>As for Ainu, it's definitely not a Japanese dialect. But
dialect, language in the same family, or totally unrelated
language, minority languages in some area have in a lot of
cases been written with the script that a major language nearby
used. In this respect, using Kana for Ainu is very far from
an exception. And in most cases, the scripts used were not
really suited, and had to be adapted in one way or another.
Indeed, Martin is right, as we're all aware. (In case you're
not: e.g. Latin script is used for a wide variety of languages
that are not particularly related to Latin.) And, as he has
observed, frequently some adaptation of a script is required as
it is adopted to create a writing system for a new langauge.
Many are not aware of just how great the variety of languages
is used around the world today, and that this process is still
going on, even as we speak. Many of the world's languages
(hundreds) have only in recent decades adopted writing systems.
With very few exceptions, these writing systems have been based
upon an existing script used by a major language of the same
If you would like software to be able to work with the great
variety of written languages spoken (written) around the world,
don't assume that the only writing system behaviour that needs
to be known about is that which is already commonly known about
major languages. Design your software to allow for future
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