Re: Exemplar Characters

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Thu Nov 17 2005 - 00:35:09 CST

  • Next message: Christopher Fynn: "Re: ISO 15924: Different Arabic scripts?"

    Christopher JS Vance <unicode at nu dot org> wrote:

    > When I learnt French as a second language the alphabet I was taught
    > did not include any pre-accented characters. The only 'e' in the
    > alphabet was unmarked for accents, so I would have to conclude that
    > the French, like the English, consider the various accented and
    > unaccented forms of 'e' to be the same letter (unlike the Scandinavian
    > approach to their special letters). Of course, the French would
    > consider their writing system incomplete without appropriate accents
    > on 'their' words, even though they are probably just as happy as the
    > English to make diacritics optional on 'foreign' words, especially if
    > that diacritic didn't make a discernable distinction in the local
    > pronunciation, or if the diacritic was considered strange, and not in
    > normal use locally.

    This is perhaps an important point. In Spanish, the n with tilde (ñ) is
    definitely considered to be a separate orthographic letter, while the
    acute-accented vowels are not. A word spelled without necessary accents
    is misspelled, but the accented letters themselves are not distinct from
    their unaccented brethren.

    I say this without having checked whether "The Alphabets of Europe"
    lists them as separate letters or not.

    Doug Ewell
    Fullerton, California, USA

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu Nov 17 2005 - 00:35:44 CST