PHONETIC NOTATION BY E. H. Tuttle. I. General principles. In order to discuss speech sounds in a concise and intelligible manner, we must represent them by signs of fairly definite meaning. Ordinary orthography will not do for this purpose, since in nearly every language there is more or less of irregularity in the relation of spoken words to their written forms. Thus, in English, groups of letters are often used for simple sounds, and conversely ; ‘ rough ’ = ‘ ruff, ’ ‘ sword ’ = ‘soared,’ ‘phlox’ = ‘flocks.’ In German ‘wird’ = ‘ wirt(h)/ ‘ stadt ’ = ‘ statt,’ ‘ viel ’ = ‘ fiel,’ ‘ feld ’ = ‘ fällt,’ ‘ so(o)le ’ = ‘ sohle,’ —z rimes with—ds, —ts, etc. In French ‘ car’ = ‘ quart, ’ ‘sansr = ‘ sang ’ = ‘ sens ’ = ‘ sent ’ = ‘ cent,’ ‘ saoul ’ = ‘ sous ’ = ‘ soue,’ ‘ ceins ’ = ‘ ceint ’ = ‘ cinq ’ = ‘ sain ’ = ‘ saint ’ = ‘ sein ’ = ‘ seing,r ‘souhait’ = ‘soi.’ In Italian half the letters of the alphabet are used in two or more different manners. It is evident that we need for scientific purposes a sign system free from such serious faults as these. It should, however, be kept in mind that to construct and employ a mathematically exact system would be practically impossible, because of the linguistic and physiological differ¬ ences between individuals.1 Many of the phonetic symbols used here must therefore be understood as representing groups of slightly different articulations, sounds or properties.2 One of the first points to be considered is how to distinguish phonetic letters from orthographic ones. Many writers, overlooking the impor¬ tance of this consideration, make no distinction between orthographic and phonetic spelling, with the result that their work is sometimes unin¬ telligible, or, worse yet, misleading. Thus, when a French writer speaks- 1 The formula system of representing sounds is evidently intended as an approach to mathematical accuracy, but can hardly be called a phonetic transcription in the proper sense of the term ; it is rather a description in a sort of physiological shorthand. (JES- persen, Fonetik, Köbenhavn 1897-1899.) 2 The fact that speech does not consist of a series of adjacent sounds independent of one another, as implied by an alphabetic representation, will be left out of account here. 96