Re: Bantu click letters

From: John Cowan (
Date: Thu Jun 10 2004 - 09:00:18 CDT

  • Next message: Peter Constable: "RE: Bantu click letters"

    Michael Everson scripsit:

    > They were published in Bantu Studies in 1925 in an article by a
    > rather important scholar in the field of African linguistics.

    We don't encode characters according to the clout of the user, or
    the Apple logo would have been in Unicode long since. :-)

    > Effort and expense was made to cut the letters for the publication.

    And today, if I were reprinting it, I'd commission a digital font
    (your effort, my expense) and put the characters in the PUA.

    > The sounds they represent are idiosyncratic and difficult to
    > describe, much less write.

    I think that characters used in a single document by a single scholar,
    however prestigious, can fairly be described as idiosyncratic to him.
    If I decided to start using thorn instead of theta in my otherwise
    IPA transcriptions, that would be an idiosyncratic use of it. If
    instead I used OVERCLOCKED HOOCHIMADINGER SYMBOL, that would be
    even more idiosyncratic.

    (LATIN LETTER OWL, indeed.)

    > Personal? No: he published.

    Fair enough.

    > Novel? Perhaps
    > (in 1925); Doke is likely to have devised them.

    They are just as novel today as they were eighty years ago; I well
    remember how astonished you and I were, looking over the text.

    > Private use? Be
    > serious, John. That's a pretty ridiculous suggestion.

    I am serious. The PUA is the proper place for these things.

    "May the hair on your toes never fall out!"     John Cowan
            --Thorin Oakenshield (to Bilbo)

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