Re: Umlaut and Tréma, was: Variation sele ctors and vowel marks

From: busmanus (
Date: Sat Jul 24 2004 - 12:51:05 CDT

  • Next message: Peter Kirk: "Holam, was: Umlaut and TrĂ©ma"

    Peter Kirk wrote:

    > On 14/07/2004 18:40, Kenneth Whistler wrote:
    >> Can you show a pre-existing ISO character encoding standard, such
    >> as ISO 5429, for which there are bibliographic implementations
    >> whose conversion to Unicode is blocked by an encoding distinction
    >> not maintained in Unicode for these particular cases? ...
    > No, but I can show a pre-existing clearly defined encoding, see
    > dated 1982, especially point 1
    > "We now distinguish holem waw (`OW') from waw followed by holem", i.e.
    > Holam Male from Vav Haluma, and point 2 re the three variants of Meteg.
    > Texts based on these encodings have been in the public domain and
    > circulated widely since 1982, and are available from such repositories
    > as CCAT and the Oxford Text Archive. Conversion of these texts to
    > Unicode is blocked by the current failure of Unicode to distinguish
    > Holam Male from Vav Haluma and to distinguish three poisitions of Meteg.

    I am not sure about the relevance of the Meteg problem, but I do know
    about a case, where different relative positions of the same
    diacriticals are used for conveying a semantic distinction. In a big
    reference work about verse metrics in the world's languages (Erika
    Szepes - István Szerdahelyi: Verstan, published by Gondolat, Budapest,
    1981), when discussing quantitative metrics, a macron above a breve is
    used for denoting a neutral syllable of the metrical pattern that is
    more frequently filled in by a short syllable than by a long one and
    a breve above a macron is used for the reverse, i.e. the difference in
    the combinations provides statistical information.

    Actually, these signs are typically (although not inevitably) spacing
    characters, but I don't think it makes a significant difference in this



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