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From:  Wayne in Maine
Date:  Wed Jan 26, 2000  10:30 pm
Subject:  Re: Is SignWriting like the IPA?

Valerie -
Although I don't know whether it has been officially recognized as part
of the IPA, there is a standard system of writing tones in tonal languages
using a five-tiered scale:

--- high pitch In order to be able to see which
--- mid-high pitch pitch is being referred to, a vertical
--- mid-level pitch line is included, thus:
--- mid-low pitch _
--- low pitch | (it should be connected) would refer
to a high level pitch,

/| would be a low to high rising pitch,

\| would be a high to low falling pitch,

-| would be a mid level pitch

/| would be a mid-falling followed by a rising pitch, etc.
\/ |

It's hard to show what I'm talking about within e-mail text. If you'd like
me to draw them as a GIF I could do that, if needed.
Hope this helps!
- Wayne

>From: Valerie Sutton
>Reply-To: SignWriting List
>To: SignWriting List
>Subject: Re: Is SignWriting like the IPA?
>Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 06:43:52 -0800
>> The IPA only has symbols for human speech sounds, including such
>>oddities (in the sense that they are rarely found) as the "clicks" of
>>Zulu, and a few other languages of southern Africa. I am sure, however,
>>that there is no IPA symbol for an anal spirant, e.g. - Wayne
>SignWriting List
>January 26, 2000
>Hi Wayne - Thanks for the information....
>So does the IPA record tonal languages in the East? For example,
>could it record Chinese?
>Meanwhile, a linguist just sent me this information about the IPA,
>which is very interesting:
>"The IPA could be used to write spoken languages on a daily basis and many
>its symbols are from the Roman alphabet. The reason that it isn't used to
>write many languages is because it was invented in 1888 and many languages
>already had established writing systems. However, the IPA might be used on
>a daily basis by speakers of previously unwritten languages. Linguists who
>record spoken languages use the IPA (or some version related to it). So
>some speakers of these languages might use the IPA if they want to write
>their language. All I am saying is that the IPA might be used as the daily
>writing system of some language.
>The IPA cannot write music produced by musical instruments, because it is
>only for human speech sounds. But the IPA can be used to write the words
>and at least some of the pitches of songs (but I don't know how detailed it
>can be for song pitch). I have a friend that wrote a dissertation on
>I can ask her if you want to know more about that.
>Yes, SignWriting does have a broader range of application since it can be
>used to write all human movement, whereas the IPA cannot write all human
>sounds (coughing, cracking knuckles ...). The IPA can only write human
>speech sounds."

  Replies Author Date
2617 Re: Is SignWriting like the IPA? Valerie Sutton Wed  1/26/2000

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