Print

Print


Despite all the criticism against Esperanto's letters with hats, there 
are in fact some good reasons to use diacritical symbols in auxiliary 
languages.

1. Adding diacritical marks to existing symbols is a typical way to 
extend alphabet. Diacritical marks are used in most modern writing 
systems including Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, Arabic, Devanagari, Katakana 
and even Bopomofo.

2. Diacritical symbols are distinctive in a good way. Jespersen left the 
letter C out from the original version of Novial because he concluded 
that it was too chaotic. It is used for representing too many different 
sounds in European languages, including /k, s, ts, tʃ, θ/. A diacritical 
version of C, such as Ĉ, is not the same thing. It clearly signals that 
the symbol represents a different sound than C in your native language.

3. With diacritics in your repertoire, you can avoid using plain letters 
in unexpected ways. I use <x> to represent /ʃ/ in Pandunia and it looks 
strange. But there aren't any better alternatives left in Basic Latin, 
so... :(

4. Diacritical symbols can help to retain familiar appearance of words 
sometimes. That's why Esperanto has hard G and soft Ĝ.

--Risto