Re: East Asian Emphasis Marks (Japanese bouten, etc)

From: Ken Lunde (
Date: Mon Mar 13 2006 - 08:09:36 CST

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    In the Adobe-Japan1-x character collection, we map U+FE45 and U+FE46
    to CIDs 12639 and 12640, respectively. In other words, we provide
    separate glyphs than the punctuation marks they resemble. These
    glyphs are intended for use as annotative marks, such as ruby. In
    fact, the range of glyphs intended for annotative use are intended to
    be scaled to a smaller size, typically 50% for text runs.


    -- Ken

    On 2006/03/12, at 17:42, Martin Duerst wrote:

    > At 07:50 06/03/13, fantasai wrote:
    > >
    > >I'm currently going through emphasis marks used in East Asian texts
    > >to see what options we need to define in CSS. One of the questions I
    > >have is, where do the glyphs come from? Kobayashi Tatsuo and I looked
    > >through the Unicode repetoire last week, and we found
    > > U+FE45 SESAME DOT
    > >which covers only two of the shapes. Also, they are in the
    > compatibility
    > >forms block, so their use is discouraged.
    > >
    > >Paul Nelson says Microsoft uses fixed shapes for these emphasis
    > marks.
    > >
    > >In the case of the sesame at least, the shape in printed materials
    > closely
    > >parallels U+3001 IDEOGRAPHIC COMMA, which is provided by the font.
    > Yes, it indeed very much looks that way. Your examples show dots
    > (above) in horizontal text, and commas (or comma-like shapes) (on the
    > right) in vertical text, and some text in the scans actually say
    > that this is current practice.
    > >I would like to know, is there a way, should there be a way, for
    > the font
    > >in use to have some say over the glyph shape for emphasis marks?
    > From a purely aesthetic point of view, I'd guess yes. For a very
    > light font, smaller dots/commas may be more appropriate. For a very
    > heavy font, bigger dots/commas may be more appropriate. There may also
    > be issues with how far a way from the main line the marks go; for
    > different fonts, the optically best distance may be different.
    > But from a practical viewpoint, it is very well possible that such
    > adjustments are not done.
    > I suggest you look at some fonts, or contact some font providers
    > (e.g. Adobe and others).
    > Being able to specify a specific character as an emphasis mark
    > sounds attractive, but it would bring up the need to specify
    > several other parameters, such as scaling and offsets.
    > Regards, Martin.
    > >As for other shapes, I have scanned in a few examples:
    > >
    > >I also remember a Tibetan book using x-shaped marks.
    > >
    > >Any comments on shapes, usage patterns, usefulness of various
    > settings,
    > >etc. would be much appreciated.
    > >
    > >~fantasai
    > >

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