13

English was written in the Latin alphabet even in the Old English period. Latin letters were introduced in the OE period by Irish missionaries around the 7th-8th century. The Anglo-Saxons converted to Christianity relatively early, and literacy was a consequence of conversion, so the populace already was predisposed to the Latin alphabet given that that is ...


13

Your guess is correct; the equals sign/double hyphen separates clitics from the words they attach to. For example, from the Ten-Year Annals (KBo 3.4 ii 65): nu=us=si=kan widār arha dahhun Then I took away the waters there. nu =us =si =kan widār arha da -hhun then=3PL.ACC=3SG.LOC=MOD water.ACC.PL away take-1.SG.PAST This isn't ...


11

Yes, some people think Akkadian š was pronounced [s]. For the sibilants, traditionally /š/ has been held to be postalveolar [ʃ], and /s/, /z/, /ṣ/ analyzed as fricatives; but attested assimilations in Akkadian suggest otherwise. For example, when the possessive suffix -šu is added to the root awat ('word'), it is written awassu ('his word') (https://en....


10

As you may know, "single" stops in Korean are weakly aspirated in initial position only (audio example), so Japanese stops in the unvoiced series (such as た) correspond to Korean "single" stops (e.g. ㄷ) in initial position. They are not perceived as ㅌ because the aspirated series in initial position in Korean is much more strongly ...


9

Dividing up the audio As you mentioned, formant analysis can place vowels nicely on a chart. But first you have to cut the vowels from the surrounding sounds. Often their formants are changed by nearby consonants; the nice F1/F2 plots use vowels in isolation, or the middle part of the vowel without the messy edges. And when vowels are reduced, or too ...


9

Short answer: Gardiner's classification system. It's what Unicode (and every major dictionary I know of) uses, and is quite comprehensive; pretty much anything you come across in everyday Egyptology will be listed in there somewhere. Gardiner also includes a list of notable variants for each sign: distinct graphical forms that should be considered to ...


8

While what @Raizin says about [əɹ] is technically true--it is supposed to denote a sequence of two phones--I have seen [əɹ], [ɚ], [ɹ̩], and [ɝ] all used to refer to the same speech sound. The thing is, while schwa is given its own place in the vowel space chart, in practice its formants (other than the first formant) tend just to be transitions between the ...


8

IPA is neutral as to analysis: it is used to represent sound at any level, including underlying, intermediate form, phonemic transcription and surface realization.


8

In fact, alif ا does not mean anything particular and that differs it from the rest of the Arabic letters. It is a kind of a service letter, now it is a support for hamza, now it is written as a horizontal line as in alif maddah آ, now it looks like a dotless yā’ ى, alif maqṣūrah, now it is not written at all (although it should have been there) as in ذٰلِكَ ...


7

The numbers represent Arabic letters of similar shapes, which mostly don't have an intuitive Roman equivalent: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_chat_alphabet For example, 7 is ح and 3 is ع, which represent [ħ] and [ʕ]. A similar phenomenon exists in transliterated Cyrillic, you sometimes see 4 being used for Ч; the similarity in shape is reinforced by ...


7

IPA is a representation of sound; therefore "transforming to IPA" implies converting text to sound. That task is harder than it seems, because writing systems are underdetermined – they don't include all the relevant information for pronunciation. You need language-specific knowledge to pronounce things: Just compare heart, beard, and heard, Dies and ...


7

It is obvious that 6 stands for the modern letter w which in Welsh can be pronounced in some words as the consonant [w] and in other words as vowels [ʊ] or [uː]. In your example there is the word byrwellt in which w is the consonant [w], while 6 in your example stands where w is a vowel letter. Your example is from Breuddwyd Rhonabwy ("The Dream of Rhonabwy"...


6

This is an interesting question. As always with transliteration, there are compromises. Why do Azeris still transcribe their names if both the forms are written in Latin? I am aware that they used Cyrillic before and they switched to Latin. Firstly we should note that there are other languages written in the Latin script for which compromises are made by ...


6

In the Wikipedia article on Sanskrit you can find all those special characters together with their IPA counterparts. By the way, these special characters are parts of the IAST, the International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration.


6

This may or may not be true, depending on what is meant by "ultimate source": are we talking about specific letter shapes, or just the abstract principle of an alphabet? If the former, no; if the latter, probably yes. Most alphabets in existence (I'm using the term in its broadest sense to include abjads and abugidas) do straightforwardly descend from the ...


