Re: Hawaiian language site goes Unicode

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Wed Jun 03 1998 - 12:55:52 EDT

John Cowan asked:

> Kenneth Whistler wrote:
> > Keola Donaghy ( is pioneering
> > this attempt to switch an active website to Unicode,
> > and would appreciate any feedback you might have.
> I'm interested to know what process was used to assign U+02BB MODIFIER
> LETTER TURNED COMMA as the appropriate rendering of Hawaiian
> glottal stop. Although Lucida Sans Unicode has a glyph for this
> character, Bitstream Cyberbit does not, which is unfortunate.
> (Luckily for me, I have both fonts.)

The developers of the Hawaiian orthography asked for some guidance
in mapping their usage (which involved a private encoding and
a private font) to Unicode. The Hawaiian glottal stop is printed
with a raised, turned comma. I pointed out the two possible
encodings they could use:


and noted that U+2018 is intended for punctuation, whereas U+02BB
is intended for letters of alphabets, as for Hawaiian.

At the same time, I pointed out that U+2018 is more widely
implemented in Unicode fonts than U+02BB, so that it might be
a better choice for easiest display of Hawaiian data, despite
the fact that it is intended for punctuation.

The Hawaiians made the choice.


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