Re: Sindhi characters proposed

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Sat Apr 16 2005 - 06:45:29 CST

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    At 18:52 -0400 2005-04-15, 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.

    The kind of speculation you have been engaging in "against" proposals
    of mine of late has tended to be fairly uninformed theoretical
    speculation, unrelated to the facts.

    >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) ?

    I find your suggestion that "we" may not "know all the rare Sindhi
    characters" to be very irritating. In the first place, Sindhi
    characters are used in Sindhi. They are not "rare", particularly, in
    Sindhi. They are part of Sindhi orthography. In the second place,
    here (again) you are ignoring the evidence presented in my proposal,
    which shows a full chart of Sindhi letters. Your suggestion means not
    only that (1) I did not do my homework but that (2) the Sindhi
    teaching grammar was in error in not presenting all the "rare Sindhi

    >It is not uncommon to see allophones ignored on purpose in standard

    This kind of theoretical speculation would make my job impossible. I
    do not second-guess my sources. To do so would be pointless.

    >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.).

    I don't care about non-existent users. I care about real users who
    use real letters.

    >Having a productive mark offers an elegant solution.

    No, it's a fussy, theoretical solution which complicates the
    rendering of the real letters in question, complicates the
    interaction of the "new" diacritical mark with other non-implosive
    letters, complications relations with vowel matras, and complicates
    relations with the ANUDATTA which has a similar shape but different
    behaviour with regard to the matras.

    Simplicity is more elegant.

    >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).

    My long experience in character encoding led me to the solution as
    presented. Consensus of other experienced character-encoders is that
    my solution is preferable to the other solution.

    >This being said I don't have much qualms with the encoding of these
    >four signs as precomposed characters;

    Good, then stop arguing.

    >although I'm not convinced the layout of a combining implosive mark
    >is actually hard

    Try harder.

    >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,

    You are *completely* ignoring what has been said on *several*
    occasions about the interaction of such a mark with *other*
    Devanagari letters.

    >for instance, via the ccmp feature right at the start of the
    >rendering; not any harder that a precomposed glyph afterwards I
    >would think).

    These things do not live in a vacuum.

    Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  *

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