Navajo peculiarities

The conversation about ogoneks pointed me again towards Navajo. There is this peculiar i-ogonek-dot-acute character which can apparently be only produced by a combining sequence or a substitution glyph, since it has no Unicode. It seems to be a similar case like the g-tilde for Guaraní or the ij-acute for Netherlands. Has anyone insights about the desired design of that character? Should the two top tittles sit above each other or besides? Should the dot even disappear (like with the dutch ij-acute)? What is to say about its capital equivalent?
questions, questions …
source: Wikipedia


  • notdefnotdef Posts: 168
    Dotless. I always specify that i & others (when applicable) loose their dot when followed by a combining mark. Ensure anchors are transferred to components for proper stacking in combinations like Lithuanian e + dot + macron, where the first two elements are precomposed as ė. You could probably also split all these in ccmp, but support for one-to-many is a little spotty.
  • notdefnotdef Posts: 168
    And for those orthographies that specifically want the tittle (like Vietnamese), Unicode recommends adding a combining dot above before the mark.
  • Like the Elfdalian y-ogonek, this character seems intractable enough to not ask Navajo readers which rendering they consciously prefer, but field-test how they might tolerate a more functional reinterpretation... arguably even of the entire system, which being a retrofit of Latin deprives an endangered culture of crucial pride in the form of its language.

    I believe it's typeface design's place to do this. Since the field of linguistics remains firmly enthralled by spoken language at the expense of the written, it's really on us (we just have to observe, listen and be sensitive).
  • I think the dot might just be a byproduct of the combining character - Navajo iacute doesn't have it, and why would it appear only with the addition of the ogonek?
  • edited May 2020
    Any accented i that still has its dot should be looked at suspiciously.

    As far as I know, only the Lithuanian dictionary usage has its i-dot-acute, i-dot-tidle, j-dot-tilde well documented, the dot must not disappear and therefore should be represented with U+0307, combining dot above, in text.

    As Noah indicates, this is more a font issue for Navajo, where /iogonek doesn’t get subsituted for /i/ogonekcomb or /iogonek.dotless when followed by /acutecomb.

    See for example, Young and Morgan (1943), The Navajo Language.

  • Regarding Vietnamese and the occasional dotted i acute, there was a nice thread on Typophile a while ago:

  • Denis, thank you for digging that up! I'd forgotten of the hope offered by "hdang" of at least modestly decolonizing Vietnamese:
    And I hope such a spirit can be applied to other Latin-dependent cultures.
  • notdefnotdef Posts: 168
    Good to learn. I was lazily assuming was correct.

    The point still stands: you’ll need a dotless i with ogonek for the Navajo letters.
  • Good to learn. I was lazily assuming was correct.
    It’s Schrödinger’s dot. It should and should not be there.

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