From: John Cowan (email@example.com)
Date: Fri Nov 08 2002 - 12:38:18 EST
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
FAQmeister, please notice.
-- John Cowan firstname.lastname@example.org www.ccil.org/~cowan www.reutershealth.com "In computer science, we stand on each other's feet." --Brian K. Reid
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