Re: Germa Umlaut (was: String name and Character Name)

From: Erkki Kolehmainen (
Date: Tue Apr 26 2005 - 05:23:30 CST

  • Next message: Erkki Kolehmainen: "Re: String name and Character Name"

    Hello Otto Stolz,

    in Swedish the letters (a with ring above), (a with diaeresis) and
    (o with diaeresis) collate as separate letters after z in level 1.

    Regards, Erkki I. Kolehmainen

    Otto Stolz wrote:

    > Hello Hans Aberg,
    > you have written:
    >> The Swedish language symbol (a with two dots above) is a separate
    >> letter, not to be viewed as an alteration of the letter a. So it is
    >> atomic. It is reasonable to enter it as a separate character. In
    >> German, however it is an umlaut, alteration of the letter a.
    > Not quite so: It has its own phonetic value (almost equal to its
    > Swedish sibling, IIRC), and is taugh as seperate character in schools
    > (believe me, I am German and interested in linguistic issues, and my
    > wife is a teacher at an elementary school).
    > The term "Umlaut" for a class of characters does not render these
    > umlauts as non-characters. There is a similar term, "Ablaut", e. g.
    > for the "a" and "o" in "barst" and "geborsten" (from "bersten") --
    > yet, this does not qualify "a" and "o" as non-characters, alterations
    > of "e".
    > Admittedly, German "" collates with "a" in level 1, but so does "A"
    > in Swedisch. Still, German "" and Swedisch "A" are characters,
    > distinct from "a"; the difference is accounted for in higher
    > collation levels.
    > Admittedly, most crossword-puzzles treat "" as two letters "AE",
    > but that does not qualify "" as a non-character, in any other
    > respect. In the fifties, some crossword-puzzles used to treat "ch"
    > as a unit; still, nobody would ever have thaught of calling "ch"
    > a (single) letter.
    > Best wishes,
    > Otto Stolz

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