Re: ISO-15924 script nodes and UAX#24 script IDs

From: John Cowan (
Date: Tue May 18 2004 - 08:59:20 CDT

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    Antoine Leca scripsit:

    > OTOH, it appears to me (feel free to contradict me, and also to to
    > point me the epoch when these things did change) that English habits
    > now is to follow the native name and the translitteration rules.

    True, although diacritics are still sometimes dropped not on principle but
    as a concession (no longer necessary, IMHO) to typographical constraints.
    Exactly when this began to be so is vague: sometime in the 20th century,
    or perhaps the very last of the 19th. Certainly at the beginning of
    the 19th century anglophones were still respelling foreign words.

    > A good example I found recently is the name of Cervantes' main work,
    > which short name is "Don Quixote" in English, the same as it was
    > in (original) Castilian, while at the same time it was adapted in
    > French as "Don Quichotte" (same prononciation as original), and
    > similarly in today's Castilian "Don Quijote" (with subsequent change
    > in prononciation.) I do not know how English natives will pronounce
    > it, however.

    Most people say [kihote], since we do not have the Spanish "j", IPA [x].
    (Of course the [o] and [e] vowels become diphthongs, as in most varieties
    of English.) I personally made a mild nuisance of myself in the class
    where I studied it by insisting on saying [kiSote]. The derived adjective
    "quixotic", however, is pronounced in native fashion [kwIksOtIk].

    The English poet Byron did not hesitate in his 1821 poem about Don Juan
    (Tenorio, that is) to rhyme the hero's name with "new one" and "true
    one" in the very first stanza, showing that the pronunciation [dZu@n]
    was normal in his time.

    John Cowan
    Rather than making ill-conceived suggestions for improvement based on
    uninformed guesses about established conventions in a field of study with
    which familiarity is limited, it is sometimes better to stick to merely
    observing the usage and listening to the explanations offered, inserting
    only questions as needed to fill in gaps in understanding. --Peter Constable

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