Berber and Maghribi letters

From: Titus Nemeth (
Date: Thu Apr 30 2009 - 08:21:46 CDT

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    I have a manuscript in Berber language of the poet Muhammad al-Awzali in
    Arabic script and want to type it. It contains a few of the "Berber"
    characters (Kah with three dots below etc.), among them a miniature Ayn.
    I was not able to find it encoded in the Unicode charts and also the
    list-archives did not show results to my queries. One of the words that
    use the letter is for example:

    "miniature Ayn" (Fatha) + Alif + Yeh (Sukun) + Lam (Shadda/Fatha) + Nun

    I am not familiar with Berber languages which makes it more difficult to
    find out about this. I saw the use of a Greek Epsilon on a "TAMAZIGHT"
    website, but doubt that this is conventional.

    The only potential Unicode I found is U+01B9

    • archaic phonetic for voiced pharyngeal
    • sometimes typographically rendered with a
    turned digit 3
    • recommended spelling 0295 Z
    → 0295 Z latin letter pharyngeal voiced
    → 0639  arabic letter ain

    Yet, I do not understand the relation to Ayn and whether this code would
    actually be used in my context.

    Moreover, I wonder about the encoding of Feh with dot below (06A2) and
    the Qaf with a single dot above (06A7). As far as I have understood
    (correct me if I'm wrong), those two letters are only graphically
    distinct from the regular Feh (0641) and Qaf (0642). Hence, if this is
    correct, their encoding would essentially contradict one of the
    principles of the "character-glyph" model. To me this looks similar to
    encoding single-storey and double-storey lowercase Latin a with
    different values.
    I have not come across texts that would use both versions at the same
    time either.

    I also wondered wether the Unicode values for these letters are actually
    used by anyone?

    Any help or pointing out of further resources would be highly appreciated,


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