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

From: Alec Coupe (
Date: Thu Mar 24 2005 - 00:41:44 CST

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    A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. I should have been more
    precise in the original posting and asked why all designers of
    unicode-complaint IPA fonts, whose principal application is allegedly
    phonetics, follow the tradition of allowing LATIN SMALL LETTER A
    (U+0061) to change to LATIN SMALL LETTER ALPHA (U+0251) when it's
    italicized. However, this isn't my field, so pardon my ignorance - I'm
    just looking for a unicode-compliant font I can use for representing the
    phonological systems of my research languages. The only response to the
    posting that had any appreciation of the problem was from Vlad, who

            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.

    I hope this can also be appreciated by designers of unicode-compliant
    fonts with all the IPA extensions. At the moment there is none available
    that doesn't have the rendering problem elucidated by Vlad.

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