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

Date: Thu Mar 18 2004 - 12:51:44 EST

  • Next message: Jon Wilson: "Re: help needed with adding new character"

    Quoting Doug Ewell <>:

    > Marion Gunn <mgunn at egt dot ie> wrote:
    > > 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.
    > Earlier in this thread, it was stated that the character U+0069 should
    > be used to write the "i" in, say, "Marion" when using Antiqua-type
    > fonts. If that is the case, then U+0069 is also the character to use
    > when using Uncial, or any other Gaelic-style font, or any other font
    > with Basic Latin glyphs.

    I disagree that the question is this simple. It is not just a font issue. It is
    a matter of the writing system being used. For instance, since the spelling
    reform of the 1940s, Irish has represented lenition in a fundamentally
    different way than in the "traditional" system--i.e., a posterior 'h' vs. the
    diacritical dot.

    Thus, the digraph <0062>+<0068> (i.e., "bh") represents the same conceptual
    object as <1E03>. Note that, if a selection of Irish text is set using one
    convention or the other, problems with spell checkers will occur UNLESS there
    is some metadata that indicates the writing system.

    Marion's question--i.e., "how to guarantee continuance, in the specific context
    of Irish text computing, of the traditional restriction of the Irish diacritic
    dot (having only one single function in Irish) to the consonants to which it
    belongs"--implies that "dotless i" and "i" are not the same character because
    the latter DOESN'T EXIST in the traditional writing system.

    Therefore, it's not a question of what font the document creator chooses; it's
    matter of what system is chosen. I would slightly modify Marion's question to

    In the context of a document using traditional Irish orthography (which does
    contain "i"), how can "dotless i" be preserved in plain text?

    ----- End forwarded message -----

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu Mar 18 2004 - 13:32:33 EST