wikipedia pronunciation

Tom Zurinskas truespel at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Jul 3 02:31:33 UTC 2009

Wikipedia on their pronunciation guide


"This page falls within the scope of WikiProject Manual of Style, a drive to identify and address contradictions and redundancies, improve language, and coordinate the pages that form the MoS guidelines.

 This talk page has a tendency to attract repeated discussions of the same themes. Please read through the list of highlighted discussions below before starting a new one:

That the IPA is inaccessible to the layman, and that therefore for a quick guide to the pronunciation of Wikipedia entry words we should use pronunciation respellings such as proh-NUN-see-AY-shun. However, such respellings are inaccessible to the non-native English speaker, who generally is familiar with the IPA. There is wide agreement that respellings are acceptable, but should be used in addition to the IPA. To this end, any verbal description or "sound-alike" guide may be used, but there is also a standardized format at Wikipedia:Pronunciation respelling key.

That for English words, the IPA should be specific to a particular national standard, and that the national pronunciations should be listed separately. However, listing multiple national pronunciations after every Wikipedia entry word quickly becomes unwieldy, and listing only one leads to accusations of bias. Of course, if a particular dialect or local pronunciation is relevant to the topic, as is often the case with place names, it may be listed in addition to the wider pronunciation.

That the current "pan-dialectal" English convention at Wikipedia:IPA for English is arbitrary/unreferenced/original research, and is therefore invalid. However, this is a help key, not an article, and no more needs to follow Wikipedia's no original research policy than the pronunciation guide of any other encyclopedia or dictionary, nearly all of which use in-house conventions."

My take is this.  The internet is mainly written in English.  It was invented by English speaking people.  English is the lingua franca of the world.  95% of the scientific journals are in English, including the IPA journal which switched to English in 1970 after being created in France and published in French for 90 years.  Thus the pronunciation guide used here should be English friendly.  The IPA is not.  The majority form of English is USA English, because 70% of native English speakers are in the USA.

Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL5+
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