Re: Fraser (was RE: Public Review Issues Updated)

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Fri May 07 2004 - 22:34:52 CDT

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    Michael responded to Peter:

    > At 06:39 -0700 2004-04-30, Peter Constable wrote:
    > >Has it struck anyone else that it might make best sense to consider
    > >Fraser just an extension of Latin -- so we just need to encode the
    > >turned capitals? Or is there more to it I'm not thinking about?
    > Evidence (or lack thereof) suggests that Fraser doesn't participate
    > in the normal behaviour of Latin, including its glyph variation, its
    > cursivity in writing, its casing behaviour, even italicization as
    > opposed to obliquity.

    And since nobody on this thread has noted this yet, Fraser is
    *not* an alphabet, but an abugida. The consonants have an
    inherent "a" vowel, which is overridden by use of another
    vowel to form ke, ki, ko, ku type syllables.

    Fraser is a constructed script, built on Brahmic script principles,
    and with a de novo tone marking system. It happens to share
    many Latin letter forms for the abugida's consonants (and some
    vowels) because the inventor of Fraser wasn't very creative
    about grapheme design. :-) But *some* of the Latin
    letter forms are put to completely novel consonant usage, and
    then there are all the arbitrary flipped letters.

    Fraser is to Latin approximately as Tangut is to Han. It is what
    you get when you create a de novo script for a completely
    different language, but you have a very limited notion of
    what a "letter" is supposed to look like.

    It really doesn't do anybody a real service to encode Fraser
    as an extension of Latin, in my opinion. It should just be
    treated as a script in its own right. That would enable Lisu
    users of the Fraser script to properly distinguish it from,
    e.g. Roman pinyin that they might also be using (with
    different typography) and from running into the typographic
    complexities of fonts that would have *some* of the Fraser
    characters as Latin letters, but be missing the odd extensions,
    if it were treated just as a extension to Latin.


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