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Diacritics as a Means of Self-Identification

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Published on Oct 25, 2016

The Case of Latvia.
Aleksandra Samulenkova
ATypI 2016 • Warsaw, Poland
Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw ASP

The conventions for formatting written language do not always change in a gradual, evolutionary process. Changes in orthography and typography can occur rapidly, correlating with major socio-cultural or political transformations in society. The implementation of accented letters in the Latvian alphabet serves as a good illustration of this process. At the turn of the twentieth century, Eastern Europe experienced an unparalleled awakening of national consciousness that resulted in the formation of several new young states after World War I. Not only language itself, but also the way it was graphically depicted became a crucial factor in the new national identities. Aleksandra will trace the relatively little-known Latvian typographic response to the historically eventful early twentieth-century.

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