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The Low Profile Acutes vs. Hungarumlaut

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Ray Larabie's picture
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Joined: 4 Aug 2006 - 5:54pm
The Low Profile Acutes vs. Hungarumlaut
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Not everyone digs low angle acutes/graves but they're an option in display fonts. Y'know, you see 'em here and there. But what's the best way to deal with ŐőŰű accents in a low angle acute situation, considering they're often seen in the company of ÓóÚú.

Adam Shubinsky's picture
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Joined: 13 Jul 2009 - 7:48am
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Just a thought...

Since the Hungarumlaut bears a direct relation not to the Acute but to the Umlaut, then why not form a variation on the Umlaut rather than attempting to somehow fit two (full) Acutes into this impossibly confined space?

The Hungarumlaut is a rather modern invention after all. I don't think that it has enough "tradition" to definitively determine what the best presentation under such circumstances should be. I doubt though that anyone would frown on you, if you attempt to be a bit innovative with this diacritic.

JMHO.

Andreas Seidel's picture
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Joined: 8 Mar 2002 - 3:44am
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.

Akos Polgardi's picture
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Joined: 3 Jan 2010 - 4:49am
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The Hungarumlaut is a rather modern invention after all.
Could you say a bit more about that?

Nina Stössinger's picture
Joined: 19 Jun 2006 - 3:01pm
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"I doubt though that anyone would frown on you, if you attempt to be a bit innovative with this diacritic"
I would love to hear about this from Hungarians. FWIW I had a Hungarian acquaintance (a layman regarding type) check my own hungarumlauts (although that was in lowercase, in a text font) and got a strong reaction that hungarumlauts which do not match the angle of the acute look «wrong». Hungarian does use acutes as well, so the two would appear next to each other.

BTW, what's the story about the hungarumlaut relating to the umlaut rather than the acute? Deducing this from the name alone seems like wonky logic to me; in Hungarian the thing isn't called hungarumlaut of course, but something like «double accent» AFAIK.

Dan Reynolds's picture
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Joined: 20 Jul 2002 - 11:00am
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Exactly! And Hungarian also uses the dieresis (umlaut…). I think that this hungarumlaut has more to do with the acute than the dieresis.

Adam Shubinsky's picture
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Joined: 13 Jul 2009 - 7:48am
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what's the story about the hungarumlaut relating to the umlaut rather than the acute? Deducing this from the name alone seems like wonky logic to me; in Hungarian the thing isn't called hungarumlaut of course, but something like «double accent» AFAIK.

The deduction was based on an analysis of what acts on what. The acute (at least in Hungarian) is used to extend certain vowels, while the umlaut alters the sound properties of its base vowel. The hungarumlaut does not extent the sound of the base vowel, but of the umlaut(ed) one. Although it shares the lengthening properties of the Acute, it acts specifically and uniquely on the umlaut alone. A hungarumlaut can be viewed therefore as a version or form of the umlaut. Ő is a "version" of Ö in the same way that Á is a version of A (it is in fact a representation of AA).

This view is hardly science, and is clearly open for debate. Perhaps a linguist could step in and shed some light on the linguistic and phonological conventions that are involved.

Could you say a bit more about that?

The fact is that the great Miklós Kis never used the hungarumlaut. In fact, according to this informative page, the hungarumlaut wasn't used in print with any degree of consistency until around the 19th century. So yes, typographically speaking that would make its common use in print a recent phenomena. Also note that various printers over the years have used alternative diacritics to mark the extended umlaut, and no one stoned them for typographic blasphemy.

The bottom line of my argument though was simple; when faced with certain technical and physical constraints, there could and should be room to exercise some typographic ingenuity and find alternative ways to mark sounds, and in this particular case the extended umlaut.

Typography is not written in stone but on paper

Akos Polgardi's picture
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Joined: 3 Jan 2010 - 4:49am
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This group of diacritics (i.e. single and double acute accents) in Hungarian is called 'hosszú ékezet' and they usually signify where the 'long' version of the standard phoneme is to be pronounced instead of the short one (except for 'a' and 'e' where the 'long' version is in fact a different vowel). That is to say, phonetically speaking hungarumlauts as well are longer versions of their respective short counterparts and thus could be thought of as elongated umlauts. (This is only true of the 'ö-ő', 'i-í' and 'ü-ű' pairs however, as in the case of 'o' and 'u' (and uppercase 'I') you don't have any diacritical marks to begin with.)

As to the aesthetic issue, I find low angle acutes rather outlandish.

Michel Boyer's picture
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Joined: 2 Jun 2007 - 1:01pm
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For a font that could be used in a newspaper, why not just have a look at some online pdf hungarian newspaper, for instance Metro

http://www.readmetro.com/en/

(you can download the pdf or browse online).

Michel