end-of-line word division at glottal stop?

charles ellertson's picture

We are setting a book with A LOT of different Native American languages -- Hopi, Navajo, etc. etc.

If you make a general word list (language unknown) and avoid certain letter pairings as hyphenation points, not many choices remain -- for example, ngw, ngy, ky, kw etc. are single letters in Hopi, and ay, aw, iw, iy, etc. are dipthongs.

But it occurs to me -- why can't you always break at a glottal stop? there is a pause in pronunciation there anyway. Did a quick search & found nothing either way.

Thoughts?

TIA

Charles

John Hudson's picture

Take care. While English speakers tend to think of a glottal stop as a 'pause in pronunciation', it is actually just another consonant sound, and in some languages it may appear in a pre-vocalic position, i.e. at the beginning of a syllable and even, as in Arabic, at the beginning of a word. Presuming you are aiming to hyphenate between syllables, you need to understand how the glottal stop is used in the languages you are setting and whether a glottal stop ever begins a syllable. If it doesn't, then you should be safe to hyphenate after the glottal stop.

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