Linguistic texts on Romance languages: Use of this " ǫ " in orthography

wimigu31

Senior Member
Salvadoran Spanish
I was recently arguing with my friend, saying that in Romance languages there was no ǫ (it took me half an hour to find this character) but then he proved me wrong. I see however that it fell into disuse. (dǫna -> dona )
Does anyone know why and when?

Thanks
 
  • Favara

    Senior Member
    Catalan - Southern Val.
    Sorry, but it's the first time I see that character. I don't even know what it's supposed to sound like. I've checked wikipedia and it appears to be used in Polish, transliterations from Old Slavonic, Lithuanian, Elfdalian and a few native american languages.
    Maybe you saw it in some text about Catalan phonetics where they were trying to say it's an "open" O (IPA /ɔ/) even if it's not accentuated, but as I said, I've never seen it used like that. That'd be an incorrect use of the character.

    A search on "dǫna" only returns something about Burkina-Faso, maybe it's used there too.
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    I was recently arguing with my friend, saying that in Romance languages there was no ǫ (it took me half an hour to find this character) but then he proved me wrong. I see however that it fell into disuse. (dǫna -> dona )
    Does anyone know why and when?
    It's not an ancient character. Rather, it's a phonetic symbol used in academic literature. Linguistis sometimes use it, but not ordinary texts.
     
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    avellanainphilly

    Senior Member
    Catalan, Spanish
    It's not an ancient character. Rather, it's a phonetic symbol used in academic literature. Linguistis sometimes use it, but not ordinary texts.

    I have never seen it in any linguistic text. As Favara said, it should be /ɔ/. Maybe it's an old symbol, pre-IPA. Have you seen it elsewhere, Outsider?

    también le he tomado una foto a mi libro de catalán donde se ve dǫna y dǫlç.

    On the other hand, "dona" and "dolç" have different vowels, /ɔ/ and /o/ respectively, so now I'm not so sure /ǫ/ is the equivalent of /ɔ/.
     
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    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    They are not IPA symbols, but they are fairly common in Romance linguistics -- especially historical linguistics -- at least up to a couple of decades ago. Wimigu31 posted two examples above.
     

    XiaoRoel

    Senior Member
    galego, español
    Las vocales abiertas románicas procedentes de las latinas /ĕ/ y /ŏ/ tónicas se representaron antes del AFI (o IPA o AFI, pero no *API) por /ę/ y /ǫ/, AFI /ɛ/ y /ɔ/ (y las correspondientes cerradas por /ẹ/ y /ọ/, AFI /e/ y /o/). Los lingüistas añosos como yo seguimos usando estos signos fonéticos.
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    Hola. Yo también he visto alguna vez esos diccionarios que colocan puntos y comas por debajo de las vocales tónicas. Normalmente son diccionarios bilingües (inglés-catalán), también (inglés-italiano), publicados en Estados Unidos. El punto con (E y O) significa que es una vocal cerrada, la coma que es una vocal abierta. El catalán solo indica la diferencia é,è o ó,ò cuando la palabra no respeta las reglas de acentuación de dicho idioma... por ejemplo (cafè, bessó)... De tal manera no se escribe ni (documènt) ni (dólç) porque no hace falta. En tu diccionario ponen , en el primer caso y . en el segundo. Indica la pronunciación correcta. Los catalanohablantes no escribirían nunca puntos y comas porque no tienen que aprender cómo se pronuncia su lengua. Saludos
     
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    OrCuS

    Senior Member
    Castellano / Català (País Valencià)
    El que no entenc és perquè, si son simbols fonètics, "dona" i "dolç" tenen el mateix.
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I've checked wikipedia and it appears to be used in Polish, transliterations from Old Slavonic, Lithuanian, Elfdalian and a few native american languages.

    Both Polish and Lithuanian use ą and ę (although with different phonetic values), but not ǫ! The latter could be only found in some older Polish grammar textbooks to represent the phonetic value of ą (IPA ɔ̃ ).
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    El que no entenc és perquè, si son simbols fonètics, "dona" i "dolç" tenen el mateix.

    No, no tenen el mateix símbol. Dona (muller) és amb coma, significa (dòna) i dolç és amb punt (dólç). Supose que dona del verb donar seria amb punt també, perquè la pronunciació és tancada.
     
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    OrCuS

    Senior Member
    Castellano / Català (País Valencià)
    No, no tenen el mateix símbol. Dona (muller) es amb coma, significa (dòna) i dolç es amb punt (dólç). Supose que dona del verb donar seria amb punt també, perquè la pronunciació és tancada.

    Volia dir segons l'imatge de wimigu31. Al seu llibre apareixen amb la mateixa grafia.
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    Volia dir segons l'imatge de wimigu31. Al seu llibre apareixen amb la mateixa grafia.

    La veritat és que hi veig molt mal aquella imatge. Pensava que era el meu ordinator que és molt vell! Però tinc un diccionari que utileix el mateix sistema. Diguem, si no té dólç amb punt i dòna amb coma, s'han equivocat.
     
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    XiaoRoel

    Senior Member
    galego, español
    Así es: a) dulcem > dolç [dołs] o, con otro sistema de notación fonética, [dọłs]; b) domina > domna > donna >dona [dɔna/dɔnǝ] o, con otro sistema de notación, [dǫna/dǫnǝ].
     

    Alxmrphi

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I saw that character in something I was reading last week, let me try and find it...
    Like Outsider already said, it was on historical linguistics...

    Infin. (present) Pret. Sg. Pret. Pl. Past Ptc.
    Go. .......giban.. gaf....gēbum .......gibans
    ON ........gefa ....gaf ..gǫfom .......gefenn
    OE....... giefan ...geaf gēafon .......giefenn
    OHG..... geban ...gab gābum ........gigeban

    It was reflecting the preterite plural sound of the Old Norse for "to give".
    I didn't know what it meant, but now I've found this thread I do! :)
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Beware that the value of this diacritic may be different for non-Romance languages. For example, as Ben Jamin remarked above, in Polish and Lithuanian it indicates a nasal (or formerly nasal) vowel.

    P.S. Wikipedia calls ǫ an o caudata.
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    They are not IPA symbols, but they are fairly common in Romance linguistics -- especially historical linguistics -- at least up to a couple of decades ago. Wimigu31 posted two examples above.

    Las vocales abiertas románicas procedentes de las latinas /ĕ/ y /ŏ/ tónicas se representaron antes del AFI (o IPA o AFI, pero no *API) por /ę/ y /ǫ/, AFI /ɛ/ y /ɔ/ (y las correspondientes cerradas por /ẹ/ y /ọ/, AFI /e/ y /o/). Los lingüistas añosos como yo seguimos usando estos signos fonéticos.

    Yes indeed, those symbols represent open vowels in Romance dialectology, and yes of course, it is not an API symbol - and yes again, this symbol was introduced before IPA was defined, and it is still used by some.

    Not only in Romance dialectology; also the old Viennese school of dialectology uses /ę/ and /ǫ/, and even /ẹ/ and /ọ/ (and other rather exotic diacritics) to write phonemes which do not exist in German standard language.

    And of course you need to be careful comparing this with similar symbols in Polish, Lithuanian and other languages where this one (vowel with ogonek, as it's called) is used for entirely different sounds, as has been pointed out above already.

    Many linguists already have switched to IPA symbols (both in Romance and Germanic dialectology), but some still use this older ones.
     
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