Re: Umlaut and Tréma, was: Variation selectors and vowel marks

From: Philipp Reichmuth (
Date: Fri Jul 23 2004 - 11:01:41 CDT

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    Peter Kirk schrieb:

    >> May be, but it doesn't matter - no german reader would ever take
    >> any combination of diacritics for an umlaut + something else,
    >> because in german such combinations simply doesn't exist.
    >> Only the tréma alone could be confused.
    > The German readers' instincts would probably be wrong when they came to
    > Livonian, [...]

    While Livonian is definitely *not* the language of choice as a reference
    for encoding standards, combinations of diaeresis with other accents are
    quite frequent in older German-language phonetic literature.

    However, to return to the original problem, I don't remember ever having
    seen a data where it would be necessary to distinguish between trema and
    diaeresis in the data itself. What Gaultney describes is largely a
    typographic problem that can be solved using markup and smart fonts.
    Have the German bibliographers shown any evidence as to whether this
    difference is being maintained at all in practice, and knowing our
    librarians, how consistent are they about it? This looks like it's much
    more trouble than it's worth.


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