Re: Why Ligatures?

From: Mark Davis (
Date: Thu Oct 16 1997 - 12:34:52 EDT

I understand and agree with the reasoning for including œ (<oe>) in code
pages for French, so this is a point of information only!

It is my understanding that there is actually no "minimal-pair" in
French for oe vs <oe>; that is, that there is no pair of words that is
distinguished _only_ by the difference between oe and <oe>; Alain, do
you know if this is the case?


Alain LaBonti - ordi1dgsig wrote:

> A 12:25 97-10-15 -0700, Chester, Bernard a écrit :
> >I guess I don't understand the reasoning behind having ligatures in a
> >codepage. For example, Latin 00 proposal wants to add OE and oe
> >ligatures to Latin-1.
> >
> >Aren't these cases that the display logic should handle, but the data
> >actually is 2 letters? Is there a semantic difference if the display
> >showed 2 characters? When I search for oe ligature code value,
> >shouldn't I match with the octet pair o & e?
> >
> >Thanks
> >
> >Bernard Chester
> >EDM Localization Coordinator, FileNET Bellevue
> >425-450-1479
> [Alain] :
> OE's are not mere ligatures in French in the sense that the term
> ligature
> is understood in ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2. These characters are *required* for
> spelling of certain words in French as per dictionaries, *forbidden*
> in
> others. It acts as an anti-diaeresis if you wish to undertand its
> function.
> The joined digraph represents a pure vowel while separate digraphs
> represent two vowels, separated as if there were a diseresis on the
> second
> e (but there is none!)
> Examples :
> cœur (c<oe>ur), ŒUVRES (<OE>UVRES) COMPLÈTES DE VICTOR HUGO, bœuf, œuf
> [the joined digraph is required]
> coexistence, coercitif, Groenland
> [the joined digraph is prohibited, and there is no diaeresis to give
> us a
> clue]
> So these characters (Œ=OE, œ=oe) are called JOINED DIGRAPH in Latin 0,
> not
> For searching, equivalence with the two characters is required
> sometimes
> (to allow searching in old files which were technically poor) and not
> in
> other circumstances.
> For sorting, proximity is desired with separated digraphs oe and OE,
> but
> there is a difference in case of homographic ties (see ISO/IEC FCD
> 14651,
> under ballot by the end of this month).
> If you want to make a parallel with other languages, it is about the
> same
> as eszet (ß) in German, except that we definitely need the upper case
> letter as well (as French also needs an uppercase Y DIAERESIS, this is
> also
> fixed in Latin 0).
> Alain LaBonté
> Québec

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