Re: Abkhasian pe with descender?

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Fri Nov 09 2007 - 19:00:57 CST

  • Next message: Michael Everson: "Re: Abkhasian pe with descender?"

    > At 14:59 -0800 2007-11-09, Eric Muller wrote:
    > >Michael Everson wrote:
    > >>
    > >>No, because the standard distinguishes between GHE WITH MIDDLE HOOK
    > >
    > >So what's your solution?
    > I am inclined to encode the unencoded PE WITH DESCENDER.
    > >With the only difference between the [Lomtatidze] and [Chirikba]
    > >styles being that pe and ghe have middle hooks vs. descenders, and
    > >with no known case of contrast between the two,
    > Letters are letters. I don't believe a *contrast* was shown between
    > GHE WITH MIDDLE HOOK and GHE WITH DESCENDER when the latter was
    > encoded recently, and there is no question

    It wasn't so recently as all that. The proposal dates from
    2002-12-06, and the characters were published as of Unicode 4.1
    in 2005.

    And the GHE WITH DESCENDER was proposed for Siberian Yupik, where
    there was no indication of the usage of U+0494/5 GHE WITH MIDDLE HOOK
    at all. So the situation is rather different from the situation
    where characters are being proposed for a language where there
    clearly *are* alternate typographic traditions that use both

    I'm not sure what you mean by the trailing off with "and there is
    no question..."

    > >it seems to me that, in the context of Abkhaz, we are better saying
    > >this is a glyph difference, and we can avoid fragmenting the
    > >representation of text for a relatively small community.
    > >[Linguarium] has settled on U+04A7 and U+0495, and I followed that
    > >for the UDHR.
    > I've got an Abkhaz who has just last week contacted me and he has
    > said that he considers the letters to be different.

    You can get anybody to look at fonts and tell you that "letters"
    are different.

    The question is whether the representation of Abkhaz text would
    be better served by treating these as typographical variants
    of the same abstract character or not.

    You are simply asserting based on typographic form that things
    are distinct and that therefore they must be encoded, when it
    seems pretty clear that we *are* talking about a single letter
    here for Abkhaz, with stylistic glyph variation.

    > There are many
    > orthographies for Abkhaz. It may be inconvenient for there to be so
    > many letters (Latin and Cyrillic) used for it, but that's history for
    > you.

    Yes, but going too far in insisting on encoding every mangled
    Cyrillic sort that was used for printing Abkhaz and other
    minority languages may artificially fragment orthographies
    more than they reasonably need to be -- which I think was
    Eric's point.


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