From: Peter Kirk (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Mar 23 2005 - 18:56:13 CST
On 23/03/2005 22:29, Mark Davis wrote:
>What I'd like to do is collect *specific* information for the following
>categories on http://unicode.org/reports/tr36/draft/idn-chars.html: Which
>characters are used as parts of words in some modern language (and the name
>of that language).
>We can then see which should be taken into consideration in different
OK, I see your point, that we want to look only at characters in current
use. Well, a good place to start is Michael Everson's report on the
Alphabets of Europe, http://evertype.com/alphabets/index.html. The Avar
script, http://evertype.com/alphabets/avar.pdf, is a good example of one
using palochka, as part of several digraphs; this is a well-established
literary language and I believe this orthography is still in use.
And Azerbaijani, http://evertype.com/alphabets/azerbaijani.pdf, is a
good example of a language using the apostrophe, as a full part of the
obsolescent Cyrillic alphabet, and also in the now current Latin
alphabet although the recent unofficial trend is to drop it.
While the apostrophe is not perhaps essential for Azerbaijani, it plays
a much more significant role in the (ASCII-only) Uzbek Latin
orthography, where it plays two roles, both indicating a glottal stop
(as in Azerbaijani) and as a modifier of the preceding o or g (i.e. as
part of a digraph). The name of the country in its own language,
O'zbekistan, cannot be spelled properly without the apostrophe. See
http://www.oxuscom.com/New_Uzbek_Latin_Alphabet.pdf for the alphabet,
and http://www.oxuscom.com/orthography.htm for detailed rules about the
But then the apostrophe is also required for the proper writing of
western languages. In English it is used mostly in contractions and with
the possessive suffix, and so is somehow not considered a proper part of
the alphabet - although it is also required for the proper spelling of
names like O'Connor. But in other languages like French the apostrophe
marks an obligatory contraction, and there are many phrases and proper
names which cannot be properly spelled without it. So I could make a
good case for allowing the apostrophe in IDNs, which should be able to
represent properly personal and company names etc.
On the other hand, there are quite a number of your listed atomic cased
Latin letters which are not in current use, although it is dangerous to
say that they will not be used because some of these older orthographies
are being revived.
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