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Question on orthography: punctum delens and acute accents

Are answers with puncta delentia (i.e. dots indicating lenition) and acute accents (i.e. ó /oː/ & é /eː/ alongside ò /ɔː/ & è /εː/, rather than ò for both /oː/ and /ɔː/ and è for both /eː/ and /εː/) accepted? The former has not been in widespread use for a long, long time, but the latter is still used in some places and makes the orthography much less ambiguous.

November 27, 2019



Doesn't Duolingo generally treat all diacritica as optional anyway? My guess is that you might get the typo warning, but probably not an error.


Accents are definitely not optional in Gaelic; they represent vowel length, which is contrastive.

Go to the LearnGaelic dictionary and compare "fèis" with "feis" for one example of their importance. https://learngaelic.scot/dictionary


I know they are not optional in the language - but Duolingo treats them as such in all languages that use them. You will not get marked wrong for leaving out an umlaut in German or an accent in French, despite the fact that both (can) heavily influence pronunciation. My assumption is that DL wants to remain accessible for people without the ability to install the appropriate keyboards. So in the end, it doesn't matter whether or not the OP uses acute accents or not - Duolingo won't mark them for it.


I was under the impression that punctum delens (and Cló Gaelach in general) hasn’t really been used for modern Scottish Gaelic since Early Modern Irish/Classical Gaelic stopped being the literary language of Scotland and a distinct Scottish Gaelic standard appeared, so I wouldn’t count on that. Even Irish course afaik doesn’t accept punctum delens, and it still is a living convention when writing in Cló Gaelach.

As for the traditional ó and é for /oː/ and /eː/ – I’d like that too, especially since they’ve been removed from official spelling not that long ago, and there are still people using them online (eg. they are consistently used on the wiki Akerbeltz).


I’ve seen Irish speakers online talk pretty fondly about the idea of using the ponc more extensively. I even came across this one guy on Quora who mentioned staging a mock-demonstration with a few other people demanding its reinstatement… and people came to express their earnest support.

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