Draft proposal: Old Polish nasal vowel letter

Daniel Buncic daniel.buncic at uni-koeln.de
Sun Jan 10 04:47:44 CST 2021

Am 10.01.2021 um 08:43 schrieb Adam Twardoch (Lists) via Unicode:
> in addition, there was a NASAL O (most likely similar to ɔ̃ i.e. akin
> to the French "on" in "garçon", while Ą was probably pronounced ɑ̃
> back then).

Just a small correction: During the Old Polish period, there was only a
single nasal vowel in Polish, and it is plausible to assume that this
was /ã/, a kind of ‘neutral’ vowel between modern ę /ɛ̃/ and ą /ɔ̃/, into
which it split (and indeed also between Proto-Slavic *ę /ɛ̃/ and *ǫ /ɔ̃/,
since the Old Polish /ã/ was itself the result of the merger of these).
 It does seem confusing, but this o-like Old Polish letter really
denoted a nasal a, while the Modern Polish ą denotes a nasal o.

Consequently, a name “nasal o” could only refer to the letter’s visual
form, it would not directly describe its pronunciation.

Personally, I would be fine with any of the names proposed, or yet to be

Thanks a lot!


Prof. Dr. Daniel Bunčić
Slavisches Institut der Universität zu Köln
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