RE: Digraph "ch" et al.

From: G. Adam Stanislav (
Date: Sun May 30 1999 - 22:53:05 EDT

At 11:12 30-05-1999 -0700, Becker, Joseph wrote:
>dz polish, ewe, oldlatvian, navajo

And Slovak too. Same for d+z with a caron. Both are digraphs in Slovak.
Unlike ch, they do not pose sorting problems because they follow the letter
d in Slovak alphabet, and it just happens to sort properly. Also, unlike
ch, they usually do not have a separate entry in the dictionary. They are
only considered digraphs because they are pronounced as a single sound.

>From: <Glenn Adams>
>By the way, what do you think about 'qu' and 'ch' in English writing
>systems. They are true digraphs in English since they always have an atomic
>phonological interpretation (although not always the same one, e.g., chin,
>chivalry, chiropractor, yacht -- notice that the first three of these occur
>in exactly the same context: 'chi-'). Should they have a single character
>encoding? If no, then why not?

They are digraphs, but that was not my point. The problem is with sorting.
In English this problem does not exist. In Slovak and Czech it does.

Even if this (apparently) may not justify assigning them Unicode values, it
is a problem that i18n software needs to address one way or another.


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