[Spellyans] reDistribution of <i> and <y>

A. J. Trim ajtrim at msn.com
Fri Jul 25 11:05:27 IST 2008

I agree with this approach, and with most of the wording.
However, in (3), KS requires the inclusion of the grave accent. This has been put under "other... languages".
If <é> is adopted for <ë>, we need to include the acute accent too.
If the acute accent is not used for anything else, it could be an alternative for those who prefer it to the circumflex. On a PC, the acute is easier to type than a circumflex.
If we are not using the acute accent at all, we must not use it (or any other diacritic) to mark unusual stress in the dictionaries, as that would lead to confusion. We should use italic or bold to indicate unusual stress in the dictionaries.


Andrew J. Trim

From: Eddie Climo 
Sent: Friday, July 25, 2008 9:57 AM
To: Standard Cornish discussion list 
Subject: Re: [Spellyans] reDistribution of <i> and <y>

On 25 Jul 2008, at 00:38, Michael Everson wrote:

  . . ..
  The people who don't like diacritics aren't going 
  to like ANY of them. You can't trade ì/ë for ÿ/ë 
  and think that this will make them happy with 
  diacritics. The net "reduction" in diacritics 
  posited by this proposal is very likely 
  negligible too.

Moreover, the people who don't like diacritics probably aren't going to use them at all. Let's say we advocate <bÿs>~<bës> with diaeresis. The 'diacritophobes' will write <bys> ~ <bes>, which is hardly more difficult to read than, say, E. <gaol> ~ <jail>. We might not favour it, but it's not a repellent choice (unlike some that we've seen!)

And in informal contexts like email and texting (as I've said before), those who cannot key diacritics, for technical reasons or from lack of knowledge, will write something like <by:s> ~ <be:s>. This would not, of course, be acceptable in published material, but it's perfectly OK in its place.

I think our KS specification document should explicitly comment on each of these 3 choices, rather than just ignoring the issue. It might be worded something like this: 

  KS recommends the minimal use of diacritical marks in the following contexts . . ..
  . . .
  The fundamental reason for choosing this contentious option is to resolve some ambiguities of vowel quality or length, while still retaining a traditional look to the words concerned.

  As regards usage of diacrits, KS makes the following observations and recommendations:

  (1) Didactic and elementary material.
  Diacrits should always be used in dictionaries, grammars and texts for learners. It is crucial that these resources should have as little ambiguity as possible, so as to help the learner. Indeed, this is the existing practice in UC and UCR material, with the use of both diaeresis or macron, as well as other marks such as raised point and hyphen.

  (2) Printed material for more advanced users.
  KS recommends the use of all diacrits in this material, but accepts that some individual writers or published may prefer not to use them. While this is deprecated, KS takes a relaxed, pragmatic approach to the issue, and declines to adopt the proscriptive approach we have seen too often elsewhere in the Revival. While the omission of these marks will add some ambiguity to a text, this will not in practice create a problem for more fluent readers.

  (3) Informal material: texting, IRC, personal emails and letters.
  KS recommends the use of all diacrits in this material, but accepts that individual writers will do as they choose in this area.
  For those who cannot key the combining diacritical marks, KS recommends the traditional practice in informal material:
    diaeresis -- <letter + colon> --  a:
    circumflex -- <letter + non-combining circumflex> -- a^
  . . . and for other Celtic and European languages:
    macron -- <letter + underscore> --  a_
    acute -- <letter + forward slash> -- a/
    grave -- <letter + backward slash> -- a\

Eddie Foirbeis Climo
- -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- -
Dres ethom akennow byner re bons lyeshes
Accenti non multiplicanda praeter necessitatem


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