Re: Caron / Hacek?

From: Radovan Garabik (
Date: Wed Mar 05 2003 - 01:58:19 EST

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    On Tue, Mar 04, 2003 at 12:10:50PM -0800, John Hudson wrote:
    > At 11:35 AM 3/4/2003, Frank da Cruz wrote:
    > >I just noticed that upper and/or lower case letters D, I, L, and T
    > >with caron (hacek) are sometimes displayed with an apostrophe instead
    > >of a caron (and sometimes not). Is there any rhyme or reason to
    > >this?
    > In the Slovak orthography, the lowercase d, l and t are normally written
    > with the 'apostrophe' form of the accent.

    but only the printed version, not in handwriting

    > Of the uppercase letters, only
    > the L should normally be written with the 'apostrophe' form of the accent;
    > the D and T should be written with the normal caron/hacek form. The C/c and
    > Z/z are written with the caron/hacek form in both upper and lowercase. The
    > reason for the distinction is, I believe, that the d, l and t with the
    > aprostrophe mark indicate palatalisation (softening) of the unmarked
    > consonant, whereas the c and z with caron indicate distinct consonants. In

    but there are also ň, where the caron marks palatalization,
    the same as with ď,ť,ľ, and (czech) ř,ě, where the caron
    marks something completely different <g>, and these are never writen
    using apostrophe-like forms.

    > the uppercase letters, presumably because of the lack of convenient space
    > for the apostrophe relative to the T and D, this form of the mark is only
    > retained for L.

    In fact, the apostrophe form is used because there is a lack of
    convenient space to put carons over "tall" letters d,t,l, whereas
    there is no problem with n,e,r.

    In good typography, ď,ť,ľ,Ľ should use apostrophe-like caron, however,
    given the multitude of foreign-origin computer fonts and availability
    of DTP, one can encounter nowadays many ugly looking texts with
    caron-like forms.

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