Re: Latin glottal stops (was: Apostrophes)

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Wed Nov 23 2005 - 22:11:18 CST

  • Next message: William J Poser: "glottal stop a phantasy?"

    From: "Kenneth Whistler" <>
    > And apostrophes should not be chosen simply on the grounds that some
    > people still believe the "phantasy" that glottal stops are not real
    > consonants.

    Are you suggesting that existing orthographies that depend on apostrophes
    need to be revized, even if they have long history of use? I hope you are
    not suggesting that glottal stops were not used only because they were
    thought to be non-real consonnants (notably when apostrophes were introduced
    at a time when glottal stops were still not theorized).

    Also, the Latin glottal stop was initially designed only with one case,
    which is quite unusual for Latin, and demarksit from normal letters. Is
    there now a lowercase Latin glottal stop ? How can this work with case
    folding if other languages don't have cased glottal stops ? Does this mean
    that a new pair of cased letters need to be designed for Latin if a language
    wants cased glottal stops ?

    For now if I look into Unicode we have the following:

    == IPA extensions (0250-02AF) ==
    * 0295 LATIN LETTER PHARYNGEAL VOICED FRICATIVE (=Latin letter reversed
    glottal stop)
    The above letters all look like capitals but they are single cased. There's
    no true capital/small letter pair to represent the glottal stop.

    == Modifier letters (02B0-02FF) ==
    * 02BC MODIFIER LETTER APOSTROPHE (alternate glottal stop)
    * 02BE MODIFIER LETTER RIGHT HALF RING (transliteration of Arabic hamza =
    glottal stop)
    * 02BF MODIFIER LETTER LEFT HALF RING (transliteration of Arabic ain =
    voiced pharyngeal fricative)
    * 02C0 MODIFIER LETTER GLOTTAL STOP (alternate <super> 0294, alternate for
    02BC or 02BE)
    * 02C1 MODIFIER LETTER REVERSED GLOTTAL STOP (alternate <super> 0295,
    alternate for 02BF)
    The definition of 02C1 is quite confusive: it looks more like the small form
    rather than 02E4, and 02E4 is the capital form despite of its normative
    name, given that it has compatibility decomposition with the capital 0295
    glottal stop.

    (I should add the APOSTROPHE-QUOTE punctuation to the list...)

    And may be Breton could use the 02BC modifier letter instead of the
    punctuation sign, to avoid the possible ambiguity of interpretation of its
    {c'h} trigraph, to make it into a digraph with the apostrophe diacritic, but
    it should not represent an alternate glottal stop and 02C0 should not be
    used as an alternate form of 02BC in Breton, like for Arabic
    transliteration, because phonetically the Breton {c'h} is nearer from the
    pharyngeal voiced fricative, i.e. the *reversed* glottal stop sign, than
    from a glottal stop. Such use for Breton would deviate from the traditional
    orthography and would very unlikely be recognized and would add to further

    There is apparently nothing in Unicode 4.1 to represent a cased glottal

    Note that I don't have for now the list of characters in Latin Extended C
    and D blocks (2C60-2C67 and A720-A7FF?) to be added in Unicode 5.0 (if I
    consider the existing roadmap, they are not there: block D just seems to
    consider new combining marks, but there's a 3-letters gap at end of new
    block C for such letter pair, unless it is merged in the new space allocated
    for block D which starts with a large gap.

    But my opinion is that these cased versions should better fit at end of
    existing block for Latin Extended-B. For now there's 0241, which states that
    its lowercase is... 0294, but the uppercase version of 0294 is not 0241 in
    all languages... It looks buggy for me, and deviates from older versions of
    Unicode. Really 0241 seems more like a <wide> version of 0294, bit like an
    uppercase version. Are these case foldings normative ? Could there exist
    language-specific rules for this glottal stop pair?)

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