Re: Contrastive use of kratka and breve

From: Philippe Verdy <>
Date: Thu, 3 Jul 2014 01:23:14 +0200

The angle and form (straight or curved, with wedge, with rounded bowl or
not, attached or detached from the letter) of the acute accent is not
really defined, all variants are possible, including the Czech/Polish form.

All that matters is the main direction of slanting. The only unacceptable
rendering is a pure horizontal or vertical form (but there still exists
some typographic styles, mostly used in logos) that use horizontal strokes
not distinguishing visuelly the acute and grave accents, notably over
capitals (this is acceptable for short titles or headings and for
trademarks, whose exact orthography is not very important

And even more on capitals notably at start of words, where there's no
ambiguity in French as it can only be É with acute; the distinction of
acute and grave accents in French only occurs over letter e, which is the
only one using an acute accent; and there's never any grace accent over e
at start of words; The curcumflex over E can also be easily infered from
the same glyph at start of words, it occurs only in wellknown words like
the auxiliary verb "Être".) For this reason the French accents are
frequently flat if they are present over capitals. The grave accent occurs
on initial capitals only in the preprosition "À" where the grave accent is
also non ambiguous, the only one possible, so it can be flattened too. At
end of words (or before final mute letters (e)(s), this is only "é" with
acute (there's no "è" with grabe and no "ê" with circumflex).

Also I really doubt that the Polish/Czech accents were unified with accents
in French, I would probably bet on Italian or even Spanish, from their
presence in the Spanish Netherlands and contacts with hanseatic ligues in
harbours of the Northern Sea up to the Baltic with influence on the
Prussian kingdom (Spanish and Italian both have acute accents over all
important vowels; but no grave, no circumflex in Italian, so it can be
flattened as well), but Italian fonts have originately used more vertical

I think that what made the Czrch and Polish accents more vertical was their
use of double accents side by side rather than on top of each other.

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Received on Wed Jul 02 2014 - 18:24:42 CDT

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