How to encode underlined characters

From: Chris Harvey (
Date: Thu Sep 08 2005 - 09:33:44 CDT

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    Many North American Native languages use underlined letters as part of
    their orthographies. This probably goes back to the use of typewriters,
    where a quick backspace+underscore would have been easy enough to type on
    the US keyboard.

    All examples below are from Shoshoni and Kwakwaka’wakw.

    Where it is only a single character which is underlined, the solution
    would be U+0331 COMBINING MACRON BELOW.
    Thus ‘a̱’ (underlined ‘a’) would be U+0061 U+0331.

    In a situation where two characters make up one orthographic letter, which
    is underlined, one would use U+035F COMBINING DOUBLE MACRON BELOW.
    Thus ‘a͟i’ (underlined ‘ai’) would be U+0061 U+035F U+0069

    But what about situations where three or more characters make up one
    orthographic letter which is underlined, such as ‘aai’ or ‘aaii’? The
    underline should be one long line, not three or four individual MACRON

    I can think of a few options.
    a) aai (all underlined) could have two COMBINING DOUBLE MACRON BELOWs:
    U+0061 U+035F U+0061 U+035F U+0069
    b) aai (all underlined) could use three COMBINING LOW LINES (U+0332):
    U+0061 U+0332 U+0061 U+0332 U+0069 U+0332

    Option a) seems to be more consistant with underlined ’ai’.
    If b) is chosen, should then underlined ‘ai’ use two COMBINING LOW LINEs
    as well?

    Thank-you very much

    Chris Harvey

    Gwlad heb iaith, gwlad heb galon
    ᑭᑕᐢᑭᓇᐤ ᑳᓀᓱᐏᑌᐦᐃᓇᑿᐣ, ᑮᐢᐱᐣ ᐃᔨᐣᑐ ᐱᑭᐢᑵᐏᐣ ᐘᓂᑎᔭᐦᑭ
    (A country without its language is a country without a heart)

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