Re: ogonek vs. retroflex hook

Date: Thu Apr 03 2003 - 02:45:33 EST

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    Ken Whistler wrote on 04/02/2003 03:54:10 PM:

    > > That isn't the only convention. I am finding several samples of
    > > retroflex hook being used to indicate nasalisation of vowels.
    > Jim Allan is right. It is the *ogonek* which is used to signify
    > the nasalization of vowels. If you have found things that
    > as "samples of typographic retroflex hook" being used this
    > way, you just have confused font designers creating bad
    > glyphs, IMO.

    By far the most commonly used typographic convention in Internation Journal
    of American Linguistics (from the past decade, at any rate) to indicate
    nasalisation of vowels is the "retroflex hook". (There are some articles in
    which combining tilde is used, and I have seen a couple of cases of
    cedilla, the latter in quotations from other sources.) They are very
    clearly the retroflex hook and not ogonek.

    I can't comment on the historical development of this practice and whether
    it might have arisen from confusion with ogonek. I think the library on our
    center has IJAL from its inception (nearly 70 years), so I could jump back
    a decade or two or three to see what I can find out. In the mean time, how
    is U. of Chicago Press to migrate their publishing of IJAL to use Unicode?
    Either they encode a bunch of base-ogonek characters (most of which would
    still need to be proposed) and use fonts that maintain "poor typographic
    practice" of having ogoneks that look like retroflex hooks, or they need to
    revise their typographic practice and switch to using typeforms with real
    ogoneks. The former has obvious concerns, but the latter doesn't remove all
    concerns -- the legacy practice continues to haunt. As I have looked
    through various sources, it has been apparent to me that
    authors/editors/publishers often endeavour to maintain original typography
    in quotations. So, with a bunch of base-ogonek characters encoded, it will
    be unclear to them how to represent quotations from IJAL.

    So far, the majority of cases of vowel symbols with retroflex hook that
    I've encountered have been in IJAL, but there have been others.

    I'm not saying I think this is something to be advocated; I'm just trying
    to determine what characters are needed to support actual usage.

    - Peter

    Peter Constable

    Non-Roman Script Initiative, SIL International
    7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Dallas, TX 75236, USA
    Tel: +1 972 708 7485

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