Currently, when copying and pasting IPA script from sources such as ipa.typeit.org , the symbol for a voiced velar plosive:

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... gets transmogrified into the following symbol:

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The problem with this is that different types of symbol, for example < a, ɑ, æ > refer very specifically to different sounds within the IPA system. Recently, phoneticians have started being picky about the use of so-called "goggles-g" (because it looks a bit like a pair of goggles) when what is really intended is the symbol for the voiced velar plosive, which has no closed loop at the bottom.

The "goggles"-g, quite simply does not exist within the IPA set of symbols, but could get pressed into service in the future for the representation of a different type of sound.

Is there some way that we can get the voiced velar plosive symbol to remain in its correct form in posts on the site?

  • 3
    Isn't whether the 'g' is goggled or open up to the font design? That is, isn't there only one code point for it in Unicode?
    – Mitch
    Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 12:38
  • @Mitch I'm not sure, but I don't think so, according to this list. The site seems to be able to cope with the different 'A's etc quite well. Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 12:48
  • 3
    @Araucaria From that list, there is no codepoint in Unicode which has the semantics “IPA voiced velar plosive”. So you’ll either have to pick the regular g, which will be rendered per whatever font is being used by EL&U, or another one of the code points, which also don’t guarantee no closed loop, and additionally may not be present in the font, so may not be rendered at all. I think the answer to your overall question is “no”.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 13:53
  • Where do you see ɡ on TypeIt’s IPA pages at all? Even on the full IPA page, I don’t see it anywhere. It seems TypeIt just assumes that a regular g should be used instead. (Similarly, there’s no a, only ɑ and ɐ, since there is no difference between the regular letter a and the IPA character /a/.) Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 13:03
  • 1
    @Dan That’s (partly) because the correct character is not considered to be based on U+0067 (regular lowercase g)—for whatever reason made sense to the Consortium at the time. Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 13:09
  • @JanusBahsJacquet The way that ipa.typeit works is that one can just type on your normal keyboard. When you want a special symbol, you just press alt + whatever key seems intuitively similar to the symbol your after till it pops up. When you're finished you just snarf and barf the lot into whatever text your writing. The non-goggles 'g' is just the < g > that comes up if you don't press alt! Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 8:04
  • @Araucaria You’re getting two things mixed up here. There’s the fact that g (normal g) and g (single-storey g, script g) are two different glyphs, with different Unicode points; and then there’s the reality of how individual typefaces choose to implement those two glyphs. In any font that uses a double-storey g as its normal g (like most serif fonts, including Georgia used for questions here), the two will look different; in fonts that don’t (like most sans serif fonts, including comments here), they’ll likely look identical. Typeit uses a sans serif font, so they look identical. Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 8:12
  • -> They’ve basically messed things up by leaving out the single-storey g altogether and choosing a sans serif font for the text field. Even by pressing alt or looking through the little boxes with special characters above the text field, there is no single-storey g, which is not how it ought to be. So when you type in a g there, it’s a regular g, just presented in a sans serif font where it happens to look the same as the single-storey g glyph. (Compare how, in a font like Futura, a and ɑ also look identical—not a good font for IPA!) Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 8:15

1 Answer 1


Unicode confusables FTW:

  • Latin small letter g: g
  • Latin small letter script g: ɡ

The former is regular "g", which can be either single story or double story depending on font (right now it is double story, hopefully this won't ch-ch-ch-change). The latter is a different Unicode character which will always be single story (or it won't display at all, without the proper fonts).

This is a list of different Unicode G's. These particular G's are also mentioned on this Wikipedia page.

  • ɡ, ɡ, ɡ ɡreat! That'll do for the time being. Ch-ch-ch-cheers. Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 18:15
  • This is the correct answer. ʟᴀᴛɪɴ sᴍᴀʟʟ ʟᴇᴛᴛᴇʀ sᴄʀɪᴘᴛ ɢ is indeed the glyph normally used to represent IPA /ɡ/, until such a time when the Unicode Consortium decides to add a specialised glyph for this purpose (which probably won’t happen). Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 13:06
  • 2
    @JanusBahsJacquet Because the Unicode consortium is too busy casting the next emoji movie. :-/ Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 9:14
  • 1
    A 2016 request for LATIN LETTER SMALL CAPITAL Q to represent the Japanese mora obstruent archiphoneme was accepted by the Unicode Technical Committee, so if all goes well it should be in Unicode 11.0 as U+A7AF. If you think there's a need for this character, submit a proposal :-)
    – user28567
    Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 23:40

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