Regarding the Dutch vowel IJ

I read Rainer’s comment in his tutorial on diacritics that in Dutch an acute should be placed over both characters, and on upper and lower. However, while researching this today I find Dutch grammar and other sources online that say:

  1. An acute is never placed above a capital letter in the Dutch language, and
  2. An acute should be used on both characters whenever it is “technically possible.”

As to #1 above, perhaps they were referring only to the /IJ vowel because another resource that shows all accented Dutch characters shows other capitals using an acute. That same resource does not show an acute used over either case (/IJ-/ij).

Is there a good answer to this since we find conflicting rules?

Where did you read (1)? Acutes are used for syllable stress in Dutch, and, like you, I have seen them on caps as well.

(2) is the result of the bad technical implementation. It is technically possible today. If you are on a typewriter or any other system incapable of putting the acute on the j, that’s just the best you can get. It is like using an /o instead of /zero, which you had to do on some travel typewriters in the past.

In any event, both issues should not bother you as a type designer. It is up to the user of your font to follow or ignore grammar rules. And remember, grammar rules can change.

Update:
Taalunie says that Dutch caps usually do not get an acute except in all-caps. It also expressly says that ij gets two acutes, ‘but it is difficult to have a word processor put an accent on a j. That is why the second acute often is missing’.

http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=SpellingAndPronunciation.26

Thanks Rainer; your explanation makes perfect sense to me. The site(s) I looked at, as with all internet sources, are subject to errors, omissions or oversights. That’s why I asked.

I will add the second acute to both cases, then if the user wants them they will be there.