Re: Variant selectors in Mongolian

From: John Hudson (
Date: Wed Jul 10 2002 - 21:04:36 EDT

At 17:44 10/07/2002, Kenneth Whistler wrote:

>Actually, I think Position B is a coherent one for Mongolian. The
>outcome *is* specified -- it is just specified for particular positional
>contexts, rather than for a single glyph per se.
>X -> {G1, G2, G3, G4}, where Gn is determined by positional (or other)
>X-/ -> {G1, G2', G3', G4}, where Gn is determined by positional (or other)
>is still determinate, and not contingent on fonts.

Everything is always and everywhere contingent on fonts.

>It is just more complicated, but fully as determinate as:
>X -> G
>X-/ -> G'
> > The value of the
> > variant selector to the user is in knowing what the result is going to be,
> > and this means that the variant form *must* be specified.
>It is. See above.

Ah, but you defined Position B as 'a variation selector selects a variant
form of a character,
which has a distinct rendering from that specified for the character
*without a variant specification*' (my implied italics). I don't have any
objection to the specified outcome of the subsitution being complicated and
contextual, only to the notion that it might be unspecified: a kind of
'random variant selector'.

John Hudson

Tiro Typeworks
Vancouver, BC

Language must belong to the Other -- to my linguistic community
as a whole -- before it can belong to me, so that the self comes to its
unique articulation in a medium which is always at some level
indifferent to it. - Terry Eagleton

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