Re: Proposal for encoding the Vai script in the BMP

From: Richard Wordingham (richard.wordingham@ntlworld.com)
Date: Sun Aug 14 2005 - 17:35:32 CDT

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    Michael Everson wrote (on 4 July 2005 -
    http://www.unicode.org/mail-arch/unicode-ml/y2005-m07/0047.html ):

    > N2948: Proposal for encoding the Vai script in the BMP of the UCS Michael
    > Everson, Charles Riley, and Josť Rivera

    http://std.dkuug.dk/jtc1/sc2/wg2/docs/n2948.pdf .

    After much studying of the proposal simply as reference material, I have two
    minor points:

    1. The glyph used in the proposal for VAI SYLLABLE NGGO has two dots in the
    top half and none in the bottom half. All the examples of this glyph
    reproduced as images have two dots in the top half and two dots below, as
    does the glyph in the SIL Vai font. This matters because many fonts are
    likely to be based on the glyph depicted in the Unicode standard, with no
    further research. The glyph depicted in the Unicode report should therefore
    have two dots above and two dots below.

    2. Figure 2 (a teach-yourself book), Figure 3 (from Tucker), Figure 8b (from
    Dalby) (1962 glyphs) and Figure 15 (from Kandakai and Hutchison) give the
    same different symbols for the sounds of VAI SYLLABLE GI and VAI SYLLABLE
    CE.

    In the first case, the different symbol is VAI SYLLABLE KI between a pair of
    horizontal dots, and is no more a glyph variant of VAI SYLLABLE GI than Old
    English thorn and eth were glyph variants of one another. This symbol could
    meaningfully be called VAI SYLLABLE GI-LIKE KI or VAI SYLLABLE GI-BASED KI.

    In the second case, the glyph may be a rotated form of VAI SYLLABLE JE; it
    retains the double dot that distinguishes VAI SYLLABLE JE from VAI SYLLABLE
    YE, both are distinguished from VAI SYLLABLE CE by a vertical bar at the
    right corresponding to the horizontal bar of the alternative symbol for the
    sound of symbol VAI SYLLABLE CE. I therefore do not believe it is right to
    consider this pair as glyph variants either. Moreover, the alternative
    symbol might be unrelated to VAI SYLLABLE JE; it could conceivably be VAI
    SYLLABLE JA plus a pair of dots. In fact, the best name I can think of for
    this symbol is VAI SYLLABLE JA-LIKE CE. This symbol is the one given by
    Massaquoi (Proposal Figure 4) for the sound.

    Are these alternative symbols being omitted from the initial definition of
    the Vai script, e.g. until evidence of use in communication accumulates?

    Richard.



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