Re: The mystery of Edwin U+1E9A

From: Raymond Mercier (
Date: Thu Aug 15 2002 - 11:27:14 EDT

At 03:13 PM 8/14/2002 -0700, you wrote:
>Semitic transliteration practice, if I recall correctly.

It is common enough in transcribing Hebrew and Arabic.

>It's not really an *above* diacritic, but a little 02BE hamza half ring
>sitting at the upper right shoulder. The Unicode 3.0 glyph looks odd
>to me -- the Unicode 2.0 glyph made more sense.

It is placed correctly to the right in Arial Unicode and Titus Cyberbit Basic.

> > Who would need a lower-case letter with a unique diacritic, and no
> upper-case
> > equivalent?

There is need not only for the upper case, but for the same mark with the
other vowels, including the vowel a with macron or something else to mark
the vowel either as long (Arabic), or to distinguish qames from pathah
These are all given in Latin Extended Additional but with the "hook"
instead of a pure semicircle: U+1EA3, U+1EA2, etc.
There is no functional difference between the hook and the semicircle, and
the inclusion of this solitary a wth the hook is rather otiose.
There is however a need (in Semitic transcription) for a corresponding
series with the hook facing the opposite way, to represent the ain with a
following vowel. With the present Unicode code points, one has to insert
the ain U+02BF before the vowel, although it has much "right" as the hamza
U+02BE to be combined with the vowel.
Latin Extended Additional is very odd and unsatsfactory collection, owing
more to an uncritical collection of forms that happen to have been drawn
from books employing such fonts as were available with different publishers
in the past, than to scientifically controlled transcription.

Raymond Mercier

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