6

Different linguists have different ideas about phonetic versus phonemic. Mine is one that I think is close to the original conception of Baudouin de Courtenay and his student Kruszewski (to whom we owe the term phoneme). My version is a little dumbed down. Phonemes are what we hear. Phonetics is what we say. At least, naive native speakers hear phonemes, ...


6

The most basic problem is that it is impossible (given any realistic i.e. non-Star Trek technology) to map waveforms to IPA letters for an arbitrary language. It is, however, possible for well-enough studied languages, using Google-grade technology, for example you can speak Norwegian or English to Google, it will return the spelling, and you can use that to ...


6

While Akkadian š is generally cognate with Hebrew š or ś, there's good reason to believe its pronunciation was quite different! The reason it's transcribed as š is mostly historical—Akkadian was first deciphered by comparison to other Semitic languages, so when a certain phoneme seemed to correspond regularly to Hebrew š, they named it š. But there's ...


6

I'd do it this way: [əʊ'stʲeja] (I like this variant more, but don't have any data to prove it) or [əʊs'tʲeja]. It is based on my knowledge of Lithuanian and this recording. It is differ from Wikipedia solution proposed by Draconis in three aspects: I know the stress position; I know that the first two letters correspond to a diphthong [aʊ]; I know that in ...


5

The phonology of Spanish might be vaguely similar to that of Japanese but the differences are also relevant. There are many consonantal clusters in Spanish and also word final consonants, and this simply cannot be transcribed in kana. By the way, this represents one of the main difficulties for a Japanese speaker who speaks a European language like Spanish. ...


5

Don't panic, your sources are great. The problem is that typically dictionaries use some sort of their own transcription, usually the one conventional for the given language. These transcriptions are not IPA (even though they resemble it -- for obvious reasons). Thus, you need first to study what their particular symbols mean. In your case, the Ordbog ...


5

I worked many years to make a romanized script for Akha that solved several problems with existing scripts. The script could be considered a bit longer but is very exacting. It is also congruent with most sounds in UK English - spellings etc. So it makes Akha easier for a non Akha to learn, and if an Akha learns it they will not get real frustrated if they ...


5

The de facto standard method for transcribing Ainu (both in Latin alphabet and in katakana) being used today is the one proposed in Akor Itak, a textbook published by the Hokkaido Utari Association (now Hokkaido Ainu Association) in 1994. It is often referred to as “(nearly) phonemic transcription” ((簡易)音素表記 in Japanese). What makes it different from some of ...


5

"How do you go about deciphering a language without any spoken basis, no native speakers to converse with, or another other leads to go on besides ones provided by context alone?" You don't. With no inroads such as you've mentioned, all you can do is play a game of decipherment; but basically any solution you find will be something you have invented: you ...


5

The English Wiktionary has some Lua infrastructure to do this: Chinese languages: Module:zh-pron. Generates IPA from the romanizations of the various languages (Mandarin pinyin, Cantonese jyutping, etc.) Korean: Module:ko-pron Arabic: Module:ar-pronunciation (cannot link). Requires vowel signs, as fdb stated. These all have local dependencies and aren't ...


5

I'll deal with Korean writing. I don't know that there are any tools for directly converting the Korean writing system, hangeul, to IPA, but you can do it in several steps. You'll need some knowledge of Korean phonetics though. First, you'll have to convert from hangeul syllables to letters. If you're programming in R, you can import the package KoNLP ...


5

We simply do not know: this is an empirical question, and nobody has done the study. The problem with writing in IPA is that you have to understand what the various letters "mean". It's easy for Saami speakers to learn that the letter č "means" (in IPA) the phoneme /tʃʰ/ and ž "means" the phoneme /tʃ/, and the don't need to worry about low-level details. In ...


5

Co-editor of PHOIBLE here. In the feature system used in PHOIBLE, a is considered to have features -front and -back — i.e., a (low) central vowel, not a (low) front vowel. Therefore you would think that a̟ should be considered as a low front vowel (as your instincts suggested). However, that featural specification is already in use for æ. This illustrates ...


5

Short answer: yes, they're used in Greek. ϑ and θ are different graphic variants of the same letter, Greek "theta". The first is a cursive handwritten form, and the second is a standard printed form. The two have different Unicode representations for unclear reasons; some linguists have used θ to represent a voiceless sound and ϑ for the voiced ...


5

jogloran's answer is a good explanation on why it's possible to transcribe word-initial /k/, /t/ to Korean ㄱ and ㄷ. As for why it had to be that way, there's no logical answer - IMHO the other way (always transcribing /k/ to ㅋ, for example) makes just as much sense, but when the rule was decided, apparently the scholars liked the current scheme better. If ...


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