Re: super- and subscripted characters

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Sat Mar 20 2010 - 03:03:01 CST

  • Next message: Kent Karlsson: "Re: super- and subscripted characters"

    On 20 Mar 2010, at 08:25, Jukka K. Korpela wrote:

    > However, there are often strong practical reasons to use formatting or markup instead of superscript or subscript characters, even when the latter would be more appropriate in principle. For example, in a phonetic notation like [nʲet], where “ʲ” (U+02B2) indicates palatalization, it might be wise to replace that character by normal “j” formatted or marked up as a superscript, even though this implies that when treated as plain text, the notation becomes [njet], which is semantically wrong (though might still be understood sufficiently well).

    When I set the New Testament in Cornish, I used the genuine superscripted numbers for the verses because the styling can get lost in cutting and pasting etc.

    >> The superscripted x is not available in UNICODE,
    > There is a superscripted x, namely U+02E3, MODIFIER SMALL LETTER SMALL X, “ˣ”. I don’t know why it has been included and what it is used for, but I would guess it is used in some phonetic notations, or maybe in the writing system(s) of some small language(s).

    Phonetic notation.

    > Technically it is defined as having the compatibility decomposition “<super> 0078”, i.e. letter “x” in superscript style, but this does not imply that it would be wise to use as superscript x in general, e.g. when expressing exp(x) as e raised to the power x.

    It depends what you are doing.

    The following letters of the basic Latin alphabet are available as superscripted "modifier letters":

    1D43;MODIFIER LETTER SMALL A;Lm;0;L;<super> 0061;;;;N;;;;;
    1D47;MODIFIER LETTER SMALL B;Lm;0;L;<super> 0062;;;;N;;;;;
    1D9C;MODIFIER LETTER SMALL C;Lm;0;L;<super> 0063;;;;N;;;;;
    1D48;MODIFIER LETTER SMALL D;Lm;0;L;<super> 0064;;;;N;;;;;
    1D49;MODIFIER LETTER SMALL E;Lm;0;L;<super> 0065;;;;N;;;;;
    1DA0;MODIFIER LETTER SMALL F;Lm;0;L;<super> 0066;;;;N;;;;;
    1D4D;MODIFIER LETTER SMALL G;Lm;0;L;<super> 0067;;;;N;;;;;
    02B0;MODIFIER LETTER SMALL H;Lm;0;L;<super> 0068;;;;N;;;;;
    2071;SUPERSCRIPT LATIN SMALL LETTER I;Lm;0;L;<super> 0069;;;;N;;;;;
    02B2;MODIFIER LETTER SMALL J;Lm;0;L;<super> 006A;;;;N;;;;;
    1D4F;MODIFIER LETTER SMALL K;Lm;0;L;<super> 006B;;;;N;;;;;
    02E1;MODIFIER LETTER SMALL L;Lm;0;L;<super> 006C;;;;N;;;;;
    1D50;MODIFIER LETTER SMALL M;Lm;0;L;<super> 006D;;;;N;;;;;
    207F;SUPERSCRIPT LATIN SMALL LETTER N;Lm;0;L;<super> 006E;;;;N;;;;;
    1D52;MODIFIER LETTER SMALL O;Lm;0;L;<super> 006F;;;;N;;;;;
    1D56;MODIFIER LETTER SMALL P;Lm;0;L;<super> 0070;;;;N;;;;;
    02B3;MODIFIER LETTER SMALL R;Lm;0;L;<super> 0072;;;;N;;;;;
    02E2;MODIFIER LETTER SMALL S;Lm;0;L;<super> 0073;;;;N;;;;;
    1D57;MODIFIER LETTER SMALL T;Lm;0;L;<super> 0074;;;;N;;;;;
    1D58;MODIFIER LETTER SMALL U;Lm;0;L;<super> 0075;;;;N;;;;;
    02B7;MODIFIER LETTER SMALL W;Lm;0;L;<super> 0077;;;;N;;;;;
    02E3;MODIFIER LETTER SMALL X;Lm;0;L;<super> 0078;;;;N;;;;;
    02B8;MODIFIER LETTER SMALL Y;Lm;0;L;<super> 0079;;;;N;;;;;
    1DBB;MODIFIER LETTER SMALL Z;Lm;0;L;<super> 007A;;;;N;;;;;

    In my opinion it is pretty stupid that we are missing only two.

    Michael Everson *

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