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

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Wed Jun 25 14:55:11 BST 2008

At 16:18 +0300 2008-06-25, Owen Cook wrote:

>Mac users are also, as a rule, more tech-savvy people than PC users.

Entirely untrue. My father, for instance, uses a 
Macintosh, and thank goodness, because it's easy 
to use. :o)

>They're a lot more likely to see a problem like 
>this as something fixable, then figure out how 
>to fix it. Michael's already admitted he'll have 
>no problem with y-acute in Quark, so that 
>settles the Mac typesetter's dilemma.

It most certainly does NOT.

*I* can add new glyphs to a font if I need them. 
Most people cannot. I'll say it again: I'm not 
willing to saddle Cornish users with the 
situation Welsh users are in. The last thing we 
need is somebody turning round and saying "Damn, 
I can't use my favourite fonts because they don't 
have the right characters!"

And I don't believe that a convincing argument 
that <é> and <´y> are "better" than <ë> and <ÿ> 
has been made. The technical disadvantage about 
<´y> not being in fonts is real, and won't ever 
go away. If there are technical disadvantages 
about typing <ÿ> on some platforms, that *is* 
something that we *can* address, making software 
freely available on http://kernowek.net.

The argument "I think diaeresis is unsightly" is, 
as Nicholas pointed out, really not good enough 
as arguments go. I don't happen to think that 
<b´ys>/<bés> would "look better".

(Indeed, I might be tempted to use the acute to 
mark anomalous stress in a dictionary; it would 
be more convenient than the middle dot.)

>And besides Unicode, what about PDFs, which will look the same on any
>machine? What about internet browsers that just select a font
>appropriate to the characters used on a web page?
>I don't think y-acute is an unsolvable problem. Cross-linguistically,
>the acute is also the better choice of accent.

Why? In Irish it means "long vowel" as opposed to 
"short vowel". In Spanish it means "vowel with 
anomalous stress". In Navajo it marks tone. In 
some languages it indicates palatalization or 
affrication of consonants. "Cross-linguistically" 
it can mean pretty much anything.

>If we must have accents
>for these words at all. Like Dan, I don't really see what the problem
>is with simply having dedh and dydh.

Because there are words in -edh which have 
alternating pronunciations in -ydh and there are 
words which do not have such an alternation.
Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com

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