RE: The Geejay

From: Peter Constable (
Date: Thu Jan 03 2008 - 12:57:24 CST

  • Next message: Michael Everson: "RE: The Geejay"

    > From: [] On
    > Behalf Of Asmus Freytag

    > >>> On foot of the shape of the letter I would consider encoding it as
    > >>> the capital form of U+0261, as LATIN CAPITAL LETTER SCRIPT G.
    > >>
    > >> Surely not considering the presence of the dot.
    > >
    > This is total an utter nonsense. What one encodes is always the
    > *identity* of the character...

    I agree on that.

    > In this case, the character was used for a
    > sound...

    Here, I start to diverge as your statements seem to tie the character identity a little *too* closely to its function in a given usage (albeit probably the only usage). (That may not be your intent; I'd guess it is not.) I think it's fair to say that character identities in Unicode are generally based on their structure more than their function(s).

    > The phonetic notation that this artificial letter is a part of, is an
    > example of a common device used for such purposes, i.e. a system that
    > uses, as much as possible, notations that are close to what the lay
    > reader is familiar with, adding a few signs and diacritics to mark
    > sounds not found in the readers native language...

    > The example for /juge/ makes clear that the Gj is used "as a /unicase/
    > or caseless letter" as Andreas writes. He continues "It is questionable
    > wether to speak of it as a ligature" and I would agree. The intent here
    > is not to combine the sounds of a g and a j but to denote a sound that
    > ordinarily is written with either a 'g' or 'j'. The choice of uppercase
    > G for deriving the glyph seems designed to let this letter stand out
    > and
    > make both of the constituent sources of its glyph apparent to the lay
    > reader.

    I agree that was the intent, but I'm not sure how significant the intent should be to the character identity. The form of the character was obtained by combining "G" and "j". Just as 00E6 "ae" was obtained by combining "a" and "e", as A727 "small heng" was obtained by combining "h" and eng, as 0238 "small db digraph" was obtained by combining "d" and "b", and as 0153 "small oe ligature" was obtained by combining "o" and "e". The character identity in this case should take follow the precedent of such cases.

    > Thus, the concept of case does not apply, and, as the character has not
    > found its way into any existing "orthography", there's little pressure
    > to innovate in that direction.

    I agree.

    > Whether IPA or any other phonetic
    > notations use glyphs based on some decoration of the letter 'g' or 'G'
    > for the same sound is irrelevant - unless one can show a relation by
    > derivation. For obvious reasons G just happens to be a natural choice
    > to
    > represent such sounds.
    > If it's deemed important to encode the character to be able to encode
    > such dictionaries as originally published, then go ahead and encode
    > *that* identity. Don't invent something new.

    Well, we must invent to the extent of devising a name; but I think you mean, as I would suggest, that requires only a minimal amount of innovation in this case -- much less than inventing a casing relationship with small letter script g.


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