theunixgeek (theunixgeek) wrote in linguaphiles,

Why have Diacritics?

Why and how did diacritics come about?  I find it a brilliant idea that a letter may have its pronunciation changed by adding a dash on top of it, but different languages use these accents differently, and with languages that have accents that others do not, in modern times, the ease of typing a certain language may be somewhat hindered by the fact that the keyboard layout being used doesn't have that accent, which would mean changing the keyboard layout, etc. Also, an attempt to read an unfamiliar language (either out loud or in a search for cognates to try to understand the text) may also be inhibited.

It seems that English (and maybe Dutch - not sure about it) is the only European language that doesn't have any accents. How did accents wear off of English?

I'm the following letters and similar ones as being "accented" even if they're not officially so (they're obviously derived from accented letters): ñ, ø, ç, å, etc.
Tags: accents, diacritics, english, latin, writing

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