RE: Irish dotless I (was: Languages with letters that always take diacriticals

From: Carl W. Brown (
Date: Wed Mar 17 2004 - 22:02:48 EST

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    > That particular campaign was such a resounding 'success' we went on to
    > spend thousands of quid each year, for many years, trekking one more
    > encoding campaign trail after another, in support of many other languages,
    > as well as our own.

    It reminds me of my work on a multi-lingual keyboard that would be cost
    effective. The only alternatives at that time were about $1500. I found
    that it was difficult the get keyboard drivers into the various operating
    system because it is a boot device and is optimized and very different for
    different operating systems. There is no way to write one of OS/2 without a
    serious OS redesign) I eventually worked with an industry consortium to
    develop a standard that could support the device. This eventually lead to
    USB which made is easy to hot plug multiple keyboards into the same system
    and with the cheap keyboards it did not make sense to market my product.
    The worst thing was the Intel ignored all the i18n work I did. So months of
    work and thousands of dollars down the drain.

    > To recap: dot above is a traditional diacritic in Irish, reserved for use
    > with certain consonants (its function being served, in Roman script, by
    > placing the 'letter' h after those same consonants). I suppose
    > (with thanks
    > to Antoine for reading my msg so carefully) I should add that
    > dotting an i,
    > even in Romanized text, was unusual in Irish handwriting until recently,
    > presumably influenced by its prevalence in type.

    I think that I like Peter Constable's suggestion:

    > Keep in mind that OpenType allows fonts to have language-specific
    > behaviours. You could create a font in which the glyph for 0069 is
    > dotless for Gaelic, and dotted otherwise.

    This way you can use the COMBINING DOT ABOVE if you want a dot above the i
    for Irish text.


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