Re: three questions about alphabet files at Michael Everson site

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Thu Nov 10 2005 - 16:42:34 CST

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    From: "Charles Levert" <>
    >> Is the ö supposed to be an o umlaut or an o diaeresis?
    > I don't know for sure, but the absence of another
    > vowel next to it makes me lean towards umlaut.

    Right. The diaeresis only separates the phonemes, but does not create new
    ones in French. But in "maelström" it really inflects the vowelsound to
    another one, so this is an umlaut accent.

    I can't remember of any example for now of a dieresis used in French without
    two vowels next to each other. It may be possible however, for example over
    a vowel before "n" or "m" not followed by a consonnant, as the diaeresis
    would avoid the nasalization of the vowel, it would detach the consonnant
    and would not inflect the vowel itself (which would be pronounced in its
    open form). Even imported words like "fox trot" are not written with a
    diaeresis ("fox tröt"). So I suppose that the rule of the two vowels is a
    good indicator that will work almost always.

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