Re: Latvian and Marshallese Ad Hoc Report (cedilla and comma below)

From: Philippe Verdy <>
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2013 16:14:31 +0200

So the variation of shape (vertical stick, half-ring, curved comma, or
classical 5-shaped) and is attachment or not (below the letter) is
perceived as being less significant than the horizontal placement of the
cedilla (centered or below the right-most stem).

Only Romanian seems to insist to use the comma shape, but the usage
demonstrates that this is in reality not so much important if it's
comma-shaped or 5-shaped, or half-ring shaped. This means that
disunifiation for Romanian was not really justified, this is just a
preference of style (just like other preferences between fonts)

In fact the Fraktur style for Latin would probably merit separate encoding
than these variants of the comma or cedilla below, because of its very
different way to compose graphemes.

And I still wonder why the classical German umlaut, with a combining small
'e' above, also in Fraktur style, is still unified with the modern style
that borrowed the diaeresis shape when, at the same time, the diaeresis
shape was also used distinctly in Fraktur style for other languages than
German which has NO diaeresis; e.g. transcriptions of French names or pages
of old books with mixed French/German. Reusing the same code between old
German and modern German seems to forget that the change was more than just
a change of style, but was in reality a change of orthography (I don't like
the fact of using the diaeresis for old German in Fraktur style, even if it
better matches the modern orthography).

2013/7/22 Denis Jacquerye <>

> I've written comments on the Cedilla and Comma below discussion:
> Cheers,
> On Fri, Jul 5, 2013 at 3:09 PM, Philippe Verdy <> wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> > 2013/7/5 Michael Everson <>
> >>
> >> On 5 Jul 2013, at 08:04, Denis Jacquerye <> wrote:
> >>
> >> >> The problem is in pretending that a cedilla and a comma below are
> >> >> equivalent because in some script fonts in France or Turkey
> routinely write
> >> >> some sort of undifferentiated tick for ç. :-)
> >> >
> >> > Sure they are not equivalent, but stop pretending it is only in some
> >> > script fonts, the page has plenty of
> >> > examples where it is not in script fonts. In some languages the
> cedilla can
> >> > have a shape similar to that of a comma, it's a fact.
> >>
> >> Yes, well, if there are non-script fonts which have this feature, it
> >> nevertheless derived from handwriting. Would any French primer for young
> >> children routinely use a full-formed C WITH COMMA BELOW C̦ c̦ regularly
> >> throughout? No. Would readers of Le Monde notice if all the fonts one
> day
> >> shifted to C̦ c̦? Of course they would -- and I'd wager €100 they would
> >> protest, and loudly.
> >>
> >> > Any native speaker will tell you the comma-like form and others are
> >> > acceptable.
> >>
> >> Not by any means in all contexts. In genuine taste-tests, Ç ç would be
> >> universally selected as the "more correct" form by French users. C̦ c̦
> would
> >> not be.
> >
> >
> > Actually users will only protest if the shape is not attached or
> displayed
> > too much below.
> >
> > But the exact shape does not matter much: an attached vertical tick, or
> > comma touching the bottom of letters (9-shaped, or )-shaped diagonal
> > rectangular stroke, or diagonal triangular), or the 5-shaped standard
> > cedilla will be accepted. it will also be accepted if it's a small
> mirrored
> > c, or right half circle, not connected to the base of the letter with
> some
> > vertical or diagonal thin stroke.
> >
> > As long as this is coherent with the general font style and it is clearly
> > visible and not confused with a dot below. Handwritten French texts
> > frequently do not use the standard 5-shaped glyph, but some attached
> > diagonal stroke connected to the center bottom of the c letter.
> >
> > [notes]
> > With the exception of untranslated foreign toponyms and of people names
> or
> > possible trademarks, only the letters c and C have a cedilla in French,
> and
> > most users cannot type the cedilla below the capital letter C with their
> > standard keyboard layout, e.g. on Windows, MacOS, or Linux, without
> > complication or without using personal customized layouts.
> >
> > Word processors or spell correctors for web browsers are proposing the
> > correction on the frequent word "Ça", the most common case where the
> cedilla
> > is missing below C.
> >
> > There also the expression "Ç’a" which is the contraction of "Ça"
> followed by
> > the auxiliary conjugated verb "a", used in the compound past ("passé
> > composé") time of conjugated verbs, but this rare form is avoided by most
> > users who use the imperfect ("imparfait") or simple past ("passé simple")
> > time, i.e. non-compound times, or will use the synonym "Cela" before the
> > compound past. (Some more advanced French users will avoid it because of
> the
> > phonologic alliteration of "Cela a...", where "Ç’a ..." is still
> preferable
> > to respect the correct time matching of sentences and correct phonology
> > including the contraction; some users are also not using the contraction,
> > and say or write "Ça a..."). Many users avoid the difficulty caused by
> "Ça"
> > on their keyboard by writing its synonym "Cela".
> >
> > Other cases for capital C with cedillas only include those where text
> > written in "all-caps" styles (not to be abused, but generally limited to
> > some paragraphs for strong notices, like denials of responsabilities in
> > contracts and licences, or for strengthening a single word like
> > vs. "FILLE(S)" within long sentences, but not in isolated cases like data
> > column headers which should still write "Garçon(s)" or "garçon(s)").
> Words
> > containing a cedilla are frequent only because of the word "ça", but the
> > presence of a cedilla outside the word "ça" is still low in French, most
> of
> > them are in conjugated verbs whose infinite ending in "-cer" like "nous
> > enlaçons")
> >
> > In other words, the real difficulty of the cedilla in French is to have
> it
> > properly displayed below non-initial lowercase letters c, most of these
> > cases are in conjugated verbs and a few common nouns like "garçon(s)",
> > "glaçon(s)", or less frequent words "limaçon(s)" and "colimaçon(s)", plus
> > some wellknown toponyms like "Curaçao" (the island in Dutch Antillas, or
> the
> > name of an alcohol wellknown for its blue color)... In all these cases,
> the
> > shape of the cedilla does not really matter, as long as some some mark is
> > present below "c" for correct reading. The initial forms Ca and C’,
> instead
> > of the correct forms Ça and Ç’ is frequent, but does not cause a reading
> > problem when it occurs at the beginning of a sentence.
> >
> > In fact, this is perceived as a typographic problem more than an
> > orthographic problem (just like the shape of the apostrophe, which is
> > preferably the 9-shaped high comma ’ but also absent from keyboards, that
> > offer only the vertical tick of an encoded ASCII apostrophe-quote).
> >
> --
> Denis Moyogo Jacquerye
> African Network for Localisation
> Nkótá ya Kongó míbalé ---
> DejaVu fonts ---
Received on Mon Jul 22 2013 - 09:19:30 CDT

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