Muke Tever wrote:
> > On Wiktionary some users have been using the Catalan
> > middle dot which is fine so far. But Unicode actually
> > has another character designed for this job. And if we
> > use the middle dot in all Latin-script languages, it's
> > not going to work for Catalan!
> Actually there shouldn't be any conflict. The Catalan middle
> dot _does_ represent a syllable/hyphenation break, and (if I
> understand correctly) is replaced by a hyphen when actually
> used at a line break.

The fact that the two symbols have the same semantics does not mean that
there is no conflict. On the contrary, that makes the conflict even more
confusing: they have the same shape, the same meaning, so how is the reader
supposed to know which ones are part of the orthography and which ones are
just part of the dictionary's orthophonic symbols?

E.g., when you see an entry such a as "pa·ral·lel", how are you supposed to
know that the first middle dot should be removed in writing, while the
second should be retained?

We have a similar problem in Italian with acute and grave accents: some of
them are mandatory in the Italian orthography (such as the acute on "però" =
'but': "pero" means 'pear tree'), while others are only used on dictionaries
to show the position of the accent (such as the one on "esèmpio").

Old dictionaries (and some geographic atlases even today) used the acute for
mandatory accents and the grave as phonetic symbol. But this is not possible
anymore, since starting from an orthographic reform in the 1970's, the grave
and acute accents are used to mark the two different sounds of letters "e"
and "o" (e.g. "caffè" = 'coffee' vs. "perché" = 'why').

To distinguish mandatory and orthophonic accents, some dictionary print the
former in bold type, like the rest of the entry word, but the latter in
light type. I guess that not many OpenType engines and fonts would support
this independent typographic markup for accents and base-letters.