Re: OT? Languages with letters that always take diacriticals

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Sat Mar 20 2004 - 06:02:15 EST

  • Next message: Thomas Widmann: "Re: OT? Languages with letters that always take diacriticals"

    From: "Charles Cox" <>
    > Curtis Clark asked:
    > > Are there any languages that use letters with diacriticals, but *never*
    > > use the base letter without diacriticals? A made-up example to explain
    > > what made me think of it: Let's say a language has "", to represent the
    > > same sound that it does in German, but not "o", because the language
    > > lacks the sound represented by that letter in common European languages
    > > (the alternative being to use "o" to represent the "" sound).
    > I believe Maltese uses "c" with a dot above but doesn't use the basic "c".

    Does a maltese keyboard requires the user to enter two keystrokes instead of
    just pressing the "C" key? Or does it map a "c with dot above" separate key?
    I think that for such languages, there's a common folding rule that allows
    collating together the dotted and undotted c as if they were both the same
    letter, so that it allows automatic spelling correction.

    It looks exactly like the folding rule that a Irish collation table and folding
    rule could produce to unify two possible encodings of the 'i' vowel.

    For Unicode, these pairs of letters are distinct, but nothing forbids a
    language-specific collation and folding rule to equate letters that it considers
    equivalent simply because two encodings are quite common to work with various
    working environments where there's a huge legacy use of the ASCII letter.

    Each time there's a huge legacy usage of an 'incorrect" spelling produced by
    legacy encodings or limited keyboards, there's an opportunity to "correct" the
    spelling with such language-specific folding and collation rules...

    Unicode already lists some of those possible foldings, but a more extensive
    search in various languages could list a lot of useful foldings that would help
    solve the problems caused by encoding differences that are not really
    orthographic differences... See for example the foldings commonly used in Asian
    languages with wide and narrow variants of letters in association with the
    Japanese or Korean scripts.

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