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#1 12 Dec 2009 6:05

Frenzie
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From: Antwerp, Belgium
Registered: 25 Jan 2005
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IPA Fonts on the Web

Nowadays, the most obvious way to blend all kinds of UTF-8 characters in nicely with all the other text on your page might be Webfonts, but I think there are definitely valid reasons not to utilize those to achieve consistent display of IPA characters on a page. This post will focus on a very simple method which ensures that IPA will look decent across a variety of operating systems and browsers.

http://frans.lowter.us/2009/12/12/ipa-fonts-on-the-web/


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#2 13 Dec 2009 8:16

Ethan
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From: Minneapolis, MN
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Re: IPA Fonts on the Web

In my linguistic courses, we always have to use Times New Roman font (this is an academic standard here), which does not have every IPA character.  Sometimes typed out transcriptions look quite odd having to revert to multiple font families.  However, most students just live a blank for the transcription and fill it in by hand.  IPA on the computer is so hard!  I basically just copy and paste every character, lol.


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#3 13 Dec 2009 12:42

Frenzie
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From: Antwerp, Belgium
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Re: IPA Fonts on the Web

Maybe you could sneak Gentium in there, or perhaps Doulos would be even better—I haven't personally compared them—. I bet that the difference between Doulos and Times New Roman is very hard to distinguish (especially for things like IPA characters), and, as demonstrated with the Verdana + DejaVu Sans, it should actually look better than random characters dragged in from other fonts. In this regard, it would be interesting if there were a way to say "Preferably, take your glyphs from Times New Roman. If that's not available, take them from Doulos, and only if it's not available, take them from a 'random' font that seems right to you."

I would hope that it would be trivial to come up with a small list of serif typefaces with sufficient IPA characters for printing purposes on the web. In the spirit of my post, the logical choices would be DejaVu Serif, and Lucida Serif; however, I don't know if (and where) Lucida Serif is available, and it certainly isn't available on Windows. As far as I can tell, users of Windows would either have to install fonts or be served Webfonts, but perhaps Vista or 7 improved the situation in that regard (and of course one could always print sans-serif).


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#4 14 Dec 2009 5:50

Ethan
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Re: IPA Fonts on the Web

I know that the latest version of Office does not default to Times New Roman and, hence, many students accidentally turn in papers in this new font face and get marked down points.  This, of course, is silly because it should really be the content that is important, but it's kind of funny never the less.  Don't even get me started on the uni's online email interface not being UTF-8...

I will try some of these fonts on my next project, especially since I have a phonetics class next semester.  I've lucked out for awhile not needed to do transcription because I was taking syntax classes. tongue


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#5 14 Dec 2009 10:25

Frenzie
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From: Antwerp, Belgium
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Re: IPA Fonts on the Web

I know that the latest version of Office does not default to Times New Roman and, hence, many students accidentally turn in papers in this new font face and get marked down points.  This, of course, is silly because it should really be the content that is important, but it's kind of funny never the less.  Don't even get me started on the uni's online email interface not being UTF-8...

As long as you can forward it or access properly through an IMAP client or some such it shouldn't matter too much. I rather doubt that my uni's Outlook Web Access is decent. Annoyingly, you can only set filters in IE, and those filters aren't even very useful (like you can't forward without FW:). Luckily, they've got a separate forward utility, though I doubt that many people will find it since it was somewhat hidden.

I will try some of these fonts on my next project, especially since I have a phonetics class next semester.  I've lucked out for awhile not needed to do transcription because I was taking syntax classes.

Bleh, syntax. tongue

Anyway, I did a little test.

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k114/Frenziefrenz/Screenshots/IPA-sampling.png

According to Wikipedia, Times New Roman for Vista does come with IPA glyphs; however, it's illegal to use the Vista fonts (they come with the Powerpoint 2007 Viewer) on non-Windows platforms.


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#6 14 Dec 2009 22:51

Ethan
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Re: IPA Fonts on the Web

The uni's email is okay through IMAP, but they encourage everyone to use the webmail interface b/c it integrates with the other central services (calendar, etc.) that is all proprietary Oracle stuff.  However, in a few months they are offering a voluntary migration to Google Apps for all the students, so I cannot wait!

Eventually I want to learn how to type with an IPA keyboard layout lol.


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#7 15 Dec 2009 5:58

Frenzie
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From: Antwerp, Belgium
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Re: IPA Fonts on the Web

They automatically generate individualized calendars?

As for typing IPA, the compose key helps you along quite a bit for less special characters like æ, ð, and a few others that I forgot. I must admit that I'm also of the copy & paste persuasion. tongue Some, like compose key, n, g for ŋ are very sensible.


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#8 15 Dec 2009 6:48

Ethan
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Re: IPA Fonts on the Web

The calendars are available for us to use, but I don't know anyone who actually does.  It's quite an awful piece of software.

I could also use a key for the upside "r" that corresponds to "r" in English.


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#9 15 Dec 2009 16:05

Frenzie
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From: Antwerp, Belgium
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Re: IPA Fonts on the Web

My retroflex approximant makes your alveolar approximant eat dirt, you bɻɪt. tongue Just pretend you're Scottish instead and the alveolar trill will be your friend.


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#10 15 Dec 2009 16:29

Ethan
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Re: IPA Fonts on the Web

Trilling my r's would make me sound quite odd, it certainly is not a characteristic of American English.  I already talk different enough from people around me, being from a far away state.  Stupid Northern cities vowel shift...


