Re: Latin glottal stop in ID in NWT, Canada

From: Philippe Verdy <>
Date: Thu, 29 Oct 2015 14:25:52 +0100

2015-10-29 9:29 GMT+01:00 Marcel Schneider <>:

> On Thu, 15 Oct 2015 15:46:46 -0700, Leo Broukhis <> wrote:
> > Along the same lines, should I be able to change my last name
> > officially to Ƃpyxᴎc? (NB all letters are codepoints with names
> > starting with "LATIN").
> This request results in using Latin to imitate Cyrillic in a country
> where this kind of approach has never been official.

The glottal stop is used in African countries that have never used any
Cyrillic alphabet. That letter is full part of the Latin alphabet but
needed for those languages. That Latin glottal stop competes also with a
representation in the Arabic script (the letter form however is different).

On the opposite, Native Americans HAVE used the Cyrillic script in Alaska
and probably as well in North-Western territories in Canada, in a time
where native languages started to be alphabetized by missionaries. Today,
it is natural that native Americans that have strong cultural and
linguistic links with other native people all around the Artic circle (in
Alaska, Northern Europe and Northern and Eastern Russia) want to restore
their communications even if they live now in different countries that have
now other dominant languages.

I don't think that the glottal stop is strange in the Latin script. It is
also part of the IPA symbols (where is is unicased), but outside IPA, that
letter should be dual cased, like other Latin letters.

Until recently the lowercase form was not encoded only because the glottal
stop was initially encoded for IPA.

> In case somebody has missed that: The current thread is about enforcing
> *legal* orthography in a country where it is part of *official* languages.
Canadian syllabics is also used and may be this was the reason for opposing
the letter. But as soon as Canada wants romanizations, syllables present in
Canadian Syllabics should be represented correctly too in Latin. That
letter is encoded since long. With enough time the lowercase form will get
used too, because it is natural for the Latin script (which initially also
unicameral, lowercase letters only appeared during the Middle Age.)

> Arguing that this aping Cyrillic be “along the same lines”, is stacking
> insult over insult.

Arguing with Cyriliic is a bad view. That letter is Latin, just like other
stops (or additional letters such as the schwa or the open O) needed for
many minority languages around the world that have been romanized. In all
times, the Latin script has been adapted to represent significant
differences, with variants of base letters such as overstrikes or combining
accents (that were slowly added over time, and only later formalized with
stable orthographies. English also used more letters than those used today
(e.g. wynn, and thorn still used in Nordic European countries).

> Itʼs a true example of the way how jokification can be perverted.
This can only come from someone in an administration that is not really
aware of tghe hiostory of languages, cultures and script. That person
simply ignores the long evolution of the Latin script, including for
English or French used in today's Canadian administration and government.
This is an educational problem for that person or lack of training. There
are certainly many smart persons in the Canadian adminsitration that could
have argued against that limited vision based on modern English and French.

> As that has been done in public, it brings the need of a public apology,
> particularly with respect to future archive readers.
> This has already been exposed off list, in conformance to List Policies.
> However I feel the need to send it “on the record”, so everybody is
> reassured that there was more than one single person defending the serious
> of the threadʼs subject.
Received on Thu Oct 29 2015 - 08:27:49 CDT

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