Re: Klingon

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Thu Jan 15 2004 - 13:41:19 EST

  • Next message: Jon Hanna: "Re: Klingon"

    At 19:16 +0100 2004-01-15, Philippe Verdy wrote:

    > > Many Latin-script languages write capital letters
    > > in non-initial positions. Irish does quite
    > > regularly: "an tSín" 'China'. Breton does
    >> sometimes. It is common in transliterations of
    >> Tibetan.
    >I admit this exists, I don't think it's a good idea to use such weak
    >conventions, which are justified only by the fact that one is technically
    >constrained to use a restricted subset of Latin. If people could use more
    >distinctive letters in Latin, such caveats would be avoided.

    Well, golly. I guess we're not going to change
    1,000 years of orthographic practice because it
    fails to meet your r

    >For Breton, I don't agree with you.

    Do you not? The practice is rare, but is
    sometimes used in placenames, as for instance,
    "Inis gWenva" written. (Gosh, look. A fact.)

    >Words starting by the trigraph letter <c'h> are rare in Breton

    Like the pronoun "c'hwi" 'you" or the digit
    "c'hwec'h" 'six'. (Wow. Another fact.)

    >but even in that case, I see NO use of such
    >"abuse" of Latin letter case other than a way to
    >represent a missing diacritic or a missing

    Look again.

    >The presence of case distinctions as meaning strong primary letter
    >distinctions in these conventions just denotes a missing diacritic or
    >separate letter for the Latin transliteration...This is still a (very poor)
    >transliteration system, with its imperfections, and as with other
    >transliteration systems, it breaks the initial script design and semantic
    >structure and is a clear sign that this is a plain separate script (as it
    >was the intent of Tolkien when he created the script).

    Heaven help us.

    Of course, the original orthography for Klingon
    was Latin, as published in 1985 in Marc Okrand's
    Klingon Dictionary.

    Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  *

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