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Standard orthogrphy vs phonetic alphabet.

 
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Michellekj



Joined: 11 Jan 2013
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:00 am    Post subject: Standard orthogrphy vs phonetic alphabet. Reply with quote

Why do linguists use a phonetic alphabet as opposed to standard orthography? What would be a variety of answers in this forum?
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Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1311
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems quite obvious that a phonetic alphabet can describe many languages with the same orthography to be compared and accurately understood by many people who know that phonetic alphabet. Why are you interested?
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 26 Oct 2004
Posts: 3008
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Sally says, you can transcribe any language regardless of its orthography if you use IPA instead. IPA is also a good way of showing the pronunciation of words that may have a difficult or ambiguous pronunciation e.g. I read a book everyday - Past or present tense for the 'read'? IPA would disambiguate which context. IPA is also a fallback for learners, especially when no native speakers are available - the learner can look words up in dictionaries and find out how to pronounce words from the transcriptions provided.
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