Re: Some questions about Latin diacritics

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Wed Jun 14 2006 - 06:56:15 CDT

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    It's really difficult to determine how to interpret the "dots" above the letters in the "Lippenrundung" and "Extreme Lippenrundung" samples you sent in your attached images, due to inssufficient resolution and the fact that the scanned images had their colors thresholded to black and white only, resulting in extremely jaggy borders.

    So I can't determine safely if these are dots/diaeresis/umlauts, small i superscripts, asterisks, accents, or something else...

    May be you have scans with higher resolution and using greyscales (instead of just back and white) to reduce the jaggy border effects. The images you sent are nearly unusable...

    So the best is to refer to the PDF which makes this much clearer (although they were integrated in the PDF as jaggy bitmaps too). I interpret them as standard German umlauts or double umlauts... which are already encoded in Unicode without difficulty (the second umlaut for "Extreme Lippenrundung" makes this interpretation clear when you compare it to the single umlaut used for normal "Lippendundung"), and simply drawn on top of the previous one.

    (The reduction of weight of the dots of the double umlauts looks just like a typographical adaptation, to avoid increasing the line height, something that still occurs in the PDF, but only because the PDF was created by embedding scanned bitmaps with variable height in the source document. I think that the original document or book from which they were scanned, before creating the document from which the PDF was generated, used a consistant line-height).

    Regarding the i-shaped "Haken" phonetic diacritics included in the PDF (for the "hline Offen" and "überoffen" vowel qualifiers), I see them like simple or double dotless i subscripts (their form are very similar to the form of the small i letter under which they are drawn, except that they just lack the top arm, but the resolution of the bitmap is iunsufficient to really decide) which may merit encoding...

    The PDF is also not very clear enough about the distinctions it makes between the "Phonetische Notation" (phonetic) in section 2.1 (Vokale Qualität) and "Phonologische Notation" in section 2.4 (Quantität). Are they used concurrently or in separate texts performing different analysis of the same German text?


    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Karl Pentzlin" <>
    > Looking at:
    > and related documents, the following questions arise?
    > 1. Is there any mechanism which causes diacritics of the same
    > combination class to be placed horizontally instead of vertically?
    > E.g.: U+0061 U+0307 U+0301 displays as "a" with dot above with acute
    > above of the dot.
    > Pure imagination: U+0061 U+0307 ZWJ U+0301 displays as "a" which has
    > above of it an accent pair, consisting of a dot and an acute
    > horizontally side by side.
    > 2. If you had to propose the characters shown in that document, would
    > you rather propose a "double ogonek"? (p. 2, following the word
    > "überoffen" - see also attached image)
    > 3. Looking at the four dots over each letter (following the term
    > "Extreme Lippenrundg" on the same page), would you propose a
    > "double trema", or would you rely on the sequence U+0308 U+0308?

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