Phonemic transcription

Tom   Friday, May 16, 2003, 07:16 GMT
> If you use [th] and [TH], why not use [sh] and perhaps [SH]?

Because [S] is better -- it looks like the equivalent IPA symbol.

> If you have [s], [z], [S] and [Z] it follows that you'd have [t], [d], [T] and [D].

Really? Why?

I appreciate your comment about "lighthouse" etc., but we recommend using spaces to separate syllables anyway: ['lait haus].

I don't think our discussion is going anywhere. For me, [T] and [D] are the second best choice after [th] and [TH]. You consider [T] and [D] to be the best choice. Let's agree to differ.

If someone were to ask about "the British accent" how better to set them straight on the fact that there is no one "British accent" than to give them a few examples of the different accents heard in Britian. To do this you might want a symbol for the glottal stop, the unvoiced [w] as opposed to the voiced one or [hw], etc.

If someone were to ask such a question, you couldn't rely on their knowledge of phonetic symbols anyway, and you'd have to define every symbol you used. In such a case, you could use [?] and [hw] and whatever else you found appropriate. Or you could use one of the ASCII alphabets that are copies of the IPA.

Please remember that the Antimoon ASCII alphabet was conceived as a tool for learners of English as a foreign language. Trust me -- learners don't need to worry about such subtleties as the glottal stop, the [hw], and the subtly different way in which [ai] is pronounced in Australia. What's more, too many symbols could scare them off.
In other words, the Antimoon ASCII alphabet is not a tool for linguists to carry on discussions about the phonetics of English.

About the "two dialects of English" thing -- I'm sorry, but:
1. 99% of English learners are simply learning "English" and ignoring pronunciation. To them, the distinction between American and British is totally useless.
2. At least 90% of the other 1% are learning either British (RP) or American.
mee   Friday, May 16, 2003, 09:50 GMT
i stand with jim, though i think we are not going anywhere with this discussion, because tom is simply not even a bit receptive. and i guess that's quite convinient, because this way they wouldn't have the need to change anything they've done so far, either on their website, or on their program, etc. apart from the fact that it sounds much better and professional to be "perfect".

i support very much the sampa (, not only because of its extreme consistency, but also because "Unlike other proposals for mapping the IPA onto ASCII, SAMPA is not one single author's scheme, but represents the outcome of collaboration and consultation among speech researchers in many different countries. The SAMPA transcription symbols have been developed by or in consultation with native speakers of every language to which they have been applied, but are standardized internationally.".

i need to say that unfortunatly, i will prefer not to support antimoon's alphabet, because of its inaccuracies, and the extreme level of rejection applied to all the suggestions to correct them, and to make it better.

the phontic alphabet should be created to represent the sounds of a language (or languages) and not to represent a specific accent. the accent can still be trascribed with that alphabet in the prefered way, but in a separate step. to try and mix those different steps is what creates the trouble. one thing is to chose certain symbols to represent certain sounds, and another thing is to use those symbols to represent a certain accent. the construction of antimoon's alphabet bias other accents than rp and ga, and some of its inaccuracies probably come from that, since the creation of the alphabet should not be based on any specific accent.

i'd like to make clear that i don't completely condemn antimoon's alphabet, but think it's almost deliberately inaccurate and could be better. and since tom believes "Antimoon ASCII alphabet is not a tool for linguists to carry on discussions about the phonetics of English.", we would probably need to use some more accurate alphabet such as sampa, to be able to carry on deeper phonetic discussions. but that will only be possible, if tom dosn't decide to forbid this subject in their forums, or to forbid the use of another alphabet different to theirs.

i'm sorry if i might sound a bit rude, but that's like a linguistic dictatorship, and i don't agree with it.