Re: long s

From: Karl Pentzlin (
Date: Mon Oct 25 1999 - 06:14:07 EDT

CC to
Mit Bitte um Weiterleitung an die Duden-Redaktion zur evtl. Stellungnahme
(please forward to the Duden editorial board)

----- Original Message -----
From: arno <>
To: Unicode List <>
Sent: Sunday, October 24, 1999 11:29 PM
Subject: long s

> Karl Pentzlin wrote:
> > At the end of words, you can even find a long-s after the spelling
> > reform of 1998 (if there is a sequence of two s´s). It´s ugly but true.
> > Refer to Duden, Die deutsche Rechtschreibung, 21nd edition, p. 71.
> No, it is NOT true.
> I consulted Duden 12. to 21. edition (1941 to 1996). The reform
> did not change a thing.

The reform *did* change a thing here.
p.71 of the actual (1996) Duden edition states under the header "S-Laute im
Fraktursatz" (s sounds in Fraktur script):
"Für Doppel-s der Antiqua steht <long-s><long-s>",
i.e.:for double-s in Latin script <long-s><long-s> is to be used.

This was stated the same way in previous editions, but according to the
pre-1998 spelling rules there was regularly no double-s at the end of a
German word, instead "ß" (German sharp s, U+00DF) had to be written.
According to the spelling reform, after short vowels "ss" is to be written
now there.
Thus, words like "dass" (the most common example), "Hass", "Stress" etc.
(formerly written "daß", "Haß", "Streß") now end in a long-s when written in
a Fraktur script.

> On p. 71 there is just one sequence of two
> long s at the end of words: ich lass (I let)
> not laß (I read) --
btw, "I read (past tense)" is spelled "ich las",
> it is not really at the end of a word, because after "lass" there
> is a virtual "e" (lass ist a casual form of lasse).
But nevertheless, the "ich lass" is just another example of a
<long-s><long-s> at the end of a word. In previous Duden editions, there was
an apostroph ("ich lass'") indicating the omitted "e", but this seems no
longer necessary after the 1998 spelling reform (or according to the actual
development of the German language; the omission of the "e" in spoken German
is more than casual). Apparently, the Duden people had chosen an exception
where a double-ss occurs near the end of a word even according to the
then-valid spelling rules, and did not change the example when editing the
text according to the new spelling rules.

Karl Pentzlin
AC&S Analysis Consulting & Software GmbH
München, Germany

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:20:54 EDT