Date: Fri, 3 Mar 1995 12:31:52 CST From: "Donald M. Lance" Subject: Re: Ozark(s) and other plural(s) When words like "sierra madre" become attached to "mountians" they no longer function as Spanish words. Official maps published in English do not use tildes or accent marks on Spanish-origin place names. The US Board on Geographic Names discusses this matter often but ends up not wanting to use a mix of orthographic practices. The apostrophes used in AmerIndian names pose even greater challenges than tildes, which can be respelled as -ny-, and accent marks, which are suprasegmental rather than "segmental." It's kinda too bad that typographers and qwerty devotees have imposed such heavy strictures on orthographic practices. Some newspapers in the Southwest will use tildes and occasionally accent marks. Ah, the glories of monocultural monolingualism in advanced societies! Seriously, the big powers (England, the U.S., France, Germany, Russia) can get by with imposing orthographies on print media. Cf. Turkey's romanization in the 1920s (to become a potential big power), Serbian imposition of Cyrillic on the rest of Yugoslavia, and all the angst associated with pinyin in Mainland China and Giles-Wade in Taiwan. And reluctance of any keyboard-maker to deviate from the (financially successful) qwerty arrangement of letters of the standard typewriter. I've drifted off onto a different topic, but will come back to the opening idea. The discussions on this list of such phrasings as "the La Brea Tar Pits" set aside the fact that "la" no longer functions as an article when this name is used in English, just as "al-" is no longer an (Arabic) article in "algebra." Similarly, the -s in "Sierra Madres" is added to an English name, not to a Spanish word. (I never can remember how the Turks want us to spell the name of their country -- so much for their attempt to be a major power!) DMLance