Ñ: A sign to convey a sound

Tuesday 27 October, 11:00 (20 minutes)

Mr. José Scaglione, Founder, TypeTogether
Mr. Andreu Balius, type designer, TypeRepublic

The alphabet used by the Romans –Latin– had twenty-one letters and it was enough for all the phonemes needed to articulate it. But as its descendants developed, they gave birth to new phonemes, new sounds that evolved out of spoken Latin, and they presented problems of spelling. Scribes had to find new ways of representing new sounds. This lecture describes in detail the development and use of one of these sounds, the ntilde character, which became a symbol of literature and culture for all the spanish-speaking countries in the world. The “ñ” is the uncontested representative of the spanish language, currently spoken by over 400 million people around the globe and the most studied romance tongue in the world.