Long S in Germany (was: 0364 COMBINING LATIN SMALL LETTER E)

From: Otto Stolz (Otto.Stolz@uni-konstanz.de)
Date: Thu Jan 08 2004 - 07:08:52 EST

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    Hello, and best wishes for the new year.

    Gerd Schumacher wrote:
    > The long s [...] has been abandoned from the Roman alphabet in Germany
    > in the mid of the 19th century.

    You mean the 20th century, don't you?

    I have a facsimile reprint of the 1914 issue of "Zupfgeigenhansel"
    (a renowned song-book), which is set in Roman type ("Antiqua", in
    German) and uses the long-S consistently, according to German
    orthographic rules.

    If I am not mistaken, both Roman type ("Antiqua") and Gothic type
    ("Fraktur") were used concurrently up to 1941 when Gothic type was
    banned by the government; likewise, Latin and German handwriting
    were used concurrently. (In the 1930s, the very same government
    had pushed the usage of Gothic type.)

    > Usually there is no on Swiss typewriters, because in Swiss pronounciation
    > there are many syllable-boundaries between the two s-parts of the common
    > German .

    There is no syllable-boundary within the "", as it signifes a single
    sound. I can think of no example where the Swiss pronounciation is
    different, in this respect.

    In compounds, two "s" characters from different constituents may
    happen to stand side by side, as in "aussprechen" (from "aus-
    sprechen"), but these are never ever replaced with an "" letter.

    The rationale for the Swiss keyboard design is that the accented
    characters (for French and Italian) were less dispensable than the
    "" (only used in German, and easily replaced with the "ss" Digraph).

    Again, best wishes,
        Otto Stolz



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