Why do the Hebrew Alphabetic Presentation Forms Exist

Mark E. Shoulson mark at kli.org
Fri Jun 5 18:30:51 CDT 2020

On 6/4/20 7:22 PM, Richard Wordingham via Unicode wrote:
> On Thu, 4 Jun 2020 16:30:20 -0400
> "Mark E. Shoulson via Unicode" <unicode at unicode.org> wrote:
>> Not so!  Contrariwise, in fact, at least for the IPA ɡ.  The reason
>> it is encoded is because IPA stipulates that the symbol for the
>> voiced velar stop be written ɡ with an open loop, and it is incorrect
>> to write it with a binocular g.
> The IPA threw the towel in on that one, and now allow either.
Bah!  Cowards.  I suppose it doesn't matter from Unicode's perspective, 
since Unicode is also concerned with historical usage, and there was a 
time when it mattered.  (that's oversimplifying, I know.)
>>    Linguists do not consider these to
>> be mutually interchangeable.  Same with the IPA ɑ, which is wrong if
>> written two-storey.
> That's different.  [a] and [ɑ] are two different sounds.  Of course, it
> all gets horribly confused when type faces for children's books use
> single storey 'a' and open loop 'g'.

Well, it's "different" only because binocular g didn't have another 
meaning, as two-storey a does.  Though to be honest, if IPA has to have 
ɑ because it uses two-storey a and one-storey ɑ contrastively, then by 
rights there ought to be a character (or variation sequence or 
something) like LATIN SMALL LETTER TWO STOREY A, since after all, some 
fonts don't draw U+0061 the way that IPA stipulates is needed for the 
open front vowel.  I've wondered about that from time to time.


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