letter names for Old Hungarian Runes

From: busmanus (busmanus.lk@freemail.hu)
Date: Thu Jun 17 2004 - 14:23:50 CDT

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    Dear List Members:

    Please draw Michael Everson's attention to this message,
    it may be helpful for clearing up some issues about proposed
    Old Hungarian Runes, of which he seems to be in charge.

    His draft about the topic

    http://www.dkuug.dk/jtc1/sc2/wg2/docs/n1758.pdf

    says, that the spelling of character names for the proposed script
    still needs to be determined, and two alternatives are presented, one
    prefixes the names of most consonants with a letter "e", the other
    reflects the letter names of the Latin-based Modern Hungarian alphabet,
    usually with a following vowel.

    This insecurity seems to arise from the rather confusing English
    explanations about letter names on webpages, like

    http://fang.fa.gau.hu/~heves/runic.html

    But if one is able to read the Hungarian sections of the same website,
    like

    http://fang.fa.gau.hu/~heves/szabalyok.html
    http://fang.fa.gau.hu/~heves/abc/abc.html

    it becomes evident, that Hungarian Runes, besides being alphabetic signs
    in the first place, may also be used as syllabics in order to save
    space, in which case the forms with a _preceding_ vowel are used.
    This also accounts for having the "parallel" letters

    OLD HUNGARIAN LETTER EK

    and

    OLD HUNGARIAN LETTER AK

    and also

    OLD HUNGARIAN LETTER ES

    and

    OLD HUNGARIAN LETTER AS

    (Actually, by some mistake the latter seems to be absent from the
    present proposal. I hope these data are a convincing argument, that
    it is actually necessary to include it. A .gif of the letter form
    (as.gif) is accessible on the page
    http://fang.fa.gau.hu/~heves/abc/abc.html )

    On the other hand, the names following the Modern Hungarian pattern
    are only a kind of a "shorthand", and have no claim to be part of the
    Hungarian Runic writing system. (At least that's what the sites quoted
    suggest.)

    I can send Mr. Everson the relevant sections with an English translation
    from these webpages if he needs them, but it would be to long to send it
    all to the list.

    One more remark about letter names:
    The long-vowel counterparts of the "Umlaut" letters
    OLD HUNGARIAN LETTER OE and OLD HUNGARIAN LETTER UE
    are distinguished in the proposal by doubling the second letter of the
    digraph (OEE and UEE). It would "blend better" with Hungarian spelling
    conventions and would probably be more straitforward to decipher, if
    this was done by doubling the first element (OLD HUNGARIAN LETTER OOE
    and OLD HUNGARIAN LETTER UUE), like in standard Hungarian "compound
    letters" (e.g. "cs" (pron. "ch", like in "cheese"), when pronounced
    long, would be written "ccs"). This latter problem is of a different
    nature though, and of relatively minor importance.

    Another remark about directionality:
    Mr. Everson writes, that "the impression I get is that the scholars are
    used to LTR because it has been practical to implement on computers and
    is less troublesome to read for people used to reading the Latin script
    but it seems that those particular needs should be met with the
    directional overrides". This wording is not completely accurate, because
    glyph shapes should also be mirrorred along the vertical axis, depending
    on the writing direction. Compare

    http://dsuper.net/~elehoczk/

    and point 3. on

    http://www.geocities.com/rovasiras/betuk/

    The latter one is in Hungarian again, I only quote it, because it claims
    to be more authoritative.
    Otherwise I also agree with Michael Everson in making Right-to-Left the
    default for Hungarian Runes, because I understand, that it is in a sense
    more authentic historically.

    Sorry for being so long, I was only trying to be systematic.

    Best Regards

    ____________________________________________________________________
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