ASCII beat the pants off all else.

---

Some people need to get off their high horse about IPA though, Jar Jar. X-SAMPA being a mapping of IPA does not make it less real, nor is there any reason but prejudice why it shouldn't take on a life of its own. Much like how writing itself isn't only a recording system for speech.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:13 am 
Lebom
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GreenBowTie wrote:
Unicode doesn't work very well on the board

*didn't. Most stuff should work now I think, as long as you have fonts supporting the characters and a browser that automatically replaces characters if Verdana doesn't have them.

For me, it's a habit to use X-Sampa here rather than IPA because I was used to Windows where it's a pain in the butt. Either you got yourself a special keyboard layout, or you had to pick the characters manually from Charmap, or its advanced clone, Babelmap. I've been using Ubuntu for a while now, and all I need to do to activate my selfmade almost-X-Sampa input method is Ctrl-Shift-Space. But as I said, out of habit I still often use X-Sampa.

Dewrad wrote:
if one goes overboard with diacritics, though, it's just horrific to try to parse.

IPA is just as horrible to parse with loads of diacritics IMO. See TravisB's preference for narrow transcription.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:28 am 
Smeric
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Dampantingaya wrote:
GreenBowTie wrote:
Unicode doesn't work very well on the board

*didn't. Most stuff should work now I think, as long as you have fonts supporting the characters and a browser that automatically replaces characters if Verdana doesn't have them.


Chrome doesn't do this :(

does firefox / opera ?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:32 am 
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Torco wrote:
Dampantingaya wrote:
GreenBowTie wrote:
Unicode doesn't work very well on the board

*didn't. Most stuff should work now I think, as long as you have fonts supporting the characters and a browser that automatically replaces characters if Verdana doesn't have them.


Chrome doesn't do this :(

does firefox / opera ?


I have a very complete Unicode character set, with ancient scripts such as phoenician and ge'ez, with firefox i just had to close and reopen after font installation and now it works well. I have no problems, no question marks or boxes... I never tried gchrome so I can't tell for it.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:37 am 
Sumerul
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Dampantingaya wrote:
Dewrad wrote:
if one goes overboard with diacritics, though, it's just horrific to try to parse.

IPA is just as horrible to parse with loads of diacritics IMO. See TravisB's preference for narrow transcription.

This is why, recently, I have adopted using larger text for more complicated transcriptions, as TaylorS had started using earlier. It certainly does make reading narrowly-transcribed IPA much easier, both with regard to figuring out just what all the diacritics are and with regard to just how much squinting is needed. I now wonder in retrospect why I had not done so before, as many of my older transcriptions that I have not used larger text for are much harder to read without changing the text size in one's browser. Of course, all of this is assuming that one has good Unicode fonts installed and that one's browser supports Unicode well; if both are not so, narrowly-transcribed IPA can often be very difficult to read, due to misplaced diacritics and the like.


Last edited by Travis B. on Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:43 am 
Lebom
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Torco wrote:
Dampantingaya wrote:
GreenBowTie wrote:
Unicode doesn't work very well on the board

*didn't. Most stuff should work now I think, as long as you have fonts supporting the characters and a browser that automatically replaces characters if Verdana doesn't have them.


Chrome doesn't do this :(

does firefox / opera ?

I often find that the more unusual characters don't display in Chrome, but they all seem to be fine in Firefox.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:09 pm 
Smeric
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Echobeats wrote:
Torco wrote:
Dampantingaya wrote:
GreenBowTie wrote:
Unicode doesn't work very well on the board

*didn't. Most stuff should work now I think, as long as you have fonts supporting the characters and a browser that automatically replaces characters if Verdana doesn't have them.


Chrome doesn't do this :(

does firefox / opera ?

I often find that the more unusual characters don't display in Chrome, but they all seem to be fine in Firefox.


Just downloaded Opera, and it renders IPA neatly, tho' it does look cluttered. I like how Opera renders things, and just found a way to configure it to have the same kind of omnibar that google has. Maybe I'll switch browsers.


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