[Spellyans] Front unrounded vowels, was: The quantity system

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Wed Jun 25 14:47:25 IST 2008


At 16:29 +0300 2008-06-25, Owen Cook wrote:
>2008/6/24 Michael Everson <everson at evertype.com> rug scrifa:
>>  It's not a trick. It's true.
>
>But by this argument, <ö> and <ü> (and also <ä>, which can be /{/ or
>/E/) are exactly not what <ÿ> and <ë> are meant to be in the newest
>KS. The German umlaut characters are umbrella graphs. <ÿ> and <ë>
>alternate with each other.

I didn't say it was a perfect analogy. Yes, the 
German umlaut characters are umbrella graphs. We 
used to have an umbrella graph <ei> for the 
bÿs/bës words. When we had that, we didn't have a 
problem with the res-class or the bys-class 
words. When we lost the umbrella graph <ei> we 
re-acquited those problems.

But my analogy is not all that bad either. <ë> is 
an umbrella graph: <bës> may be read [be:z] or 
[bi:z] depending on the reader's dialect. And 
likewise, <ÿ> is an umbrella graph: <bÿs> may be 
read [bi:z] or [be:z] depending on the reader's 
dialect. That the choice of one or the other is 
an alternation up to the writer is just a bit of 
redundancy, but we inherited <bys>~<bes> that 
from the SWF.

The diaeresis does not have an "inherent meaning" 
that restricts it in any way from the solution 
proposed. We can use it for whatever we want. We 
are using grave for anomalous short vowels (and 
<`y> is unavailable in Mac Roman and Windows 1252 
fonts anyway). We are using circumflex for 
anomalous long vowels (and <^y> is unavailable in 
Mac Roman and Windows 1252 fonts anyway). Acute 
is not advantageous (since <´y> is unavailable in 
Mac Roman fonts) -- I don't see a better solution.

By the way, there are other y-letters in Unicode. 
Vietnamese has a y-tilde and y-with-dot-below.

There is a y-with-dot-above, just like Lhuyd 
used, and an e-with-dot-above used in Lithuanian. 
Cool! Wouldn't that be splendidly authentic! But 
I don't recommend these either, because they will 
not be found in tens of thousands of Mac Roman or 
Windows 1252 fonts.
-- 
Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com




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