[XeTeX] Pronunciation of "XeTeX" in various languages

Robert Spence spence at saar.de
Thu Feb 22 08:24:30 CET 2007

On 22 Feb 2007, at 00:06 , Thomas Hühn wrote:

> Robert Spence <spence at saar.de> writes:
>> But this raises an interesting possibility.  Instead of worrying
>> about the difficult initial and final consonants in "XeTeX", we
>> should be worrying about the vowels, which are really far too
>> simple!  I propose we nasalize them, and adopt the Polish spelling
>> "XęTęX".  (In French orthography the "ę" would be pronounced
>> something like "hein", I think.)
> Uh-oh.
> Vowel space is continuous, whereas consonant space is quite discrete
> (categorical perception),

... which may be why the letters of the first alphabet were all  
consonants.  If the first alphabetizers had begun by analysing vowel  
sounds, they might have designed their writing system on a completely  
different principle (colours? temperatures? degrees of fractality?),  
and we might never have got the kinds of linear strings of characters  
that TeX is so good at typesetting!

-- Rob Spence
Applied Linguistics
Saarland University

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