Re: [A12n-Collab] Latin alpha (Re: Public Review Issues Update)

From: John Hudson (
Date: Mon Aug 30 2004 - 19:46:45 CDT

  • Next message: Mike Ayers: "RE: [A12n-Collab] Latin alpha (Re: Public Review Issues Update)"

    Donald Z. Osborn wrote:

    > According to data from R. Hartell (1993), the latin alpha is used in Fe'efe'e (a
    > dialect of Bamileke) in Cameroon. See
    > (full ref. there; Hartell names her
    > sources in her book). Not sure offhand of other uses, but I thought it was
    > proposed for Latin transcription of Tamashek in Mali at one point (I'll try to
    > check later). In any event it would seem easy to confuse the latin alpha with
    > the standard "a," which would seem to either require exaggerated forms (of the
    > alpha, to clarify the difference) or limit its usefulness in practice.

    The Latin alpha is usually distinguished from the regular Latin lowercase a by making the
    latter a 'double-storey' form, whereas the alpha is a single-storey form. Of course, this
    means that the distinction cannot be adequately made in typefaces with a single-storey
    lowercase a, such as Futura.

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Vancouver, BC
    Currently reading:
    The Mass in slow motion, by Ronald Knox
    Hebrew manuscripts of the Middle Ages, by Colette Sirat

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