From: busmanus (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Jun 17 2004 - 14:23:50 CDT
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
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
But if one is able to read the Hungarian sections of the same website,
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
OLD HUNGARIAN LETTER AK
OLD HUNGARIAN LETTER ES
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
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
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
and point 3. on
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.
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