Font-related problem for linguists

Anonyme Anonymous kankoku at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Mar 1 14:40:04 UTC 2012

I usually recommend Lucida Sans Unicode to my students for IPA. On my
version of Microsoft Word, this font does have an italicized [a] (if you
can see it, it looks like <*a>*) as well as an italicized ash* *(*æ*).



Robert A. Cloutier, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Linguistics

Department of English and Communications

Tennessee Technological University

Cookeville, TN 38505



On Thu, Mar 1, 2012 at 7:10 AM, Peter Kahrel <kahrel at> wrote:

> Andrew,
> A surprise indeed, I hadn't realised that those new Microsoft fonts had
> those sets, thanks for pointing that out. And proper italics, too. But
> Don's problem of the slanted a remains because it doesn't have a Unicode
> position.
> On 01.03.2012 12:56, Spencer, Andrew J wrote:
>> Don, Peter,
>> Having recommended Charis SIL to students and colleagues I discovered
>> the Unicode-related problems Don mentions, including the problem of
>> slanted/italic 'ash' (æ), which comes out as italic oe ligature (œ).
>> Somewhat to my surprise, I find that MicroSoft's recent font Cambria
>> has rather better IPA support, at least in this respect. It provides
>> slanted versions for the complete IPA character set, including
>> superscripts such as aspiration. Has anyone encountered any problems
>> with Cambria IPA that I'm unaware of?
>> Of course, the other alternative is to use LaTeX with the TIPA
>> package. I can put all the IPA symbols into slanted mode provided I
>> use a supported font (Times New Roman - it doesn't necessarily work
>> with other fonts), and XeTeX users can presumably just input Cambria
>> if they want. However, LaTeX doesn't help if you need to share files
>> with non-LaTeX users, of course.
>> Andrew
>> ***************************************************
>> ______________________________**__________
>> on
>> behalf of Peter Kahrel [kahrel at KAHREL.PLUS.COM]
>> Sent: 01 March 2012 12:30
>> Subject: Re: Font-related problem for linguists
>> Don,
>> Not a silly question at all: it's a common problem. The trouble is that
>> a and its 'slanted' equivalent have no Unicode position. Charis's
>> behaviour to italicise a as a slanted is an annoying feature, but
>> designed and expected. You should appeal to the Unicode consortium
>> (, not to SIL, so that type foundries (such as SIL) can
>> place the character somewhere. (Such a request should be pending but it
>> won't harm if you remind the consortium: the more requests, the quicker
>> the fix.)
>> As you said, in the meantime you can create a font with a and its
>> slanted equivalent (if you know how). Use that for your own purposes.
>> Use a position from the Private Use range, say E000. Then when you
>> submit a text for publication, tell the editor that E000 represents a
>> and its slanted version, and give them your font. If the typesetters
>> can't deal with that, the publisher should find someone else.
>> Peter
> --
> Peter Kahrel
> 65 Westbourne Road
> Lancaster
> LA1 5AY
> United Kingdom
> +44 (0)1524 844949
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