missing bopomofo letter?

From: Thomas Chan (thomas@atlas.datexx.com)
Date: Fri Jan 19 2001 - 01:50:57 EST

Hi all,

I'd like to ask about a Bopomofo letter that I do not see in the
"Bopomofo" block (U+3100-U+312F), and which would not be (and is not) in
the "Bopomofo Extended" block (U+31A0-U+31BF).

Unlike U+312A-U+312C and U+31A0-U+31B7, it is used for standard Mandarin
Chinese. However, it is not used in ordinary Bopomofo ruby annotation of
Chinese text, but for linguistic discussion, since the vowels it
transcribes are not explictly written out in annotation. It represents
the two apical vowels that some alternatively transcribe with U+0285 and
U+027F. It was created in the 1910s-1930s, along with all the other
Bopomofo letters in the "Bopomofo" block.

Its appearance can be described as being like: 1) U+3113 rotated 180
degrees; 2) the right half of U+5E2B; or 3) U+5E00.

Unlike U+3105-U+3129, there is no Pinyin or pseudo-Pinyin romanized name
for it, so I follow the lead of the names of U+312A-U+312C in using the
1920s' "Gwoyeu Romatzyh" (Guoyu Luomazi) romanization system in referring
to it as "letter y".

As "letter y" is not used in annotation, it does not usually appear in
dictionaries--I estimate it is as rare or rarer than U+312A-U+312C (which
in turn are rarer than the standad set at U+3105-U+312C).

Is anyone familiar with this? Has it ever been proposed? If so, was it
rejected (and why)?

Thomas Chan

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