Re: Vai word boundaries and line breaking

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Fri Nov 30 2007 - 15:44:07 CST

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    At 13:16 -0800 2007-11-30, Peter Constable wrote:
    >Reading through the proposal documents for Vai, it's not entirely
    >clear from the text or the samples what the line breaking behaviour
    >is in relation to word boundaries. I'm wondering if I can get some
    >Generally, the examples make it look as though spaces are not used
    >in text at word or phrase boundaries (making Vai reminiscent of Han
    >ideographs in this regard), though it's not absolutely clear.
    >L2/05-159R (N2984R) has only one sample of running text - the rest
    >show syllable charts and such. L2/05-053 show samples suggesting
    >some variation in marking word boundaries - some of the samples seem
    >to have variable spacing between letterforms so it's also not clear
    >to me from this doc if spaces are ever used.

    Modern Vai always uses spaces between words. As in the Bible I have
    here. Manuscript Vai is less scrupulous about this, but the Right
    Thing To Do is treat the syllables like Cherokee syllables... that
    is, like Latin letters.

    >L2/05-159R has a section on line breaking that indicates that line
    >breaks are not permitted before SYLLABLE LENGTHENER or before NG.
    >Looking at the beta UCD files, though, it appears that NG (A60B) has
    >the same line breaking property as regular syllables (AL); it's not
    >clear to me if that's intended or not.

    That is Ken's bailiwick I guess.

    >The LENGTHENER (A60C) has linebreak = EX, as does FULL STOP (A60E);
    >this strongly blocks break before. COMMA (060D) and QUESTION MARK
    >(A60F) have linebreak = BA, which less-strongly blocks break before.
    >(EX allows preceding break only after hard line break or ZWSP; BA
    >also allows a preceding break after spaces (SP) or FFFC).

    I can't say I know how to evaluate this.

    Michael Everson *

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