Re: Chinese "departing" tone marks

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Thu Jun 19 2003 - 14:35:14 EDT

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    John Cowan remarked:

    > > I've never seen these particular U+02EA and U+02EB signs, but from the
    > > names, I'd say U+02EA is Cantonese 33 tone, and U+02EB is 22; U+02e7 and
    > > U+02e8 might then be used for 3 and 2, respectively.
    > They look weird. The U+02EB (yang) one looks like reversed or turned 33,
    > and the U+02EA (yin) one like turned 55 or reversed 11, none of which
    > makes much sense. I wonder if the glyphs haven't been munged somewhere.
    > > [I]sn't there a paper trail on this leading to Ken's garage?
    > Hopefully.

    *rolls out from under his car on a mechanic's roller tray*

    *No, wait! There's no car in my garage!*

    U+02EB and U+02EA come from the TCA submissions regarding
    for Minnan and Hakka languages, for use with extended Bopomofo.
    You can find examples in those documents. They are mixed
    there with other Bopomofo tone diacritics. See WG2 N1713
    for the initial submission. (1998-03-16)

    Here is the scheme as represented there, with Taiwanese

    Yin level (unmarked) tong1 'east'
    Yin rising U+02CB (with Bopomofo glyph) tong2 'a surname'
    Yin departing U+02EA tong3 'freeze'
    Yin entering (unmarked) tong4 'supervise'
    Yang level U+02CA (with Bopomofo glyph) tong5 'child'
    Yang departing U+02EB tong7 'cave'
    Yang entering U+02D9 tok8 'poison'

    In Bopomofo these tone marks are typeset in a separate
    vertical line to the right of the vertical line of
    Bopomofo. In horizontal typesetting, they are either
    over the top of the Bopomofo or set at the upper-right
    shoulder of the Bopomofo character representing the
    'final' of a syllable.

    It is possible that they were originally designed by a
    dyslexic based on the Chao tone letters, but no, they
    are not really intended to be used as particular values
    of those or as an augmentation of those tone letters. Instead,
    as I indicated, they are used with another collection of
    tonal diacritics for extended Bopomofo.

    So no, they glyphs haven't been munged. But these obviously
    need better annotation for the names list.


    P.S. Is somebody collecting the 'Every character has a story'

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