Re: Exemplar Characters

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Thu Nov 17 2005 - 03:49:05 CST

  • Next message: Philippe Verdy: "Re: Exemplar Characters"

    From: "Doug Ewell" <>
    >> 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).

    This is not the same letter in French. They just appear to be not listed in
    the alphabet, because they sort together in a dictionnary within the same
    letter chapter (in other words, the letters with accents have non-primary
    differences, but their difference is still not ignorable in French).

    This as a consequence in crosswords or all-caps roman texts (such as
    monumental inscriptions, where it is also common to not differentiate U and
    V, or even I and J), where all accents may be eventually removed. But
    removing accents on words with small capitals such as book titles, or
    written with normal lowercase is incorrect in French.

    Does a Spanish crosswords grid make a difference betwen N and N with tilde?
    I don't think so. But this is still viewed as a non-primary difference, and
    not an ignorable difference.

    My suggestion is then to look at how letters differentiate in the local
    language collation table: if the difference is not ignorable, then it must
    be listed separately in examplar or auxiliary sets. As the tilde is required
    to write Spanish correctly (the absence of the tilde being considered a
    fault on correctly typesetted texts, such as book titles or in Spanish
    dictionnary entries), you need to include both {n} and {ñ} in the Spanish
    examplar set, even if the difference is not primary.

    For the same reason, you need to include both {e} and {é} in the French
    examplar characters, as their difference is not ignorable.

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