Status of recent proposals

Michael Everson everson at
Sat Oct 2 04:52:47 CEST 2010

On 2 Oct 2010, at 03:45, Peter Constable wrote:

>> That "a convention exists for writing Wolof in the Arabic script" is very far from denying that "the overwhelming majority of documents in Wolof are written in the Latin script". The former may well be true without in any way diminishing the truth of the latter. For this suppress-script to be removed, I'd like to see a convincing argument that the latter statement isn't true.
> I've already explained this: it's not just that somewhere someone defined "a convention"; the Senegal Ministry of Education is evidently producing curriculum for Wolof in Arabic script.

"Evidently"? The Wikipedia article refers to:

"The Latin-based orthography of Wolof in Senegal was set by government decrees between 1971 and 1985. The language institute "Centre de linguistique appliquée de Dakar" (CLAD) is widely acknowledged as an authority when it comes to spelling rules for Wolof."

The Wolof Wikipedia is in Latin.ët_wu_njëkk

> I would have cited a second source for this, produced by the MoE and in this orthography, but I only had a picture of the Arabic-script title and was not confident in my ability to reproduce the text accurately.

That's still not an indication that more than a tiny fraction of Wolof text is in Arabic script.

> As I recall, the idea of using suppress-script came from me. Suppress-script was intended for cases in which the overwhelming majority of content,

And we may have 98% Latin and 2% Arabic. Which would be an "overwhelming majority"

> and any case in which a government is producing curriculum for a given language in a second script is clearly to be excluded from use of suppress-script.

Is it? That's quite an assumption. What if the Turkish government publishes a book for the school curriculum introducing the Arabic alphabet, used for many (many, many) documents dating from the Ottoman empire? Does that mean that SS for Turkish would be no longer Latin? 

Michael Everson *

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