Re: Kana and Ainu (from Unicore list)

Date: Fri Dec 10 1999 - 10:39:50 EST

>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
       extensibility. Please!


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