For what it's worth, in this oh-so-important discussion... I have seen this length mark used with both Katakana and Hiragana (I suppose that puts me in the good company of 'Leven Digit Boy, only he can prove it and I can't). Call the usage nonce or whatever... So what? It would be fair to say this length mark is not NORMALLY used with Hiragana, which NORMALLY uses the vowel "u" to indicate lengthening. Katakana likewise NORMALLY uses the length mark, but is not prevented from using the "u" vowel, and in some contexts does so. For what it's worth trivia-wise, Katakana-as-okurigana is a style not normally used in the ordinary writing of Japanese sentences, but they can be, and on occasion are (especially in old orthography)...so don't be surprised when you see them... the natives are not going nuts, they're merely surprising the Conservative Foreign Formalists.
I suppose the bicameral name of this thing, U+30FC KATAKANA-HIRAGANA PROLONGED SOUND MARK, is one of those Great Mysteries Buried in Time, the answer to which only Dr. Whistler knows. (I would lay a handful of soft currency on the truth of the proposition that there exists an ancient meeting document on yellow lined paper of the pre-Consortium Unicode Working Group which could shed light on the question of this name, but I digress.) At least the name indicates that one is not nominally prevented from using it for Katakana, thus pre-empting perennial requests from the Completist Fringe for the addition of a second length mark for use with Hiragana.
Begin forwarded message:
> From: "Ayers, Mike" <Mike_Ayers@bmc.com>
> Date: Wed Nov 22, 2000 01:32:58 PM US/Pacific
> To: Unicode List <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Cc: email@example.com
> Subject: RE: Kana and Case (was [totally OT] Unicode terminology)
> > From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
> > Okay. Get out your copy of the lyrics to the Ranma
> > 1/2 Complete Vocal Collection Vol. 1. Now look at
> > the lyrics to Ranbada Ranma (that's Track 12) and
> > tell me that the long vowel mark is not used with
> > hiragana.
> The long vowel mark is not used with hiragana. Either there is a
> misuse or (most likely), you're interpreting a hyphen as a long vowel mark.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:21:15 EDT