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Re: Marking tones in conlangs

From:Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
Date:Thursday, February 9, 2006, 17:25
On 2/9/06, Carsten Becker <carbeck@...> wrote:
> Does anybody use <ƨ, ƽ, ƅ> for the tones 2, 5 and 6 as > proposed by Unicode?
They're not "proposed by Unicode" as general-purpose tone markers, AFAIK; they were introduced because they used to be used (until 1986) in the Latinisation of the Zhuang language, where they marked tones 2, 5, and 6, respectively. (Those tones are are now, according to , marked with "z", "q", and "h", respectively.)
> There don't seem to be such signs for 1, 3 and 4 for > some reason.
Tones 1, 3, and 4 were marked with nothing, з, and ч, respectively; з and ч were unified with the Cyrillic letters. (Modern orthography uses nothing, j, and x, apparently.) Note the subtle punning -- з looks like "3" and ч looks like (a hand-written) "4", and I'm sure you can see the "2", "5", and "6" in those tone marks as well. ("2" is still a bit apparent in "z", but the other Latin tone marker letters are more obscure to me.) Incidentally, I had thought that tone-6 was marked with ь, the Cyrillic "soft sign", but apparently the Unicode consortium thought differently, and encoded a separate letter for this purpose.
> Which language actually uses those?
None right now, apparently :)
> I'd use a turn-around <S> for anything but indicating > second tone
Ah, but it's not a turned <S>; it's a stylised <2>!
> and the one for 6 looks like a small-caps <B>.
...or a bit like a <6>. Cheers, -- Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>