RE: (SC2WG2.609) New contribution N2705

From: Deborah W. Anderson (
Date: Wed Feb 18 2004 - 12:47:00 EST

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    A few comments on this thread:

    Ken W. wrote:
    > >Furthermore, Michael carefully dodged the point that all of these
    > >Indo-European sources are *already* fonted, styled text. They
    > >are *not* plain text, but mix italic citations with Roman forms.
    > >Unless we are going to also head down the road of plain text
    > >italic letter clones for Indo-European, all of this material already
    > >has to be dealt with as rich text.

    Michael E. replied:
    > The run of the citations are italicized to set them off from the rest
    > of the text. Same as with the UPA. This is not the same thing as
    > saying that what's within the citations isn't required for plain-text
    > representation.

    Though these subscripted letters are most commonly italicized, they do
    not occur solely so. (For an example of their non-italic use, see the
    phonetic realization of the laryngeals at:, under
    section 2, in the row for laryngeals. I am collecting other examples.)

    I have seen reconstructed forms (which are typically italicized) also
    set in plain text, and this may vary depending upon the style of a
    publication or an author's style. (An example of setting reconstructed
    Proto-Indo-European in plain text is: "Computational Cladistics and the
    Position of Tocharian" by Don Ringe, Tandy Warnow, Ann Taylor, Alexander
    Michailov, and Libby Levison, in _The Bronze Age and Early Iron Age
    Peoples of Eastern Central Asia_, Vol. 1, ed. by V. Mair, Washington,
    DC: Institute for the Study of Man, 1998, pp. 391-414).

    Philippe added in his thoughts:
    > But I still think it would be
    > a bad prececent for Unicode if it starts accepting some very specific
    >notational systems used in a fonted document written with a author's
    >own choice, where subscripts/superscripts/italics would be used only in
    >relation with author's specific notation

    (In case Philippe was referring to the subscripted letters...)

    The subscripted letters e/a/o are now adopted by many authors, and
    appear, for example, in the _Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture_, ed.
    by J. P. Mallory and D.Q. Adams (London and Chicago: Fitzroy
    Dearborn,1997). This tome also uses the h with a subscript x, which has
    also now been adopted by two new handbooks on Indo-European. (I will
    track them down for examples.)

    Debbie Anderson

    Deborah Anderson
    Researcher, Dept. of Linguistics
    UC Berkeley

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