Re: The Yoruba under-diacritic

From: Donald Z. Osborn (
Date: Thu Jan 27 2005 - 12:06:39 CST

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    James, Thanks for bringing this up. The possibility of choosing one form and
    letting font designers modify the glyph in Yoruba Unicode fonts for reasons of
    style and aesthetics has seemed to me to be a reasonable avenue to resolve this
    issue but there are complications.

    Using the combining vertical line below U+0329, which seems to be in the charts
    uniquely for Yoruba (?), and using it effectively as "combining mark below"
    would resolve the problem. But I had the impression that this kind of solution
    is frowned upon (I am not familiar with the Greek example you mention).

    On another level, it might handicap efforts at unified/standardized Nigerian
    usage of dot-under (mainly precomposed) characters. Some other languages
    notably Igbo have similar diacritics, but appearing uniquely (?) as dots. I may
    be the only one bringing this kind of issue up, but if you look at current
    pan-Nigerian software efforts that seek to serve a multilingual market (Konyin,
    Paradigm, to name two small commercial ones), they utilize dot-under

    Are there ways that software can handle different characters and combinations of
    characters as equivalents in certain language settings?

    Don Osborn

    Quoting James Fox <>:

    > You probably know how Yoruba uses a mark below certain vowels, as well as
    > the letter s, to represent certain phonetic distinctions. There seems to be
    > a variety of shapes for this symbol: a dot below, a short vertical line
    > below, the same as before, only attached to the letter above it, a teardrop
    > below, and even (so I've read), a small Greek cross below.
    > Perhaps something like this could be done for the Yoruba under-mark? After
    > all, the different forms used are apparently merely a matter of style, but
    > Unicode disunifies them. Would it be possible to pick, say, U0329, as the
    > Yoruba under-mark *exclusively*, and note that it has possible alternative
    > glyphs in the code charts? Or, if that would conflict with possible
    > alternate uses for U0329, could a new combing diacritic be encoded just for
    > Yoruba?
    > Does anyone have any comments?
    > James Fox

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