Re: Sindhi characters proposed

From: Patrick Andries (
Date: Fri Apr 15 2005 - 16:52:41 CST

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    Michael Everson a écrit :

    >Implosive consonants are rare, for one. IPA gives symbols for five of
    them, four of which are used in Sindhi (BBA 0253, DDDA 0257, GGA 0260,
    JJA 0284). The one which isn't is the >voiced uvular implosive (029B).
    Devanagari doesn't have a symbol for the voiced uvular stop (0262) either.
    >The IPA Handbook gives Mam (a Mayan language) as using the voiced
    uvular implosive.

    The IPA handbook, if it does only list 5 implosives, is not very
    complete. Intrigued, I checked my Dictionnaire de linguistique
    (Larousse) and it lists 10 implosives, so does the IPA chart (1989)
    reproduced at the back of Daniels & Bright. And, I'm not sure this is
    even an exhaustive list if Wikipedia is to be believed where an
    opposition is made between voiced dental and alveolar implosives (using
    a dental diacritic U+032A).

    On Apr 4, 2005, at 2:36 AM, Michael Everson wrote:

    >>> At 19:45 -0400 2005-04-03, Patrick Andries wrote:
    >>>> There could be one if unknown (to us as yet) implosive sindhi
    >>>> characters may be discovered later.
    >>> This is baseless theoretical speculation. What, you think that
    >>> Sindhi speakers have an implosive but just didn't bother to put it
    >>> in their alphabet yet?
    Well, speculation is obviously a way to prevent unforeseen problems.
    What happens when a Sindhi writer wants to illustrate a non-standard
    dialectal implosive, one not found in your documentation (assuming we
    currently know all the rare sindhi characters) ? It is not uncommon to
    see allophones ignored on purpose in standard orthographies. But somes
    users may well want to distinguish them in writing (to denote
    disfunctional speech, dialectal accents in non scientific text such as
    theatre plays, etc.). Having a productive mark offers an elegant
    solution. The same diplomatic « it is baseless theoritical speculation»
    could also have welcomed the suggestion to allow diacritics to be used
    with any base letters (for cases unforeseen or unknown dialects at the
    time this decision was made but that later were found useful).

    This being said I don't have much qualms with the encoding of these four
    signs as precomposed characters; although I'm not convinced the layout
    of a combining implosive mark is actually hard and is a compelling
    argument given what devanagari engines must already do (the sequence
    <base letter, implosive> for the 4 standard implosives forms could
    easily be mapped to your precomposed glyphs in any OpenType font, for
    instance, via the ccmp feature right at the start of the rendering; not
    any harder that a precomposed glyph afterwards I would think).

    P. A.

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