Language typology on phonetical level

Yuri Tambovtsev yutamb at MAIL.RU
Mon Mar 8 12:50:18 UTC 2010


Dear Typology List members, do you think that language typology on the phonetic level is possible? Why is typology usually connected with lexics or syntax? I am sure that the typology of the world languages is possible on the phonetic level, i.e. the typology of language sound pictures. By the sound picture of a language we mean the collection of the transcribed texts of this language. We cannot advise linguists English texts in the usual English orthography, just like in Gutenberg collection. May be I don't understand typology on the phonetic level well enough since I have been studying it for 45 years only, but I understood that the person who wants to start the research shall have the same problem as I had, have and is going to have, i.e. to find the texts in tanscription. One can call it a Phonetic Pictutre as I do. As far as I understand there is not any reliable programme to transcribe texts by a computer. Anyway, all our texts were transcribed by hand. And then checked and rechecked. Computer transcribe texts with many mistakes. We found it for English, Russian, German and many more of the 168 languages we put into our Phonetic Typology Collection. Now, it looks that our collection allows us to compare all world languages fed into it with the help of some 9 phonetic features. Thus, we could tell Russian from Belorussian, and the rest Slavonic languages, basing just on the Sound Picture of it. In fact, the sound picture of a language is its Phonetic Corpus. However, if the Corpora Members really know the transcribed corpora of any language, I for one, would be very much interested. Please, let me know by sending me a message to yutamb at mail.ru  Be WELL, remain yours most typologically and phonetically Yuri Tambovtsev, Novosibirsk, Russia 
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