Re: Is long s a presentation form?

From: John Cowan (
Date: Fri Nov 08 2002 - 12:38:18 EST

  • Next message: Jim Allan: "Re: Is long s a presentation form?"

    Thomas Lotze scripsit:

    > Why is the LATIN SMALL LETTER LONG S considered a character
    > in its own right?
    > At least the way the two s's are used in German, they seem to act like a
    > classical pair of representation forms of one single character: if the
    > long s is present in the font, it is used by default except at the end
    > of a word or part of a compound word (and maybe some other cases like
    > double s?). If it is not present, a round s is used everywhere.

    It is precisely the question of compounds, and the fact that some
    compound words can be dissected in more than one way, that makes long
    s not quite a presentation form. Wachstube (Wach-Stube, "guard room")
    is visually distinguished from Wachstube (Wachs-Tube, "wax tube") because
    the first word requires a long s if one is available, whereas the second
    word requires a round s.

    Similarly, the final forms of Hebrew consonants are not considered
    presentation forms of the basic versions, because the basic versions are
    sometimes used finally: in abbreviations, in Yiddish words, and elsewhere.

    > I hope this is not just another stupid question; at least the long s is
    > not mentioned in the FAQ.

    I have reworded your question and my answer for direct incorporation into
    the FAQ.

    FAQmeister, please notice.

    John Cowan
    "In computer science, we stand on each other's feet."
            --Brian K. Reid

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