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

From: vlad (
Date: Tue Mar 22 2005 - 04:14:04 CST

  • Next message: Antoine Leca: "Re: 'lower case a' and 'script a' in unicode"

    This certainly is an issue, I think. While LATIN LETTER ALPHA has
    restricted variation--it can only appear with the glyph needed for
    phonetic transcription--LATIN SMALL LETTER A does not: it may appear
    with either the two-storey glyph or the one-storey (the latter
    especially in italic fonts, but also in a fair few non-italic fonts).
    This means that not all fonts can be used for phonetics, and (if
    you're putting text on a website, say) you can have no guarantee that
    it will be displayed correctly on the viewer's end. And it won't
    simply display as a box or other glyph to let the user know that his
    or her software cannot display the appropriate character--it will
    display as a different glyph that, in this context, is misleading.

    Perhaps Unicode should have a standard variant sequence for LATIN
    SMALL LETTER A, to ensure that the appropriate glyph is selected?

    On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 12:54:44 +1100, 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.
    > Dr Alec Coupe
    > ARC Postdoctoral Fellow
    > Linguistics Program
    > La Trobe University
    > Bundoora, Melbourne 3086
    > Australia
    > Tel. +61 3 9479-3297
    > Fax +61 3 9479-1520

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