Re: ogonek vs. retroflex hook

From: Jim Allan (
Date: Wed Apr 02 2003 - 10:59:02 EST

  • Next message: John Hudson: "Re: ogonek vs. retroflex hook"

    Peter Constable posted:

    > Is there a typographic difference between a or i with ogonek versus a or i
    > with retroflex hook? If I'm looking at a sample, what are the
    > distinguishing characteristics that I can use to determine whether I'm
    > seeing an ogonek or a retroflex hook?

    U+0322 RETROFLEX HOOK is an artifact of Unicode.

    The official IPA chart shown at indicates a retroflex
    series of consonants with symbols created by modifying the shape of
    corresponding charactes in the Dental/Alveolar/Postalveolar column to
    add a right-turning hook to the letter.

    The resulting symbols indicate sounds made in the same way as the sounds
    associated respectively with the corresponding characters in the
    Dental/Alveolar/Postalveolar column, but with the tip of the tongue bent
    back so that its tip touches the roof of the mouth behind the alveolar

    But no independant retroflex hook is indicated among the IPA diacritics.

    However linguists do use non-standard notations, so a linguist might
    wish to modify some other symbol on occasion.

    For example, a small capital D is sometimes used for the sound that IPA
    indicates by U+027E LATIN SMALL LETTER R WITH FISHHOOK. A linguist using
    that convention might wish the corresponding retroflex consonant to be
    indicated by a small capital D with a right turning hook beneath it.

    What would really be wanted would be a modified small capital D with the
    retroflex hook attached to the lower left corner of the D and the serif
    at that point dropped.

    U+0322 RETROFLEX HOOK could be used in such cases with a suitably
    intelligent font or as a workable compromise with an unintelligent font.

    I suppose a RETROFLEX HOOK might be used with vowels, to indicate the
    vowel is being made with the tongue bent back (but without actual
    closure between the tip of the tongue and the roof of the mouth) but I
    have *never* seen such, probably because such tongue positioning does
    not produce noticeable modification in the pronunciation that would not
    be far more easily and understandably indicated by other conventions.

    There is a linguistic tradtion of using ogonek or an ogonek-like hook
    beneath a vowel or consonant to indicate a more open pronounciation,
    often seen in treatments of pronunciation of Old English and Middle English.

    This convention was formerly accepted by the IPA but has since been
    dropped by them. There is no modification of the shape of the base
    character. In phonetic use this linguistic ogonek was usually centered
    horizontally on the base character (even with _a_) which is not done
    with characters modified for show a retroflex hook.

    Ogonek is also used to indicate nasalization of a vowel by some.

    Jim Allan

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Apr 02 2003 - 12:03:37 EST