Talk:Rheinische Dokumenta

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For the English glosses, which dialect is the "standard" here? (The answer is always either RP or GA, because Empire. :P )[edit]

The English language has many dialects. Since it's impractical to give glosses for them all, it's important to give the name of which dialectical standard is being used in a pronunciation gloss.

A trivial example of why this is important is in the section: vowels; monophthongs; short monophthongs. The gloss for the letter ä, IPA vowel [ɛ] gives the example of the English words "where" and "ware". The Rheinische Dokumenta orthogloss is wäe̩; my dialectic is rhotic, so that's not actually how I'd pronounce the word.

A non-trivial example is that no one from my dialect region would be able to understand the difference between Reinische Dokumenta letters ạ and ǫ, using only the glosses given in this encyclopedia. The glosses given use the 'o's from the English words "column" and "off" as exemplars, but my dialect pronounces those vowels identically. Only prior competence with IPA notation is able to inform me as to what those vowels represent; for me, the glosses are worse than useless: they're actively confusing.

Wikipedia's dialect policy for English is to avoid treating any one dialect as official, standard, or preferred over others; ostensibly, this means that Received Pronunciation ought to be held as no more official than the speech of the Belizeans, the Hongkongese, or my Yooper neighbors (though I have trouble believing that such egalitarianism will ever be possible, neither among the oil barons of my side of the pond, nor among the royal barons of the other one).

Thus for as long as ineffective glosses remain a problem, the best way to fix that problem remains selecting words pronounced the same way in all dialects; and barring that, the next-best solution is (in my most humble opinion) to simply name the dialectical standard used, the same way one names the pronunciation of Cologne as either French or German.130.132.173.196 (talk) 21:02, 29 November 2014 (UTC)