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#11 16 Dec 2009 4:00

Frenzie
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Re: IPA Fonts on the Web

None of this describes anything of how people speak in Chicago, the parts of Wisconsin I visited, the parts of Michigan I visited, and Detroit (it feels separate, OK tongue). It's possible that I could miss some of them by being used to them (if so, I would hopefully produce them myself as well), but no way do caught and cot sound anywhere remotely the same. Same for cut. "Northern /ɛ/ moves in the direction of [ ]" That sounds more like some kind of messed up RP to me. The only thing in that list that may actually exist from my perspective (which is of course purely anecdotal) is /æ/ turning into some kind of diphthong.


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#12 17 Dec 2009 8:04

Ethan
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Re: IPA Fonts on the Web

In my opinion, the issue with the generalisation of the northern city vowel shift is that it covers too broad an area.  The area is essentially every American city on the Great Lakes.  Nevertheless, I can attest to having observed a few of the vowel shifts.

In the shift, "caught" and "cot" aren't pronounced the same.  "caught" is pronounced similar to how everyone else pronounces "cot", but the vowel in "cot" shifts to something else as well.  In a vowel chart thingy (the name escapes me), essentially every value sort of shifts in a circular like fashion.  However, "caught" and "cot" do sound the same in some North American dialects.  I can attest to this myself since I cannot, for the life of me, pronounce them differently.  People in the Northern-city region do however, but both are different from everyone else.

People here in Minnesota say "bag" like "beg" and "back" like "beck", so something with /æ/ and /ɛ/.

I've only read that this shift exist everywhere, but I cannot personally attest to all of it.  A lot of people here are from Wisconsin and have other features of the shift, but not some that native Minnesotans have, so I would presume the shift is not uniform at all.  This makes sense since Minnesota, Wisconsin, and New York all have historically had their own dialects previously.


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#13 17 Dec 2009 15:12

Frenzie
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From: Antwerp, Belgium
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Re: IPA Fonts on the Web

In the shift, "caught" and "cot" aren't pronounced the same.  "caught" is pronounced similar to how everyone else pronounces "cot", but the vowel in "cot" shifts to something else as well.

My friend from Minnesota pronounces words like not and cot the same way every American I know (the pronunciation of) does. I.e. the way that makes German "von" sound somewhat like Dutch "van". Or in other words, pretty much the Dictionary.com and Merriam-Webster.com-style pronunciations. You just know weird people. tongue

People here in Minnesota say "bag" like "beg" and "back" like "beck", so something with /æ/ and /ɛ/.

I think some people may put the /æ/ closer to the /ɛ/, but the only one having trouble with it is me, since are my ears that aren't sensitive enough to the subtle differences. Because in Dutch we only have the /ɛ/, I sometimes accidentally turn an /ɛ/ into an /æ/ and vice versa. It's not nearly as problematic as a few years ago, and I'm hopefully exaggerating back then as well. I wonder if you might have something similar, being from a background where the difference is bigger? (and perhaps some people do actually merge them <_<)


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#14 17 Dec 2009 19:44

Ethan
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From: Minneapolis, MN
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Re: IPA Fonts on the Web

/æ/ and /ɛ/ are both quite distinct sounds to me, but the slightly raised /æ/ is impossible for me to reproduce myself, even when I can hear it.

Now, the Minnesota accent had a very distinct "o" sound, even when they say "Minnesota".  Of course, most people don't actually have this accent to the full extent, it's a more northern Minnesota thing, so Bemidji and such.  Being at a state institution, there are a lot of people from northern Minnesota who have this accent.  Everyone I know from around the Twin Cities or anywhere south of here speaks pretty standard American English.

Here are some examples of Minnesotan accents:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWjAJoKU7Go
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrM2gmx0tNM (from Fargo, which everyone in Minnesota will try to get you to watch)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIczWHuP2qQ

That last video is probably the most accurate.  The other two are exaggerated, but you can hear the vowel differences.


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#15 18 Dec 2009 6:01

Frenzie
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From: Antwerp, Belgium
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Re: IPA Fonts on the Web

Whoa, they sound absolutely nothing like the people from Minnesota I know. But again, that Wikipedia page claims that Chicago and Detroit are the core area for that kind of accent! Of course I personally associate Chicago and Detroit with the most standard of accents available, but I still think I'd notice if there were a huge discrepancy along those lines. tongue I mean, save for a few minor exceptions it's virtually identical to General American as described in speech guides.


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#16 18 Dec 2009 13:02

Ethan
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From: Minneapolis, MN
Registered: 20 Jan 2005
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Re: IPA Fonts on the Web

Well, like I said earlier, people around the Twin Cities tend to have a more standardised accent without all this weird stuff.  The Twin Cities make up about 67% of the state's population.  Most people I know though can imitate the stereotyped accent, much like I can imitate a southern accent, although I do not have one.

Midwestern American English is considered the standard dialect.  Anyone west of the Mississippi usually has this standardised accent, but in the south-east and the north-east, there are quite a few regional dialects/accents.  Minnesota and Wisconsin both had accents, but most of the weird stuff no one actually uses anymore.  Texas, of course, is a huge exception.

You might find this sight interesting: http://accent.gmu.edu/.  It has English-speaking samples from all over the world.


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Blog | American Swedish Institute | Save the Internet

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#17 21 Dec 2009 13:40

Frenzie
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From: Antwerp, Belgium
Registered: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 3874
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Re: IPA Fonts on the Web

Midwestern American English is considered the standard dialect.

Exactly, which has nothing to do with that vowel shift! tongue

You might find this sight interesting: http://accent.gmu.edu/.  It has English-speaking samples from all over the world.

Seems interesting. I'll check it out when I have more time.


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