RE: Bantu click letters

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Thu Jun 10 2004 - 09:27:32 CDT

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    At 07:11 -0700 2004-06-10, Peter Constable wrote:

    >If no other author uses them, then I think it's not unreasonable to
    >suggest that they are private-use: Doke puts the terms of the agreement
    >into his product, his readers enter into that agreement when they decide
    >to read the book. It is "private-use" as opposed to conventional use if
    >the readers agree to read his symbols but don't adopt them for their own

    It's not like it's samizdat, though.

    >Of course, it's an empirical question as to whether anyone else in that
    >era did, in fact, adopt any of these symbols, or whether authors today
    >ever use them (e.g. in citing Doke, whose work was of some importance in
    >Africanist linguistics).

    It's reasonable to think that they would. Although Pullum and Ladusaw
    don't show the glyphs, they refer specifically to Doke's characters
    (s.v. ///). They describe them as "ad hoc" which I suppose the were,
    in 1925, though "novel" would do as well as they aren't entirely
    arbitrary and they weren't "found" bits of lead type pressed into
    other service -- they were cut to order.

    That Pullum and Ladusaw have not forgotten Doke's characters suggests
    that Africanists will also likely not forget them, and will find use
    in access to them as encoded characters in the UCS.

    Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  *

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