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“Whereäs” as an alternative spelling of “whereas”

I've got an impression that there is (or was) a rule in English:

If you have a rarely used word with two vowel letters in a row, corresponding to two vowel sounds in a row (as opposed to a diphthong or single vowel sound marked by two letters), you have to mark a second vowel with a trema.

For example: coöperation.

As rarely used word gets more popular and recognizable, trema is dropped from the spelling. In contemporary English cooperation is spelled without it.

Is there an authoritative source on this rule?

I guess, any linguistics work would do, Wikipedia would not. Something that I can cite and not be laughed at.

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marked as duplicate by Robusto, F'x, kiamlaluno, Mr. Shiny and New 安宇, Cerberus Mar 19 '11 at 15:34

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

@Robusto: no, because I'm specifically asking about the authoritative source for this rule. The question thread you've linked to does not contain the answer to my question. – Alexander Gladysh Mar 19 '11 at 13:30
see english.stackexchange.com/questions/462/… regarding “authoritative” answers – F'x Mar 19 '11 at 13:54
and also, the question linked to by Robusto contains links to styleguides, which are the references for this issue – F'x Mar 19 '11 at 13:54
@F'x: well, why wouldn't you extract this to an answer, so I can accept it? – Alexander Gladysh Mar 19 '11 at 14:06
Because this question is a duplicate of the other question. To notice that a question is generally considered a duplicate if the answer to another question answers it too. – kiamlaluno Mar 19 '11 at 14:16
up vote 1 down vote accepted
  • Cooperation is not a borrowed word (which are more usually called loanwords).
  • In loanwords, diaereses are just preserved as in the original language.
  • In word formed as “prefix + word”, where the pronunciation might be unclear, some rare styleguides insist on adding a trema to make the pronunciation clear.

There is much more information about this here.

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Right, thank you. But I'm asking for authoritative source for the rule — either in form that I gave above, or in "prefix+word" form, or whatever else. Something that I can cite. :-) – Alexander Gladysh Mar 19 '11 at 13:36
I disagree with F'x as for cooperation not being a loanword. Merriam-Webster defines a loanword "a word taken from another language and at least partly naturalized." Therefore, cooperation, which comes from Late Latin cooperatio-onis and was brought into English in late 15th century, from Middle French coopération, is a loanword indeed, because it does not belong to the Anglo-Saxon bedrock of English. – Giorgiomastrò May 3 '12 at 21:18

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