RE: Apostrophes (was Re: Exemplar Characters)

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Wed Nov 23 2005 - 18:55:06 CST

  • Next message: Mark Davis: "Re: How many characters?"

    Peter Constable wrote:

    > The suggestion that glottal stop is a "phantasy" is
    > linguistically preposterous, and I'm certain is not what Ken meant.


    > I believe what Ken is saying is that, when glottal stop is phonemic,
    > then it needs to be accorded as much orthographic importance as any
    > other consonant and written with a *letter* rather than with some
    > overloaded punctuation mark.

    Well, not that it *needs* to be, necessarily, but that better
    orthographic designs would use U+0294, which *looks* like a letter
    in design and has letter properties, rather than an apostrophe
    (of whichever sort), which always has implementation issues because
    of all the overlap with punctuation.

    And apostrophes should not be chosen simply on the grounds that some
    people still believe the "phantasy" that glottal stops are not real

    Re Mark Shoulson's observation:

    > If invisible pink unicorns had a symbol that saw as much use as
    > <glottal stop>, that symbol would also deserve a place in Unicode.

    Well, I don't know about invisible pink unicorns, but the standard
    is full of symbols for fantastical, nonexistent things, including:

    U+9D6C péng 'a fabulous bird' (roughly = 'a roc')
    U+9E1E luán 'a fabulous bird' (roughly = 'a phoenix')

    I think I would willing to stake my reputation on the likelihood
    that glottal stops have a more demonstrable existence than rocs
    and phoenixes, despite their occasional sightings:


    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Nov 23 2005 - 19:00:28 CST