RE: ogonek vs. retroflex hook

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Wed Apr 02 2003 - 15:31:43 EST

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    Jim Allan responded to Joe Becker:

    > Joe posted:
    > >
    > > Two cedillas and two hooks are required as diacritical marks
    > > for bibliographic
    > > transcription, and also for the proper representation of a
    > > number of languages
    > > (as documented in ANSI Z39.47-1985 and ISO 5426-1983).


    > According to
    > 5/1 RUDE
    > ISO/TC46/SC4/WG1 N 240
    > The character rude ( right cedilla in MARC 21) is specious. Its only
    > use (according to ANSEL and ISO 5426 although one may
    > draw on the other) is in the romanization of Thai (specifically,
    > according to the ALA-LC Romanization Tables). ...

    > U+0322 COMBINING RETROFLEX HOOK is not mentioned at all in commentary or
    > in the Unicode identifications.

    I concur with Jim Allan's position here. The ANSEL rude was a
    misinterpretation (which, by the way, was *not* encoded in
    Unicode). And the ANSEL right hook was identified with the ogonek.

    > So I continue to doubt that "combining retroflex hook" existed as an
    > independant character before Unicode. The only information of usage for
    > this character in the Unicode standard is "IPA: retroflexion". In fact
    > this is not an IPA diacritic and never has been.

    The proximate source was Pullum and Ladusaw's Phonetic
    Symbol Guide, 1986. See p. 228 of the 1986 edition. The same
    information about "Right Hook" occurs on p. 264 of the 1996
    edition. See the long discussion there regarding the provenience
    of this symbol (and its disuse by the IPA in favor of preformed
    characters with various hooks). It is also connected to the
    rhotic hook, of course, separately encoded as U+02DE in Unicode.
    Of course, the annotation "IPA: retroflexion" is pretty terse
    in the Unicode Standard, but it is only there to help
    identify the mark in question. It would be unreasonable to
    expect to repeat the entire page of commentary that Pullum
    and Ladusaw provide.

    So this was not created by Unicode, although it likely did
    not exist as an *encoded* character in any prior character
    encoding standard -- which can also be said of hundreds (or thousands)
    of other characters encoded for the first time in the Unicode

    [Another entry for "Every Character Has a Story." ? ]

    > It may be that the IPA retroflex hook modification of
    > dental/alveolar/postalveolar characters was included in Unicode because
    > it was incorrectly identified with a right hook in some other standard
    > and remained when the other hook was withdrawn from consideration.



    > Jim Allan

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