>The f with hook poses a little problem to font designers quite similar to
>recently discussed problem of serbian vs. russian italic shapes: In many
>standard fonts the italic small letter f has the hook shape. In a font
>designed for african use, it must be straight in order to keep the
>italic f with hook.
A similar problem exists for the Latin letter "a", that has a hooktop in
most roman fonts but has not in some italics or sans-serifs fonts.
The problem is that, in the Internationa Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), "a" with
or without hooktop are separate letters (U+0061 LATIN SMALL LETTER A and
U+0251 LATIN SMALL LETTER ALPHA).
Time ago, there has been a discussion about this on the list. I started it,
proposing a new "a with rooftop" character to be added in the IPA block
(Janko: "he who is without sin let him cast the first stone":-), but
unicoders made the same objections that are being made now to Janko's
Someone correcty argued that IPA is a specialized scientific script, and it
should always be typeset with a roman serifs font (e.g. Times), as using
italics or sans-serifs for it would be a redundant plus.
However, some recently alphabetized languages adopted IPA-originated
letters, so the problem of typesetting these letters (in _any_ fonts) is
just moved: from linguistics publishing to African typography.
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