Re: [unicode] Re: vertical writing mode of modern Yi?

From: Andrew West <>
Date: Wed, 4 Apr 2012 13:00:27 +0100

On 2 April 2012 07:20, fantasai <> wrote:
> The question in my mind is,
> a) does the Yi community consider the Chinese style of typesetting
> vertical captions and suchlike to be the only correct way, or

I don't think you can separate an Yi typographic tradition from the
Chinese typographic tradition. All members of the Liangshan Yi
community in China who are literate in the standardized Liangshan Yi
syllabary encoded in Unicode will be bilingual in Chinese, and will
have been exposed to Chinese books and typesetting traditions for
their whole life.

> b) is it a consequence of the Chinese typesetting software that such text
> is typeset this way, and the correct orientation would match Old Yi, or

I doubt that there are very many young or middle-aged members of the
Liangshan Yi community who can read Old Yi or have had any substantial
exposure to Old Yi texts.

I find the whole argument that Unicode Yi should match the orientation
of Old Yi bewildering -- if users would expect that the glyph
orientation of Unicode Yi text laid out vertically should match Old
Yi, then why wouldn't you also suppose that they would expect the
glyph orientation of Unicode Yi text laid out horizontally to match
Old Yi, i.e. possibly rotated 90 degrees?

I really think that Old Yi is a red herring, and should not be used as
an argument for how modern standardized Yi should be oriented when
written vertically.

> c) would the Yi community consider either option acceptable and a matter
> of stylistic preference, similar to Latin characters, whose native text
> orientation is not vertical and thus can be found typeset both sideways
> and upright

I personally think that sideways oriented vertical Unicode Yi looks
very odd, and would be very suprised if it were the prefered
orientation of the user community. Has anyone ever seen any examples
of vertically laid out Unicode Yi text with rotated glyphs in books or
on signs?

Received on Wed Apr 04 2012 - 07:05:07 CDT

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