Language is the old method by which people communicate with each other. It may take the form of seeing or hearing. With gestures one may make clear one's intentions, but it is much easier to do it with TALKING. There are no peoples, how primitive they may be, that do not have a language at their disposal. But the development of human civilisation did not stop at that. It was a discovery that not only sound, but also images could convey meaning equally well as a form of language, and in some aspects even better. Images could be recorded on stone, paper, clay or wood. And they allowed for a greater precision. Both forms of language, image and sound, were little related to each other, initially. But it was the merit of the Phoenicians that a fixed correspondence was established between the visual and the auditive aspect of language. It was the origin of the European writing system. In general, for there are other systems, the language of images, the "script", can be seen as consisting of a limited number of fixed elements, in some way arranged or connected to a TEXT. Of these systems a large variety exists in the world.

If these elements have a simple form, and if their number is small, then it is customary to speak of "letters", otherwise like with Chinese and Japanese, of "characters". As a general term "character" will be used from here on. (But see also the next chapter). We shall limit us, in the discussion that follows, to the Latin script, such as is familiar to us.

If we look at a Netherlands or English text, we come across to several constituents: letters, of which there are 26 different ones, forming together the "alphabet"; of each of these the variant "capital letter" or "small letter". There are digits or other signs, like comma and full stop. Sequences of letters form a "word", delimited by a "space" or a punctuation mark. Of course, a text shows more structure: lines, columns, pages, sentences, paragraphs and chapters. But that we shall disregard. We are interested in the elements. Of these, further variants may be met, intended for highlighting certain fragments of the text: italic, boldface, (or both), large size or very small. Also these differences will be ignored. Further typographic aspects, like sansserif or serif, we bypass too. Letters may have also hand-written forms that often deviate from those one sees in print. The mutual relation we learn at school. This implies that one is raised to be able to generate an abstraction of the shape, an art that is taught to us while learning reading and writing at an early age. For the content of a text it does not matter whether it is written or printed.

After these operations we have only few "characters" left, being abstractions of a large variety. It are 26 small letters, 26 capital letters, 10 digits, and some small money: comma, full stop, colon, semicolon, parentheses, quotation mark, apostrophe, hyphen.


a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

. , : ; ( ) " ' -

It could seem that all this would be sufficient to write Netherlands and English correctly, but it is not the case, unfortunately. French and German words, having been adopted for common use, require more. In these languages certain letters display an extra addition, and get by that a different meaning. In French élève and élevé does not mean the same thing. These "accents" that may occur above or below the letter, are called "diacritical marks". They must not be applied to every letter, strict rules are in vigour.

In Latin script in Europe the following diacritical marks occur (the English terms are those from ISO), for each of them a demonstration letter is indicated:

é acute (acuut NL, aigu FR)

è grave

ê circumflex (circonflex FR)

ë diaeresis (trema NL, umlaut D)

] ring above

a macron

� breve

Õ tilde

caron (há�ek CZ)

e dot above

ç cedilla (cédille FR)

‚ ogonek

Often the forms such as are being created in this way are considered separate letters, and included in the alphabet of the language (Danish, Swedish, Polish), but that is not the case with French. No distinction is made between trema and umlaut. Which meaning or pronunciation a letter may have, is a matter of custom and usage, and may even depend on context.

A number of European languages have in addition still other extra letters of a shape quite of their own (þ and ð in Icelandic, ø in Danish). Furthermore the phenomenon occurs that letter combinations in some situation are handled in a special way. We classify these as folllows:

-- ligatures: a single letter is sometimes handled as two.

example: æ (Danish) ÷ (French) ß (German)

-- digraphs: two letters are sometimes handled as one.

example: ch ll (Spanish), ij (Netherlands)

From a historical perspective the ligatures originated from the close connection of two letters, but some are at present considered a single letter, but others not, to the contrary. That latter category (like ff, fi, fl, ffi) has only for typography a practical significance, the first, however, represents a semantic difference (typographical and linguistic ligatures). At alphabetic ordering, the ÷ as oe and ß as ss are handled and the æ as ae, but not in the Scandinavian languages, where the æ is the 27e letter of the alphabet.

Digraphs may influence hyphenation, abbreviation, and alphabetic order. (see also Chapter 18).

Some examples of how a text could look, if extra letters as well as accents occur in a document, are presented in Table 2. A fragment of Icelandic is demonstrated, and a Slovak and a Czech text that show how many diacritical marks some languages require.





Samþykkt var á fundi Skýrslutæknifélags Íslands í febrúar 1978 tillaga að lyklaborði fyrir tölvur. Var sú tillaga birt í Tölvumálum, l. tbl. 3. árg. 1978. Þar sem þessi tillaga hefur verið í umferð um nokkurt skeið og náð nokkuri útbreiðslu þykir rétt að geta hennar hér. Hún er í fullu samræmi við ISO staðal nr. 3243, en sá staðall hefur ekki náð þeirri alþjóðlegu útbreiðslu sem vonir stóðu til. Búast má við að lyklaborð þau, sem fara eftir þessari tilloögu verði í umferð nokkum tima á meðan þessi staðall (ÍST 125) er að ná útbreiðslu.

Source: Nordic Cultural Requirements on Information Technology, Report TS3, Icelandic Council for Standardization, Reykjavík, 1992


V pätnástich hus?ových koncertoch, ktoré vznikali v rozpätí Ÿtyrdsiatich rokov (1802-1844), nachádzame podstatné znaky Spohrovej hudobnej re?i: citovú senzibilitu, neoby?ajnú spevnos? inŸtrumentálnej kantilény s typickou bohatou ornamentikou, Ÿtylizovanú tane?nos?, dôraz na brilantnú,technicky náro?nú virtuozitu, chromatické rieŸenie textúry ?i pouŠitie diferencovaného orchestra. Ak Spohr uplat oval programovos? najmä v symfóniách, v hus?ovej koncertantnej tvorbe sa orientoval predovŸetkým na osved?ené princípy klasického sonátového cyklu, umne spájal ducha francúzskej a nemeckej hudby.

Source: Opus Record 9310 2124 (Louis Spohr, Koncert pre husle a orchester ?. 7 e moll, ?. 12 A dur)


Subjektivní problémy, náb?hy ke sv?tobolu a melancholii a další neduhy ?eského fin de siècle zap?sobily na intelektuálskou a vnímavou povahu Vit?zslava Nováka, který, aniž opustil tv?r?í metodu svého mistra Dvo?áka, hledal racionální protiváhu k muzicírování. Nalézal ji p?echodn? v dobových básnických textech, v nichŠ se mohl podobn jako jeho n?me?tí sou?asníci (Berg, Schönberg) v Rakousku pono?it do zjemnlé atmosféry doby. Novák?v základ však toužil po objektivní hudb? hledal Šivotní princip optimistický a není divu, že byl takto puzen i v hudb?. Objevil pro sebe myŸlenku Dvo?ákovy «moravské» hudby, která ho zaujala tou m?rou, že byl p?iveden k soustavnému studiu moravského a pozd?ji slovenského folklóru, lidové hudby a prost?edí.

Source: Supraphon Record 1 10 0648 (Vítzslav Novák, Slovácká Suita, Maryša)