From: James Fox (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Jan 27 2005 - 11:01:00 CST
You probably know how Yoruba uses a mark below certain vowels, as well as
the letter s, to represent certain phonetic distinctions. There seems to be
a variety of shapes for this symbol: a dot below, a short vertical line
below, the same as before, only attached to the letter above it, a teardrop
below, and even (so I've read), a small Greek cross below.
I've read on this list and elsewhere, that there is no real preference
between these shapes. However, since there are different Unicode characters
for at least the combining dot below and the combining short vertical line
below, there is a lot of confusion over what to use. I believe that it has
even been said earlier on this list, that until a particular diacritic is
picked, a proper representation of Yoruba in computers will be stymied.
However, after thinking about it, I think there could be an alternative.
There is an analogous situation in Greek, where a particular diacritic (the
perispomeni) can be shown as a tilde, an inverted breve, or a macron,
depending on the style. All of these already have their own codepoints, but
the perispomeni has its own position, U0342. This avoids having to change
codepoints every time you change the typeface, and treats a single logical
character as such, rather than a set of 3 different characters.
Perhaps something like this could be done for the Yoruba under-mark? After
all, the different forms used are apparently merely a matter of style, but
Unicode disunifies them. Would it be possible to pick, say, U0329, as the
Yoruba under-mark *exclusively*, and note that it has possible alternative
glyphs in the code charts? Or, if that would conflict with possible
alternate uses for U0329, could a new combing diacritic be encoded just for
Does anyone have any comments?
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