Re: Latin chi and stretched x

From: Szelp, A. Sz. <>
Date: Wed, 6 Jun 2012 09:55:25 +0200

Unvoiced so far, I had similar reservations re "streched x" and "latin chi".

Michael wrote:
"As I say, stretched x is in a family of other x's with one or two
long feet, which may have rings or hooks on the end of them. But its
weight is clearly x-like -- by design. Where Teuthonista texts
occasionally used a "proper" Greek chi it is because of typographic

This "family of streched x-s" seem to go back to a tradition of using
different font sorts distinctively for sounds, most prominently greek
letters (this practice found its way also into IPA) and fraktur. (I
know 19th c., early 20th c. German "tourist's basic Italian guidbooks"
using a vs. fraktur a differently to denote different sounds, as they
use x vs. chi differently.

The streched x with "one long leg" quite probably comes from a fraktur
(more exactly: textur) x, as does the "streched x" from the chi. Denis
gives good evidence for the streched x being chi. Adding curls and
modifications to existing (including innovative) signs is common to
phonetic tradition.

All in all, I also have the impression, that while encoding "LATIN
CHI" as distinct from GREEK CHI was long due, there are not enough
grounds to disunify latin-chi from streched-x. There is no contrastive
use and the history points to chi. The only difference is (if there is
any? most use italic type) stroke weight distribution between the two,
according to Michael, but it's Michael himself who's recognized that
"Teuthonista suffers from a good deal of extraordinarily bad
typography", which shows us, that the different stroke weight
distribution is actually just "bad typography". — actually quite
similar to something we've seen with Cyrillic reform orthographies
(eg. the gha derived from a handwritten old q, which got encoded
misnamed as "OI") of the 20-30ies and the chinese tone letters derived
from numbers/latin/cyrillic type.


On Mon, Jun 4, 2012 at 3:10 PM, Denis Jacquerye <> wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 4, 2012 at 11:38 AM, Michael Everson <> wrote:
>> On 4 Jun 2012, at 10:04, Denis Jacquerye wrote:
>>> On Mon, Jun 4, 2012 at 10:16 AM, Michael Everson <> wrote:
>>>> What is your point, though?
>>> Latin stretched x has been accepted based on examples with an Italic glyph like Lepsius' chi, a glyph like Greek chi and a stretched x taller than x-height (and not below baseline). All these are strictly different glyphs.
>> Teuthonista suffers from a good deal of extraordinarily bad typography, and a fair bit of non-typographic handwritten text (which isn't bad). Where it uses Greek sorts it is because that was what they had, but it is clear from the *family* of stretched x's some with rings and curls that it is an "x" that is being stretched. (And not a chi with
>>> But Latin chi is being proposed as a different character because IPA has used a different glyph. Why?
>> Because all, not some, of the IPA "borrowings" from Greek were explicitly stated to be designed to be different from Greek and to harmonize with Latin. The persisting unification doesn't make processing multi-script Greek and Latin text any easier, and ultimately is not what was designed. This is very clear in the beta, which now can be disunified because of its capital, but which should never have been unified in the first place.
>>> Furthermore, the Latin capital Chi is being proposed based on Lepsius' capital Chi which glyphs are strictly different from that one proposed.
>> Yes, but it is still essentially a Latin Chi, not a Latin Stretched X. It is clearly not a Greek Chi, because Greek Chi does not use that shape for its capital. Lepsius, and the IPA, explicitly disunified Latin Chi from Greek, and I would say that both Lepsius and IPA glyphs could be taken for glyph variants of Latin Chi. But they are different from what is found in Greek.
>>> My concern is only with Latin chi being unified with Latin stretched x. The disunification of Latin chi from Greek chi (or the others in the proposal) is a good thing, I just think it has already been done with stretched x given the examples.
>> As I say, stretched x is in a family of other x's with one or two long feet, which may have rings or hooks on the end of them. But its weight is clearly x-like -- by design. Where Teuthonista texts occasionally used a "proper" Greek chi it is because of typographic deficiency.
>>>> How do we move forward?
>>> Is there evidence IPA Latin chi is any different from Teuthonista's multiple stretched x? Both use the glyph of Greek chi sometimes, and other glyphs other times.
>> Stretched x is an x, not anything else. In its origin, they stretched a Latin x. Latin chi is borrowed from Greek chi, but in Lepsius uses a unique capital, and in IPA has a Greek-chi-like weight which differs from the Latin x.
> Lepsius' chi (with a proper Latin glyph) was already in use in
> Lepsius' Standard Alphabet (1855) for a guttural consonant, and chi
> with an acute for a palatal consonant. The latter could also be
> transcribed by gamma, which was the only symbol for that palatal
> consonant in the 1863 edition. It was used in Egyptology (with
> Lepsius' Latin glyph or a Greek glyph) for several decades but was
> also meant for general use.
> In 1875 Böhmer uses chi (described as "litera Graeca") for what is
> categorized as "palatales, velares, continuae, fortes" and chi with
> dot below for what is described as "palatales, laminares, continuae,
> fortes".
> In 1928 Jaberg and Jud use handwritten chi variously like Lepsius's
> chi, like Greek chi, or even like stretched x.
> In 1925, Techert uses the glyph Greek chi in Lautschrift des
> Teuthonista, in Teuthonista 1924/25 for a palatal consonant and in
> 1964 the same glyph is used by Wiesinger in Das phonetische
> Transkriptionssystem der
> Zeitschrift „Teuthonista“ in Zeitscrift für Mundartforschung XXXI.
> A stretched-x directly derived from x seems unlikely for those. It
> might be the case for SBS, but still a stretched-x (and its additional
> letters) derived from Lepsius', Böhmer's or Teuthonista's seems more
> plausible.
> It could also be argued that an IPA chi with Greek-chi-like weight is
> typographic deficiency (compared to Lepsius' chi with usual Latin
> weight) or that there is no evidence for a Latin capital Chi with
> Greek-chi-like weight.
> --
> Denis Moyogo Jacquerye
> African Network for Localisation
> Nkótá ya Kongó míbalé ---
> DejaVu fonts ---
Received on Wed Jun 06 2012 - 02:59:11 CDT

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