RE: Missing character: Combining Up Tack Above

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Thu Mar 29 2007 - 16:31:28 CST

  • Next message: Kenneth Whistler: "RE: Missing character: Combining Up Tack Above"

    I do agree that the notation used is inconsistent. This is not really a
    meaningful notation (i.e. linked to some semantic), but merely a graphical
    notation, and any other symbols could have been used.

    If you want something useful to ease the reproduction of this text, you
    could as well use the combining candrabindu (U+0310) without altering the
    meaning or even the presentation of the text, whose reproduction effectively
    used tweaked superpositions of other glyphs.

    I have not seen the reproduction as a legit tack above, and it is clear that
    a macron was used and some sort of apostrophe to modify it again, instead of
    using a vertical tick.

    ABOVE). There's absolutely no evidence that this is a unique diacritic with
    distinct semantic. And the second diacritic used on top of the macron is not
    really clear.

    That's why I first thought it was a combining candrabindu (U+0310), given
    the phonetic interpretation given that includes some form of nasalisation,
    but nothing about tone (tacks are used in phonetic notations to indicate
    tones, but not length of vowels or their nasalisation).

    For me, the use of a punched apostrophe-quote is quite similar to the use of
    quote instead of an acute accent on old typewriters (it may also be a
    combining dot above, which was also written on old typewriters using a
    punched vertical apostrophe-quote). So may be the second diacritic noted
    here is an acute accent and not a vertical tick, and it looks similar to the
    nasalisation sign used in some other languages instead of the more common
    tilde. It may also be a Combining small letter I (U+0365).

    What is clear is that those diacritics are used like interlinear notations
    on top of the standard English words, whose orthography is not altered
    (except for the use of a non-compbining right quote between letters for
    denoting high tone) ; the text was noted like this to remain readable
    without the diacritics as standard English, and the diacritics are just
    noting how the letters would actually be pronounced by the author (but they
    denote only one phonetic realization, as it is indicated in the text with
    the examples of Briareus and Orpheus).

    The description of the book is really counter-productive as it is supposed
    to show the correct pronunciation for both American English and British
    English. I have serious doubt about this affirmation at the bottom of the
    page, given that there are distinctable accents in American English (North,
    South, Californian/West coast, Texan/Mid-West, New-England, plus differences
    between urban and rural accents) as well as in England (London/East,
    Central, Southern Coast, North England), and these to families of accents
    are also very easy to differentiate.

    > -----Message d'origine-----
    > De : [] De la
    > part de Kenneth Whistler
    > Envoyé : jeudi 29 mars 2007 22:19
    > À :
    > Cc :;
    > Objet : Re: Missing character: Combining Up Tack Above
    > > Working on a project at Distributed Proofreaders
    > > (<>) for Project Gutenberg
    > > (<>), I think I've found an unencoded
    > > character used in two books from Ginn & Company as part of a
    > > pronunciation scheme. It's a combining up tack above used to modify
    > > vowels. Rather than try and send the pages through the list, I've put
    > > up a Q&D webpage:
    > > <>. Am I missing
    > > this character somewhere in Unicode?
    > I don't think you've missed this character anywhere -- I don't think
    > it is encoded in Unicode.
    > But I disagree with your interpretation of it.
    > It is pretty clear that in conceptual origin this is a diacritic-modified
    > macron. It is used in this obsolete (and discredited) dictionary
    > pronunciation system to indicate "the long sound of that vowel
    > shortened...", in a system where vowel letters are marked for
    > their "long sound" with macrons.
    > The one citation in isolation in the 2nd document example,
    > which looks like U+2AE0 SHORT UP TACK (rather than
    > U+22A5 UP TACK) doesn't demonstrate a conceptual origin with
    > either of those math symbols, IMO.
    > So, no, this is not U+031D COMBINING UP TACK BELOW -- only
    > rendered above a letter. It is, instead, a COMBINING MACRON WITH
    > VERTICAL TICK or some such.
    > If you look at the actual instances of the usage of this with
    > letters, you can see that the atrocious and inconsistent
    > details on the letters. Quite likely the printer for these
    > created the matrices for the letters by actually overstriking
    > existing matrices with punches for apostrophes -- you can see
    > the different degrees of overlaps and inconsistencies among
    > the various instances of the marked letters.

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