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Re: Meaning of the words "grapheme" and "orthography" (R101 of PLS Disp. of Comm.)

From: Baggia Paolo <paolo.baggia@loquendo.com>
Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2006 15:48:27 +0200
Message-ID: <F534D6940BB4C447874590AC0B295571696C35@PTPEVS106BA020.idc.cww.telecomitalia.it>
To: <www-voice@w3.org>, "Mark Alexandre" <markalexandre@gmail.com>
Cc: "Baggia Paolo" <paolo.baggia@loquendo.com>
Issue R101
Proposed Classification: Clarification / Typo / Editorial 
Resolution: Rejected
Dear Mark Alexandre,
We have summarised your comment and identified two requests.
#1. Rename the 'orthography' attribute to 'script' or 'scriptcode'
    the grapheme element.
#2. Having liberated the name orthography, rename the grapheme element 
    'orthography' (preference), 'spelling', writing' or even 'graphia'
We resolve to remove the 'orthography' attribute from the grapheme
because we do not see its value and recognize the benefits of supporting
mixture of script types within a grapheme element (which occurs in
for example). Consequently, the request to rename the attribute is
The name 'orthography' is however liberated.
The element named 'grapheme' [1] almost always involves a sequence of
However, it is not a requirement for the element to contain a sequence
of graphemes; 
only one grapheme (smallest orthographic unit) is permissible (minimum
The grapheme or sequence of graphemes given in the 'grapheme' element
to the phoneme or sequence of phonemes given in the 'phoneme' element. 
This is in accordance with the notion of "grapheme-to-phoneme
conversion" (or, 
in layman's terms, letter-to-sound conversion). The name of the element
goes hand-in-hand with the name of the element 'phoneme', which has been
from SSML 1.0 [2] because it has a similar usage. 
Future revisions of PLS may wish to define the pronunciation of
units larger than the grapheme, such as 'morpheme' or 'affix' (as is
common in 
system internal lexicons). Grapheme, morpheme, affix, locution... are
all terms 
that refer to orthographic units. A generic term such as 'orthography', 
'spelling' or 'writing' etc. for this element seems inappropriate at
this stage 
given that it would probably have to be changed to 'grapheme' in future.
It is 
thus our opinion that the current name 'grapheme' is the best name for
Please note that our reply is in accordance with two further public
closely related to yours [3] [4].
Please indicate whether you are satisfied with the VBWG's resolution,
whether you think there has been a misunderstanding, or whether you wish
to register an objection.
Paolo Baggia, editor PLS spec
[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/2006/WD-pronunciation-lexicon-20060131/#S4.5
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/speech-synthesis/#S3.1
[3] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-voice/2006AprJun/0107.html
[4] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-voice/2006AprJun/0120.html


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Received on Thursday, 27 July 2006 13:48:45 UTC

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