The Very Idea of This Site

Alex   Friday, February 06, 2004, 19:44 GMT
I do find the very idea of this site splendid: Talks about the essence of B. Shaw's Pigmalion (1912) then of its filming 'My Fair Lady' in the second half of the century. Like in the 30's, there was a normed pronunciation at those times. At present, sound in films is mainly intended for sexual scenes, not for adoption of accents. In broadcasting, we do have the same case, alas, starting with 'The Beatles' in the late 70's (not a very bad example indeed). So, one cannot rely any upon experience gained nowadays through watching modern films at all.

The idea of this site would not survive if there had not been a proper transcription system introduced here. Much congratulations! I consider it much more acceptable than the SAMPA developed by Professor Wells who followed the concept of resembleness of the IPA transcription image. Surprisingly, two Polish fellows have introduced and practicized a more convincing, reliable, and -- in my opinion -- comprehensive system of transcription for practical purposes than the SAMPA is.


Tom   Friday, February 06, 2004, 23:36 GMT
Yeah, but the Antimoon ASCII Alphabet is suitable for English only. SAMPA works for many different languages.
Alex   Saturday, February 07, 2004, 20:07 GMT
However, the start was given with English only. Then, they went on with other languages, each time with a particular one, but not generally: there was no general start. I am absolutely convinced that this alphabet may be introduced for a n y other languages, too.
Tom   Sunday, February 08, 2004, 11:58 GMT
I hope you're aware that the Antimoon ASCII Alphabet is phonemic, while the IPA (and SAMPA) can be used to write "narrow" phonetic transcription.

By the way, I'm curious why you said you considered the ASCII Alphabet to be more acceptable than the SAMPA.
Alex_2   Sunday, February 08, 2004, 17:21 GMT
Dear Tom,

This because Prof Wells can only with difficulty put his personal ideas of the total resemblance of the API table aside, say, while using such signs like "{" or "}" that do not convey any idea of the preceeding API signs --- at least to me. Therefore, I consider your ASCII table is compiled more thorough and with a little bit of philosophic essence, which is again somewhat different from the ethnic snobbism of the "Islanders".
Alex_2   Sunday, February 08, 2004, 17:34 GMT
For phonetic purposes and "narrow" registrations, now there are downloadable API true fonts if once needed. I cannot see why your ASCII phonemic table would not be "extended" in the same way, as SAMPA was, i.e. 1/ for "narrow" registrations, and 2/ some other languages. German and/or French (or vice versa) may eventually become next candidates. Undoubtfully, the main feature of this website is PHONETICS, not a particular language, any "newer" language can always be added.
Tom   Monday, February 09, 2004, 16:34 GMT
Extending the Antimoon ASCII Alphabet to enable narrow transcriptions would be very difficult. For instance, you can't represent a long /e/ sound with the ASCII Alphabet, because then you get [e:] which is a different sound altogether.

FYI, resemblance to the IPA symbols was our main criterion when developing the ASCII symbols.
Paul   Monday, February 09, 2004, 17:23 GMT
I am an admirer of the ASCII Alphabet too, but I would hesitate to claim that it is ideal, or that the main function of your site is to deal with the Phonetics of English. You do a nice job, giving English students, clear straight forward answers to their questions on English usage.
You are an invaluable aid to a new learner, who does not have access to an educated native English speaker.

Thanks, for all your work. It shows in the quality of your site.
Regards, Paul V.
P.S. The big problem representing English phonemically with the Roman Alphabet, is that there are two many phonemes to be represented with 26 symbols. Your inventive use of the period, the colon and uppercase allow
you to overcome that limit in a logical consistent way, which still leaves the vast majority of the Consonant letters with their traditional pronunciation.
Alex_2   Thursday, February 12, 2004, 20:52 GMT
Dear Tom,

Although I would agree that [e] and [e:] should qualitatively be different, but this implucates only that the Antimoon ASCII Alphabet is somewhat inconsistant: if e in bed is /e/ , then ir in girl should not be /e:/, but /3:/, since this symbol would imply a more open than closed (stressed) sound being a couterpart to the unstressed short /../, or at least (for simplification's sake) /.:/, but not /e:/, as you suggested, because there is no acoustical resemblance between [e] and [e:] in quality, which is manifested graphically.