Re: ogonek vs. retroflex hook

Date: Fri Apr 04 2003 - 17:19:13 EST

  • Next message: Kenneth Whistler: "Re: ogonek vs. retroflex hook"

    Kenneth Whistler <> wrote on 04/04/2003 02:25:02 PM:

    > > They are very
    > > clearly the retroflex hook and not ogonek.
    > This last is a fallacious statement on its face.

    > Why you would feel that such user sense of the characters they
    > are using is belied by your analysis of the shape of the hooks
    > used in the IJAL font is beyond me.

    I'm sorry I wasn't clearer. I was not referring to their status in terms of
    defining characters. I was *only* referring to the typography -- their
    shape. Their status for purposes of defining characters was what I was
    eventually trying to get to, but that statement was not meant to reflect a

    John Hudson had pointed me to a page by Adam Twardoch discussing typography
    of ogonek, which very clearly stated what ogoneks should and should not
    look like. I was following that guide, and *by it's metric* what I was
    seeing in IJAL (and some other sources) very clearly were not *in
    typographic terms* ogonek.

    On revisiting Pullum and Ladusaw's comments on "Polish hook", however, it
    all became clear: "Boas et al. (1916, 8) recommend the use of a centered
    subscript rightward hook under vowel or consonant symbols as a nasalization
    diacritic." The criteria provided leave a fair amount of room for
    variation, and clearly the variations I was seeing all fit.

    So, I agree with your statement,

    > Very simply. They use vowels with ogoneks to represent vowels with
    > ogoneks.

    but I would point out to the typographers out there that not all ogoneks
    have to look exactly the way that Adam described when the usage context is
    phonetic transcription (though, for Polish, I'm sure they would).

    John's comments and Adam's paper (both absolutely correct in relation to
    typography of European languages) misled me. If someone like you had jumped
    in at that point to say, "It's a bit of a different story when it comes to
    Americanist phonetic tradition..." before I took that input and ran with
    it, I would have been spared the embarrasment of going off in the wrong
    direction, but unfortunately it didn't happen that way :-(

    > The are two widespread conventions in Americanist orthographies
    > for nasalization: ogonek (or "Polish hook") under vowels (or semivowels)
    > tilde over vowels (or semivowels).

    There is another convention, admittedly far less widespread: cedilla.
    Brewster and Brewster used this, and I have seen vowels with cedilla used
    by various linguists in recent publications (e.g. Givón 2001), apparently
    for nasalisation (in some samples I have come across, the notation is not

    > No, they map vowel+ogonek (whether as a precomposed form or as
    > a vowel + combining ogonek sequence, which would be canonically
    > equivalent

    Ken, given that existing precomposed vowel+ogonek forms have canonical
    decompositions, whereas characters with palatal hook and retroflex hook do
    not, I'm wondering whether your recommendation regarding atomic encoding of
    such character modifications extends to characters with ogonek. There are a
    total of five vowels (aeiou) for which Unicode has precomposed characters
    with ogonek. There are others that are used with ogonek in phonetic
    transcription (potentially, any vowel symbol can take ogonek, though I've
    encountered a much more limited set after looking at quite a number of
    sources). Should these be encoded using U+0328, or should atomic characters
    be proposed?

    - 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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