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

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Mon Mar 13 2006 - 17:02:39 CST

  • Next message: fantasai: "Re: East Asian Emphasis Marks (Japanese bouten, etc)"

    > 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
    > which covers only two of the shapes. Also, they are in the compatibility
    > forms block, so their use is discouraged.

    As Doug Ewell surmised, this does not follow. U+FE45 (and U+FE46)
    are compatibility characters, insofar as they were encoded for
    compatibility with JIS X 0213. And they were encoded in the CJK
    Compatibility Forms block because much of that block consists of
    forms used in vertical CJK text, as are the sesame marks. But note
    that they have no compatibility decomposition mapping, and there
    is no indication whatsoever that their use is discouraged.

    If you have need of referring to a sesame dot in CJK text, by
    all means, *do* use U+FE45 SESAME DOT. That is what it is encoded

    > 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.

    I would *not* suggest using that.

    > 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?
    > As for other shapes, I have scanned in a few examples:
    > I also remember a Tibetan book using x-shaped marks.

    Essentially, one should use whatever character is required to get
    things right. Note that the Chinese examples you have posted,
    cidian-kanzhonghao2.png, etc, contain, in horizontal text, dots,
    underscores, 2 different wavy lines, but also circles below and
    fisheyes below. The circle is U+25CB WHITE CIRCLE, and the
    fisheye is U+25C9 FISHEYE. These are just more instances of
    CJK bullets of various sorts being pressed creatively into service
    to create emphasis lines.

    How you combine those identities into definitions of styling
    for underscores and overscores and sideline scores for emphasis
    styling is outside the scope of the Unicode Standard -- but
    presumably inside the scope of CSS.


    > Any comments on shapes, usage patterns, usefulness of various settings,
    > etc. would be much appreciated.
    > ~fantasai

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