Alternative author sort order

Is there a way to specify an alternative sort author for authors to accomodate for "weird" names. E.g. my boss'es name is "von Krogh, Georg" but he is being sorted as "Krogh". This kind of stuff differs between countries, so there can't be one rule that applies to all the same way.
I can solve that in bibtex/jabref with a macro but haven't found a way to do so in zotero. Is there a feature request for that already?
  • @spaetz: Interesting that you mention this issue. We've been having a little discussion about this very topic over on the xbiblio-devl mailing list (the CSL mailing list). A language design decision in CSL currently turns on whether the sorting conventions for names containing a particle need to differ between citation styles. What would be extremely useful would be a pointer to a style guide that requires sorting on the particle in your boss' name, and to another that requires sorting on his name alone.

    Do you by any chance have that infomation to hand?
  • edited August 25, 2009
    Sorry, I don't have a formal specification for that (but I have never heard that sorting is different in different citation styles). However, it differs from country to country.

    I just have been living in a few countries and the way it is being handled is like the following (I'll use my wife's former name Almut von Bodelschwingh as example):

    appears in phone book as "Bodelschwingh, Almut von" (sorted under 'B', would appear in a citation as von Bodelschwingh 2003)

    Von Bodelschwingh, Almut (sorted under 'v', would also appear in a citation as Von Bodelschwingh 2003)

    Norway: (just checked a phonebook), name appear inconsistently both as:
    Bodelschwingh Almut Von or Almut Von Bodelschwingh
    as I know from my boss'es case, sorting happens under "B"
    citations would always have "von Bodelschwingh 2003"

    Also, I know from the US that Prof. Eric von Hippel likes to be sorted under "H" as well.

    So what we need is options for:

    1) how citations are displayed
    2) the sort order of a name in bibliographies
    3) clear definition of what constitutes a given name and a family name (or just using a full name in countries where there is no such concept and for organizations such as "United Nations 2003")

    In order to solve 2), the only possibility I see is adding a field "author sort", that could be populated with "Krogh, Georg" (in my case), defaulting to the regular author name if absent. There are just too many possibilities for sorting too get it right in an automatic way.
  • The CSL processor will handle the family name part, the given name part, the particle (von etc), and the suffix (Jr etc) separately. But what we're debating at the moment is whether the same persona's name needs to be sorted on the particle in bibliographies in some styles, and on the last name part in other styles.

    We're aware of the local conventions, and we're taking them into account in the design. But the question is whether any style guide ever says, "if an author's family name includes a particle, sort on it". If there are no such guides, then the problem becomes rather simple to solve. But if there are such guides out there, we'd like to know about them.
  • @spaetz: I'm sorry, I didn't read your post as carefully as I ought to have done, obviously your examples are of the same name (!). It's late here, forgive me. Could I ask, though whether your examples from Switzerland, Norway and Germany are all of specifically bibliographic sort order? I'm sorry to be so fussy about the details of the use case, but it's that point that we're stuck on.
  • edited August 25, 2009
    Yes, ditto. I have a really hard time understanding why Germany and Switerland differ on this issue as a matter of formal rules, given that they use the same written language (unless, of course, you're meaning the French or Italian-speaking parts, in which case we can say, perhaps, those languages simply expect to sort on the particle).
  • @spaetz: A definite answer to this has just come in via a separate channel, confirming your use cases. Thanks very much for responding; more news later.
  • Bdarcus (just fyi):
    While almost the same, written High German and Swiss German are not the same (the Swiss don't use ß, and they have some words we don't use - I would not be surprised in the least if there were different sorting rules as both language communities have incredibly strong senses of tradition.
  • My mother is Swiss, and I spent time growing up there (Zurich). I had just remembered that the written language in German-speaking Switzerland is High German, but it doesn't surprise me there are subtle differences I guess. But different handling of particles seems more than a trivial difference, given that (unlike English) they're important to these languages.
  • Sorry for my late reply, I was being away for a while. The different sorting has historical reasons I guess. Switzerland abolished the aristocracy much earlier than Germany did, and so the noble prefix "de" and "von" became regular part of the name, so that's why a "von" is being sorted under "v".

    Germany kept that much longer and so the "von" remained more of a name prefix which denotes status rather than being part of the name. (that is my layman interpretation of the situation at least).

    Also the pronounciation is different. In Switzerland a "Von Lanthen" is spoken as if it was all written as one word, while in Germany you have a "von" (pause, starting newword) "Lanthen".

    Anyway, that was just an example I am familiar with (dealing both with German and Swiss "vons" :-)). I am sure other countries have weirder rules. But still, I don't think I've ever encountered rules in citation styles on how to handle that.
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