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Re: CHAT Self-describing terminology (was: Conlang Geminates)

From:Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
Date:Saturday, July 10, 2004, 8:37
On Fri, 9 Jul 2004 23:12:28 -0400, Ph. D. <phild@...> wrote:
> Side note: > > Before phototypesetting and computers, printing Esperanto required > having matrices made for the letters unique to Esperanto. This often > was costly. (Today this is easy. I just use Fontographer to create the > needed TrueType characters.) > > French uses all five vowels with a circumflex, and French was widely > used as an auxlang in the nineteenth century so that printing type > with vowels + circumflex was readily available.
Also, it was easy to type on a typewriter since many European typewriters had non-spacing circumflexes which you could put over any latter - but not non-spacing carons, for example. From what I've read, typewriters have influenced quite a number of new alphabets, often created by missionaries. "Problems of diacritic design for Latin script text faces", which was linked to here (IIRC) recently, quotes a book called "Written Navaho: a brief history", saying: "The easy availability of accents on typewriters, and the lack of typewriters with new, unique letters, dramatically increased the use of diacritics on the last century. When there were multiple options for writing Navaho, for example, the one most easily produced on a typewriter won out." (I imagine that typewriters were also the origin of the curious characters U+030D COMBINING VERTICAL LINE ABOVE and U+030E COMBINING DOUBLE VERTICAL LINE ABOVE, which I've only seen in Marshallese so far - they could be easily obtained on a typewriter by typing an apostrophe or a quotation mark, respectively, and backspacing to add the letter [or vice versa].) So the ability to type Esperanto's accented letters on conventional typewriters was surely a factor in designing the alphabet. Cheers, -- Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>