Re: Contrastive use of kratka and breve

From: Jean-François Colson <>
Date: Thu, 03 Jul 2014 09:39:19 +0200

Le 03/07/14 01:23, Philippe Verdy a écrit :
> 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;

Rarely, but not never: èbe, èche, ère, ès, Ève

> 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).

There are at least agapè, koinè, korê, psychè... But it's true that a
rendering similar to agape-, koine-, kore-, psyche- doesn't make them

> 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 shapes.
> 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 Thu Jul 03 2014 - 02:48:11 CDT

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