From: Chris Harvey (email@example.com)
Date: Thu May 10 2007 - 10:08:33 CDT
>> Probably not. In addition to suggestions that have already been made, be
>> aware that Unicode 5.1 should have two new characters that may be exactly
>> what you are looking for. For more information, please see the characters
>> named "saltillo" in
I’m concerned with the addition of characters which are visually
identical, and only differ in that one is punctuation and the other is
meant to be an orthographical letter. As in the case for U+02BC
MODIFIER LETTER APOSTROPHE and U+2019 RIGHT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK.
This is a topic I brought up a while ago, and I apologize for bringing
it up again.
Let’s take, or example, the Nishnaabemwin language (Ojibwa). The
standard orthography for many of the speakers was devised specifically
to have no non-English letters. One of the language’s characters is the
apostrophe ’. The fact that it’s pronounced with a glottal stop is
irrelevant, we could be talking about Mi'kmaq or Maliseet where the
apostrophe has other phonological values. Ojibwa can be typed on a
US-English keyboard as long as the apostrophe is understood to be
U+0027 or U+2019 (for those programs using auto-quotes). To introduce
U+02BC would be very confusing to Ojibwa speakers; why is ' one thing
in English but another in Ojibwa? I have had no success in
communicating the practical need for two apostrophes, one for English,
one for the Native language with speakers and language educators. When
I assigned U+02BC to their keyboard layout, big problems arose. People
can type English on those keyboards as well and encountered
difficulties when they typed U+02BC in English text. Consequently I’ve
had to remove U+02BC from all keyboards I had designed.
We could go further, Squamish writes its glottal stop with a 7, Tlingit
with a period . , Arapaho writes /θ/ with the number 3. These
orthographies were developed so that as few exotic characters as
possible would be required, and that these languages could be typed on
an English keyboard. Should new MODIFIER NUMBER SEVEN, MODIFIER NUMBER
THREE characters be introduced?
Perhaps I’m alone in thinking this, but users cannot be expected to
differentiate between two visually identical characters, one for one
language, one for another.
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