From: Asmus Freytag (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Nov 18 2010 - 13:04:50 CST
On 11/18/2010 8:04 AM, Peter Constable wrote:
> From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of André Szabolcs Szelp
>> AFAIR the reservations of WG2 concerning the encoding of Jangalif
>> Latin Ь/ь as a new character were not in view of Cyrillic Ь/ь, but
>> rather in view of its potential identity with the tone sign mentioned
>> by you as well. It is a Latin letter adapted from the Cyrillic soft sign,
> There's another possible point of view: that it's a Cyrillic character that, for a short period, people tried using as a Latin character but that never stuck, and that it's completely adequate to represent Janalif text in that orthography using the Cyrillic soft sign.
When one language borrows a word from another, there are several stages
of "foreignness", ranging from treating the foreign word as a short
quotation in the original language to treating it as essentially fully
Now words are very complex in behavior and usage compared to characters.
You can check for pronunciation, spelling and adaptation to the host
grammar to check which stage of adaptation a word has reached.
When a script borrows a letter from another, you are essentially limited
in what evidence you can use to document objectively whether the
borrowing has crossed over the script boundary and the character has
With typographically closely related scripts, getting tell-tale
typographical evidence is very difficult. After all, these scripts
started out from the same root.
So, you need some other criteria.
You could individually compare orthographies and decide which ones are
"important" enough (or "established" enough) to warrant support. Or you
could try to distinguish between orthographies for general use withing
the given language, vs. other systems of writing (transcriptions, say).
But whatever you do, you should be consistent and take account of
There are a number of characters encoded as nominally "Latin" in Unicode
that are borrowings from other scripts, usually Greek.
A discussion of the current issue should include explicit explanation of
why these precedents apply or do not apply, and, in the latter case, why
some precedents may be regarded as examples of past mistakes.
By explicitly analyzing existing precedents, it should be possible to
avoid the impression that the current discussion is focused on the
relative merits of a particular orthography based on personal and
possibly arbitrary opinions by the work group experts.
If it can be shown that all other cases where such borrowings were
accepted into Unicode are based on orthographies that are more
permanent, more widespread or both, or where other technical or
typographical reasons prevailed that are absent here, then it would make
any decision on the current request seem a lot less arbitrary.
I don't know where the right answer lies in the case of Janalif, or
which point of view, in Peter's phrasing, would make the most sense, but
having this discussion without clear understanding of the precedents
will lead to inconsistent encoding.
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