Re: CHAT: Ess-zett Re: CONLANG Digest - 18 Mar 2000 to 19 Mar 2000 (#2000-78)
|From:||Vasiliy Chernov <bc_@...>|
|Date:||Monday, March 27, 2000, 12:06|
On Thu, 23 Mar 2000 23:58:19 -0600, Eric Christopherson <raccoon@...>
>At 05:31 PM 3/22/2000 +0100, BP wrote:
>>At 13:09 20.3.2000 -0600, Thomas R. Wier wrote:
>> >. The German boards did, though,
>> >have umlauted tiles for vowels, although I don't seem to remember any
>> >tile for the ess-zett.
>>That's because ess-zett can't be capitalized. It becomes SS in
>>caps. (Actually it *should* become SZ, with sz as a permissible l-c
>>stand-in. Beats me why not. German Polonophobia, maybe? ;-)
>Any idea why sz or a variation of it was ever chosen at all? It seems like
>a rather odd choice to represent /s/, but then I guess Magyar uses it too.
It seems that this usage goes back to Middle High German, in which
<ss> and <sz> stood for different sounds (the latter phonetically closer
to the affricate <z>/<tz>).
BTW, I kinda recall a book in German (not too old, late 19th century,
IIRC) whose Gothic fonts distinguished between two similar ligatures -
ss and sz. Roughly, the former was the substitute for ss in the end of
words/components of compounds, the latter stood for voiceless [s] after
long vowels (I forget the details).
A similar shape for ligaturized ss was also used outside Germany, e. g.
in some older Italian calligraphy manuals.