IJ with accent

Philippe Verdy verdy_p at wanadoo.fr
Thu Sep 29 12:16:33 CDT 2016

Actually your example is not contrieved, it cites words in French, which
makes no use at all of this Dutch digraph; French however distinguishes "ÿ"
as a valid letter in its alphabet and will distinguish it from "y" and "ij".

But with the old Dutch way of writing ij, it would become ÿ (keeping the
dots), not "y", so your incorrect example "bijou(x)" would appear as
"Bÿou(x)", not "Byou(x)... if only it was Dutch and if there was no
syllable break between i and j like in this actual French word "bi-jou(x)".

In capitals the dots would disappear and "BIJOU(X)" would become "BIJOU(X)"
(with the ligature... if only it was Dutch), but the normal French "ÿ"
(which occurs in rare words) considers the dots as a diareasis (where
there's a clear syllable break before, as "ÿ" only occurs after another
vowel, so that "ÿ" becomes a plain vowel /i/ with an leading glotal stop,
 and not the half-consonant /j/:

   "L'Haÿes-les-Roses" is clearly prononced /la·ʔi·lɛ·ʁoz/ (as if it was
written "L'Hahi(es)-les-Roses")
   but not if there was not this diareasis it would be read incorrectly as
/laj·lɛ·ʁoz/ (as if it was written "L'Aïl-les-Roses")
   (the "-es" termination is mute here).

The need of a diareasis if very rare with "y" in French where "y" is
normally /j/ after a vowel (but not before a final mute "e"), or /i/ after
a consonnant, and the digrams "ay" and "oy" are working like "ai" /ɛ/ and
"oi" /wa/ when final, or before a consonnant, or before other final mute
letters. Why there's a "y" and not a "i" here is historic, it was initially
pronounced /la·ji·lɛ·ʁoz/ and could have then been rewritten as
"L'Hayies-les-Roses", but possibly incorrectly read as /lɛ·ji·lɛ·ʁoz/
(using the normal pronouciation of the "ay" digram like "ai". The diaresis
solved the reading problem, the "y" was kept but without any following "i",
to make sure it is not turned into a half-consonnant /j/ and remains an
plain /i/ vowel, the the diareasis implies the glottal stop separation of

All this is not relevant for "bijou(x)" or "BIJOU(X)", and not relevant for
Dutch which treats the digram "ij" most often as a long form of the vowel
/i/ alone (and not a pair with the vowel /i/ and a consonnant /ʒ/ or /dʒ/
or /j/ when there's a syllable break between them). In French, long vowels
are no longer distinguished phonetically and never orthographically, other
languages use diacritics such as a macron (for Japanese romanization) or an
acute accent over stressed/long vowels. I suppose that the need to add
acute accent in the Dutch digraph "ij" is to not just mark the length, but
also the stress (accents are placed on both letters of the digraph, but it
could as well been a single macron, a very unusual diacritic in Dutch).

2016-09-29 18:17 GMT+02:00 Michael Everson <everson at evertype.com>:

> y is not an acceptable variant of ij though. “Byoux” is not correct;
> “bijoux” or “bijoux” is…
> > JFTR:
> >
> > - ij U+0133
> > - ij́ U+0133+0301
> > - ij̋ U+0133+030B
> > - y U+0079
> > - ý U+0079+0301
> > - ý U+00FD
> > - y̋ U+0079+030B
> > - ÿ U+00FF
> > - ÿ́ U+00FF+0301
> > - ÿ̋ U+00FF+030B
> >
> > <https://www.microsoft.com/typography/otspec/features_ko.htm#locl>
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