RE: Exemplifying apostrophes

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Mon May 19 2008 - 12:54:20 CDT

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    I also think he is correct, but only for the languages and uses listed by
    Chris, but I accept the fact that there's the need for distinctions.
    I disagree with your opinion that the use in digraphs/trigraphs should use
    the letter modifier. This is false at least in the examples listed by Chris,
    where the curly apostrophe is still widely used. Chris lists the English
    elision, as the prefered form for the apostrophe: it is clearly not a letter
    modifier. The same is true in the French elision, and Breton's use of the
    apostrophe in a trigraph (ch) clearly reuses the French apostrophe ()
    which is preferable curly and used in French only for marking the elision:
    there's no confusion possible with a elision, because neither French nor
    Breton have elisions after a c and attached before a h, so the trigraph is
    still interpretable as a single letter (note also that the Breton trigraph
    uses the apostrphe in a medial position, so there's no risk of confusion
    with quotation marks; note that quotation marks cannot occur in French
    typography after an apostrophe: the elided word should be part of the
    quotation itself; and elision only concerns non essential words like
    articles or the negation leading particle, or abbreviated pronouns before
    Breton has been written since very long using French typographic rules since
    long, and even before French itself that just inherited the ecclesiastic
    rules for Latin (the Breton language has existed many centuries before
    French since the early Middle-Age, however its orthography was reformed and
    unified quote recently in the 20th century, even if there persists some
    disagreements, but such disagreements is natural for all living languages
    including French and English themselves; the use of old Celtic letters for
    Breton has been completely lost since very long, but may persist in some old
    poestry documents kept in Nordic countries).
    The apostrophe in all the cases listed by Chris is not even a true
    punctuation (and there's no confusion possible with true punctuations like
    quoting marks, except in English where the curly apostrophe is also used as
    quotation marks; in French, Breton, and many other languages, the quotation
    marks are doubled, and marked also with an additional small spacing to make
    this clear; in English typography, the additional spacing is most often
    absent, depsite it used to be some tiny spacing too, albeit smaller than
    with French and German typography).
    Clearly, most of the listed languages do not justifiy the use of a letter
    On the opposite there's the case of glottal stops, ayin, and similar sounds
    like consonnnantal clicks or centralized vowels: they need a letter, not a
    letter modifier, because they can frequently occur in leading position like
    other consonnants or vowels. And their letter form is also normally distinct
    from apostrophes: they should never be a vertical tick like a the ASCII
    quote, and they are slightly turned and effectively curved and also normally
    dissymetric in their form; these letters should also be visibly distinct
    from the elision apostrophe and the punctuation quotes... (they may be
    distinct from spacing accents but this is not strictly required in those
    languages as they don't need spacing accents).
    I have no opinion about how the Digrib (t) or Chipewan (tth) polygraphs
    should encode their apostrophe, this may be good cases for letter modifiers
    due to their final position, and probably should be encoded and rendered
    distinctly from the punctuation quotes: this should not use the right single
    quotation mark (like the French elision apostrophe), but should be still
    distinct from ayins and clicks. These modifiers in polygraphs may be similar
    to accents.


    De : [] De la
    part de Andr Szabolcs Szelp
    Envoy : lundi 19 mai 2008 09:29
    Objet : Re: Exemplifying apostrophes

    Hello, Chris,

    While it's correct, that one glyph character should be used, whether it
    means glottal stop or mid-centralised vowel, etc, etc, I do believe that
    using the modifier letter apostrophe is more appropriate, as opposed to
    using right single quotation mark for contractions. Why do I think so?

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