Re: Combining latin small letters with diacritics

From: Karl Pentzlin <>
Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2012 10:57:15 +0100

Am Montag, 5. März 2012 um 18:33 schrieb Denis Jacquerye:

DJ> ... The phonetic alphabet of Gillérion and Rousselot used in the ''Atlas
DJ> linguistique de la France''[1] and several other French dialectology
DJ> texts use things like combining i with tilde, combining o with breve,
DJ> combining o with tilde, combining oe with breve.
DJ> Isn't the shape of the diaresis, tilde, breve or other diacritic
DJ> contextual here?
DJ> [1] pp.19-24

It is a common feature of Central European dialectology alphabets of the first
half of the 20th century to stack letters to denote an "intermediate sound".
During the discussions regarding WG2 N4081 at the WG2 meeting June 2011 in
Helsinki, it was decided that combining letters are used in this case
regardless of the size of the upper letter in the sources (which may
be the same size as the lower letter, or smaller; in fact, in German
dialectology this difference carried no different semantics in any
case). See .
Therefore, you find several such combining letters now in DAM1,
including combining ä,ö,ü, as these letters are considered as basic
sound symbols in German dialectology.

The phonetic alphabet in the reference given by Denis does the same:
«Les lettres superposées représentent des sons intermédiaires entre
les deux sons marqués.» (p.19).

Such "intermediate sounds" may carry diacritical marks, indicating
stress, sound modification, tone, or whatever to be applied to the
whole "intermediate sound". Such is encoded in the usual way, by the
sequence "base letter" + "combining letter above" + "additional
diacritical mark", indicating stacking in the usual way.

Regarding e.g. the "combining œ with breve" as shown on p.24 9th line
(see attached scan), this seems to be an "intermediate sound" "u + œ",
to which the breve is applied as a whole (which means, not
surprisingly, «voyelle brève» according to p.19).
Thus, we have no "combining œ with breve" here, but simply the

Regarding the other examples from the "Atlas linguistique de la
France" listed above, these have to be examimed in the same way if a
project to encode characters for French dialectology is started.

(In fact, if there is a group planning such, I [and presumably Michael
also] would be glad to share the experiences from the encodings for
the German dialectology, thus please feel free to contact us.)

- Karl

Received on Tue Mar 06 2012 - 04:02:38 CST

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