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Bantu-L-2005-03-25 | ... in the spirit of service


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-----Original Message-----
From: bantu-l-admin@xxxxxx On Behalf Of Donald Z. Osborn Sent: Friday, March 25, 2005 10:41 AM
To: bantu-l@xxxxxx
Subject: [Bantu-L] "a" & "Latin alpha" in Fe'fe' transcriptions?

There's an interesting thread on the Unicode list - "'lower case a' and 'script a' in unicode" - that concerns rendering of the letter "a" in plain and italic form in many fonts, and the similarity of the latter to the latin letter alpha, which has a different phonological meaning in IPA and in a few languages, including Fe'fe' (Bamileke, Cameroon). The thread is touching on some related issues as well.

The questions that I've started to wonder about are:

1) is the latin Letter alpha actively used in Fe'fe' for the separate a sound in print and in handwriting?

2) whether the sound distinction represented by the "a" and "Latin alpha" is important enough in other African languages to merit use of the separate characters? and

3) What is the uppercase form of the "Latin alpha"?

If you're interested in looking at the thread, go to
and click on "Click here for the most current archive" (use the username & password indicated above the link). It began on 21 March 05. Any info that any of you can provide would be helpful.


Don Osborn

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