Latin alpha (Re: Public Review Issues Update)

From: Donald Z. Osborn (
Date: Mon Aug 30 2004 - 19:34:24 CDT

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    According to data from R. Hartell (1993), the latin alpha is used in Fe'efe'e (a
    dialect of Bamileke) in Cameroon. See (full ref. there; Hartell names her
    sources in her book). Not sure offhand of other uses, but I thought it was
    proposed for Latin transcription of Tamashek in Mali at one point (I'll try to
    check later). In any event it would seem easy to confuse the latin alpha with
    the standard "a," which would seem to either require exaggerated forms (of the
    alpha, to clarify the difference) or limit its usefulness in practice.

    Don Osborn

    Quoting Jörg Knappen <>:

    > Philippe Verdy frug:
    > > As a subsidiary question, are there languages that make a distinction
    > > between the one-eye and two-eyes forms of lowercase letter a (U+0061)?
    > > If so, how is their uppercase versions ?
    > I think, the one-eye a is latin letter alpha (lowercase already in
    > UNicode) and two-eyes a the usual latin a as in Times Roman.
    > The distinction between the two letters is provided by several versions of
    > the African Reference Alphabet (ARA), but I don't know any language
    > employing it in its orthography. I have seen two uppercase versions of it:
    > a) Looks like turned capital U with bar. This form goes back to Pitmann's
    > phonographic alphabet.
    > b) Looks like OC ligature. This form I have found in printed versions of
    > the African Reference Alphabet. In this version, the lowercase latin alpha
    > also looks almost like a oc ligature.
    > --J"org Knappen

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