[Spellyans] Front unrounded vowels, was: The quantity system
everson at evertype.com
Tue Jun 24 20:43:05 BST 2008
At 21:32 +0300 2008-06-24, Owen Cook wrote:
>2008/6/24 Michael Everson <everson at evertype.com> rug scrifa:
>> Actually, I think I've caught you here. ;-)
>> Consider German and its dialects. <ö> is (in
>> practice if not in theory) an umbrella graph for
>> /ø/~/e/ (schön [Sø:n]~[Se:n]) and <ü> is an
>> umbrella graph for /y/~/i/ (grün
>> /gry:n]~[gri:n]). So what we propose here is that
>> <ÿ> and <ë> are both umbrella graphs for
>It's a clever trick, but I'm not taken in! ;-)
It's not a trick. It's true.
>The real reason for the diaeresis is simply that
>we don't want to discrimate against Mac users.
Like it or not, fonts are tools. If an
orthography users cannot type or fonts do not
support, then you're sunk.
>While a noble goal in itself, this is not worth
>the vexation of using the wrong diacritic when a
>better alternative exists.
There is nothing "wrong" with the diaeresis.
>The words we're talking about all have <ë> or
><ÿ> in a stressed syllable anyway -- no problem
>there, were we to use the acute.
The acute is not generally available on the
letter y in fonts, and even when found in a font
on a Macintosh, the British Mac Roman keyboard
(default at install) doesn't support it in input.
The answer has got to be NO. This one is a
non-starter. I cannot agree to hobbling the
Cornish language with y-acute, y-grave, or
y-circumflex. Choosing ANY of those is GUARANTEED
to lead to failure for us. It is going to be
hellish enough for us when they see accents used
in our publications. Having them be UNAVAILABLE
accents, world of Unicode or not, cannot do us
And they will tell us how great Kernowek Kebmyn
is without any diacritics at all.
>Furthermore, anybody with exposure to Irish will
>know the acute as a length marker already.
More Cornish learn Spanish or French I suspect.
Both of which use diaeresis (Spanish on ü, French
on ÿ (!). Welsh uses ÿ as well, interestingly.
><é> is familiar to most of us from French as a
>higher variety of <e> (potentially convenient
>for those who want to continue the fiction of
>'aspirational' /I:/), and was used this way in
>Breton (in the Orthographie universitaire).
>Long, stressed, alternating with a higher
>variant -- our dédh and prés words are all of
>these things. On hiatus, umlaut, centralized --
>dëdh and prës are none of these.
No, they aren't any of those. But the accent we
need to use isn't *marking* length or stress or a
higher variant (because it's meant to be used on
the y as well).
This use of diaeresis is that of an umbrella
graph for *dialect preference*. I have already
demonstrated that this usage is found in German
as ö and ü, in practice, when you take dialect
into account. Exactly as in Cornish!
Both vowels have to be marked -- with the same
diacritic (there is no other choice in terms of
sane orthography design) -- and only one
diacritic is really available. Whether that
availability is "fair" or not is irrelevant.
That's what the world gives us. And I don't think
there's any argument that a diaeresis "must" mean
one thing or another. When I read Spanish, I know
that the güe means /gwe/ not /ge/. When I read
Quenya, I know that it is pretty much decorative,
meaning "I am not silent!". When I read Albanian,
I know that it's a schwa. When I read Russian, I
know that ë means [jo].
Lhuyd uses a single dot over y (for a different purpose)
>And if a diaeresis is arguably unobtrusive, an acute is certainly more so by
>virtue of being more simply formed.
Owen, lots and lots of people really disliked
<ei> when it was first mooted. We got used to it,
and came to like it. (The KK users never gave it
a chance -- likely because they wanted the SWF to
be as similar to KK as possible.) We can't have
it. We've got to have something else, and that
has to be *practical*.
I ask you earnestly to open your heart to the
dewboynt. Else we are surely going to be stuck.
Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com
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