Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 2nd Dec 2009 23:17 UTC
Features, Office A few weeks ago, we talked about how the rise of computing, a field wherein English is the primary language, is affecting smaller languages, and more specifically, the Dutch language (because that's my native tongue). Of course, it's not just the smaller languages that are affected - English, too, experiences the pressure.
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Final forms
by theosib on Thu 3rd Dec 2009 18:07 UTC
theosib
Member since:
2006-03-02

I'm surprised no one mentioned final letter forms. Sometimes, the jamming of words together resulted in ambiguity, and sometimes it didn't. To deal with some of the ambiguity (I presume), final forms evolved. So for instance, sigma has the intermediate form σ and the final form ς. Only a few letters in Greek, Hebrew, and even Gothic script have final forms, which I guess is an interaction with the morphology. You'll see "os" as a morphological ending in Greek, for instance.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Final forms
by Doc Pain on Fri 4th Dec 2009 22:07 in reply to "Final forms"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

So for instance, sigma has the intermediate form σ and the final form ς. Only a few letters in Greek, Hebrew, and even Gothic script have final forms, which I guess is an interaction with the morphology.


Those were present in German, too, especially in the "Fraktur" font families. A "round S" (that looks like the s we know) indicated the end of a word, while the "long S" (that looks quite like a f, but without the horizontal line) was used inside words. This was helpful because the german language knows concatenated words (while english language just puts words after another with a space to create a combined meaning).

Example:
Wachstube (Wachs-Tube) = the wax tube
Wachftube (Wach-Stube) = the guard room

Without the obsolated "long s", both words look the same.

Another example is the use of the Eszett ligature (it's not a letter!) to indicate that a non-truncatable ss is present. This of course indicates the end of a word, or the end of a word part, and makes reading easier, especially when the next word part begins with another s.

Example:
Meßgerät = the measuring device
Meßstrecke = the measuring line (compare: Messstrecke)

The Eszett ligature, because it IS a "long s" followed by a "round s", exactly looks like the combination of f and s - some good printing fonts even show this.

(Note that I've abused the letter f in my examples to represent the "long s" - it's not a literal f, of course.)

In some regards... camel case is something like the german concatenated noun; long words consisting of shorter words. In some middle-age dated ancestors of today's German, the hyphen has been used to indicate the "gap" between word parts, and due to the ongoing "spelling reforms", this idea is revived again, such as "Ein-Bett-Zimmer" instead of "Einbettzimmer" (one bed room), but it's used completely arbitrary and without any logical decision, such as "Autobahnraststätte", "Autobahn-Raststätte", "Auto-Bahnraststätte" or "Autobahnrast-Stätte" (highway rest stop).

You'll see "os" as a morphological ending in Greek, for instance.


So it's NEWSos, then? :-)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Final forms
by h3rman on Sat 5th Dec 2009 20:00 in reply to "Final forms"
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

Hebrew has final forms for k/ch, ts, m, n, p/f. That's about a quarter of its alphabet.
I don't see the morphological interaction there, perhaps others do. Both -im and -in are plural endings, so that is convenient.
There are still hieroglyphs visible in our own Latin alphabet, by the way. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2