Re: Irish dotless I (was: Languages with letters that always take diacriticals

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Thu Mar 18 2004 - 18:00:28 EST

  • Next message: Michael Everson: "Re: Irish dotless I (was: Languages with letters that always take diacriticals"

    At 16:37 -0600 2004-03-18, Brian wrote:

    >People do not create machine-readible texts in the old orthography because of
    >the technical challenges of reproducing them.

    I have no difficulty reproducing machine-readable
    texts in the old orthography. I typeset a version
    of the Irish Constitution last year for Mícheál Ó
    Cearúil's book _Bunreacht na hÉireann: An téacs
    Gaeilge arna chaighdeánú_.

    >I've met many native speakers of Irish here in
    >Chicago who want little to do with the written
    >language because, as they say, it's not "their"
    >language. If there were text processing
    >resources available for the Gaelic script, this
    >could change.

    I also know people who do not like the spelling
    reform. This is a different thing from suggesting
    that the letter "i" in Gaelic type is a different
    letter from the letter "i" in Roman type. To
    suggest this is to ignore the character/glyph
    model, and it is to suggest the introduction of a
    practice which would *harm* the Irish language.
    And that is something that I, for my part, shall
    certainly not suppport.

    > > The letter "í" is the long form of "i". It is encoded
    >> 0069 0301 (or its equivalent 00E9). It would also
    >> be a spelling error to encode "í" with 0131.
    >> Those are the facts. It is not a matter for dispute.
    >I'm sorry. I do not acknowledge the ISO's
    >authority to dictate "spelling" norms.

    I did not say that these were ISO's facts. They
    are simply facts. Perhaps you have never typeset
    Irish, and changed the font.

    >Like all linguistic behavior, correct spelling is a matter of usage.

    If you, or anyone else, thinks that the letter
    "i", drawn without a dot in a Gaelic typeface is
    really the Turkish "ž", then you are simply
    wrong. The Gaelic and Roman letterforms are glyph
    variants of the Latin script. Changing the font
    will lose the dot, if the Gaelic font has been
    drawn correctly and tastefully. This has been the
    case for the entire history of the use of the
    Irish langauge on computers. Those, Brian, are
    the facts.

    Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  *

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