Re: Shina (was RE: A basic question on encoding Latin characters)

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Wed Sep 29 1999 - 13:02:47 EDT

Ar 07:53 -0700 1999-09-29, scríobh Reynolds, Gregg:
>So, well, what do you want to know? I don't know if you're looking for more
>detail on how Unicode might be harmful, or for suggestions on how to make it
>less so. Unfortunately I'm a little pressed for time at the moment, so I
>can't give you the full dissertation.

It isn't necessary. Of course computer technology can be seen as a tool of
linguistic imperialism. However, I think the benefits far outweigh the

>But I can give you this:
> It's a chart of
>lettering from a Shina elementary school writing book that I found in the
>library this weekend. I took a quick look at the character charts (version
>2 I'm afraid) and didn't find any Arabiform letters with the "=" affix.

OK, that's a start. We need to know the values of the letters too.

>Also, it looks like the bottom have of the listing shows di/tri-graphs for
>aspirated consonants. I know Unicode has the "special ha" for e.g. Urdu,
>which would presumably be used here. But suppose our pals in Shinaland
>(somewhere in Pakistan/India/Afghanistan) are like our correspondants in
>Chechnya, and they insist that such digraphs be treated as single letters.

Well, there's a difference between Latin ligated letters in Chechenia and
Arabic ligated letters in Pakistan (where most of the Shina live) because
of the nature of the Latin and Arabic writing systems respectively.

>I don't believe Unicode as it currently stands provides for this. So here's
>a practical question: assume that they do all the right things and put a
>proposal through the appropriate bodies and Unicode ends up working for
>them. How much time and money will it have cost?

Actually, in a case like this _they_ probably don't have to do anything at
all but review and approve a proposal to add any missing letters to the
Arabic block of the UCS. (It's different for full scripts like Pahawh Hmong
and Viet Thai.) In fact I suppose you and James Agenbroad and I could work
together offline and figure it all out in short order. As far as time,
well, it will be a while yet before the next set of Amendments goes
through, but that's the nature of the beast. People have to implement
Unicode 3.0 before worrying about what's in *Unicode 3.1.

Michael Everson * Everson Gunn Teoranta *
15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2; Éire/Ireland
Guthán: +353 1 478 2597 ** Facsa: +353 1 478 2597 (by arrangement)
27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn;  Baile an Bhóthair;  Co. Átha Cliath; Éire

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