Re: 'lower case a' and 'script a' in unicode

From: Mark E. Shoulson (
Date: Mon Mar 21 2005 - 21:06:01 CST

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    Alec Coupe wrote:

    > Dear list members,
    > I would like to know why 'lower case a' is converted to 'script a'
    > when it is italicized in unicode. This is a considerable hindrance in
    > linguistic transcription because 'lower case a' represents Cardinal
    > Vowel 4, while 'script a' represents Cardinal Vowel 5. For
    > non-linguists, the difference is demonstrated by the Australian
    > English versus the southern British English pronunciation of 'a'
    > in 'father'. Since the majority of publishers require language
    > examples to be differentiated from text by italic face, this
    > potentially makes unicode a less than adequate font for linguistic
    > description.
    Unicode isn't a font at all. It's a list of characters. Unicode
    doesn't deal with things like "italic". It happens that most Latin book
    fonts use a two-storey 'a' in Roman text and a one-storey (cursive) 'a'
    in italic, because that's the typographic convention in Roman texts. If
    you want an "italic" that doesn't make that switch, consider using a
    slanted Roman font, if you can find or create one.

    Just one more time: Unicode isn't a font; take up your problem with the
    designers of the fonts in question.


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