Re: Digraphs as Distinct Logical Units

From: David Starner (
Date: Fri Aug 02 2002 - 19:19:09 EDT

At 09:17 PM 8/2/02 +0100, Sean B. Palmer wrote:
>I find the comments therein rather perplexing, especially seeing as how if
>the digraphic characters were in fact denoted by a singular new glyph, then
>they would certainly have been included.

Then it would be a new character. As it is, it's only a combination of
characters in the standard.

>Of course, it is also true that a
>decade or two ago, common substitutions such as i^ for i-with-circumflex
>had to be made.

Yes, but in most situations, i^ is different from i-with-circumflex. There
are very few situations where Maltese ie is different from the normal ie.
Consider that proper quotes and dashs are still rarely entered for English,
because there's little difference and much complication in input. As there
would be no user-visible difference between Maltese ie and ie, I can't see
how you could get users to start using it.

>Since there are 676 possible digraph combinations,

Stop being so ethnocentric. The extended Latin alphabet alone is much
larger than 26 characters, and that ignores all the Cyrillic languages,
some of which were probably written with digraphs.

Read the section in UTR #28 on the combining grapheme joiner. That's the
character that was invented to do this. It comes predeprecated, and
seems most likely to found in linguist's writing, not that of the average

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