bohemia- diacriticals vs digraphs
- Hi all,
I'm the course of my rather limited online research, I've come across
some references to Old Czech language and the use of digraphs and
What i've read has basically stated that prior to about 1400ish,
czech language used the letter 'z' after a consonant to produce the
softening effect the hacek produces, as in "czech" instead
of "c^ech"... anyhoo... the story I have read so far describes a
document wherein Jan Hus suggests/promotes the use of diacritical
marks instead of digraphs, and as time went by, these marks became
standard. I have noticed that most books on Czech history use either
modernized Czech place/personal names or (worse) translate the names
into a German or English equivalent. Obviously there are greater
challenges in finding period information in relation to naming, but I
am interested in this tiny aspect of in-period spelling.
Sooooo...in the context of discovering period spellings for pre-1400
personal- and place- names, I am interested if anyone can help me by
either pointing me towards a resource or guiding me in the following
1) how did pre-diacritical-era documents indicate the accent ague?
did they use an additional vowel to express this action?
2) are there any good examples of such documents online? (not that i
can read czech of course.... but to see an example would be
3) are there any other spelling-related factors i'm forgetting about
hrm... i'm just puzzling over this. Did Hus invent the marks or were
they in use but infrequently prior to his writing? does anyone know a
good (english-language) guide to this? hrm... i first read about this
on genealogy-related websites (regarding potential difficulties in
reading old records) and then in introductions to czech language...
oh, just rambling now, guess i'll stop *grins*.
(Still fine-tuning the ol' persona name... not ready for unveiling
quite yet... and compiling a big list of 14th-15th century bohemian
names while she's at it...)