Aesop's Fables

THE NORTH WIND and the Sun disputed as to which was the most powerful, and agreed that he should be declared the victor who could first strip a wayfaring man of his clothes. The North Wind first tried his power and blew with all his might, but the keener his blasts, the closer the Traveler wrapped his cloak around him, until at last, resigning all hope of victory, the Wind called upon the Sun to see what he could do. The Sun suddenly shone out with all his warmth. The Traveler no sooner felt his genial rays than he took off one garment after another, and at last, fairly overcome with heat, undressed and bathed in a stream that lay in his path. Persuasion is better than Force.

The North Wind and the Sun, a classic example of Aesop's Fables, has a linguistic purpose. Much like 'The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog' is used to exemplify different fonts, this passage is used to exemplify languages by linguists. Usually, the story will be written in the language of the speaker, then narrowly and then broadly transcribed into IPA or another phonetic alphabet. This gives linguists a good cross-section of the language so that they can observe and construct a phonology of the language, as well as describe which phones occur as allophones. It can also be used to compare and contrast regional dialects.

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