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Re: Phonetics

From:John Vertical <johnvertical@...>
Date:Wednesday, March 28, 2007, 11:24
"Mark J. Reed" wrote:
> >We're talking about Unicode, which is based on the idea that abstract >characters exist. Regardless of your opinion on that point, the >decision was made long ago.
I think we're talking about different levels of abstraction. Certainly Unicode does not define any caracters in the terms of how *exactly* they look like - but they do have an underlying geometrical structure. Or would you say that the star symbol you get when pressing the, say, "r" key while using a dingbats font is still, on some abstract level, a letter "r"? And I don't mean the IPA codepoint (if this is a dodgily made Dingbats font.)
>Given that framework, then, are c with >comma below and c with cedilla alloglyphs?
It completely depends on how do you define "alloglyph". "Same Unicode entity" would be circularish logic, and dependant on the font anyway. "Same usage", yes, but likewise c with caron, tee-esh digraph, etc; and I think adding "same origin" to that would giv an answer of "no", tho the diareses / umlaut precedent suggests that this combo is not the way to go. I see it coming down to "variations on a basic shape", and at that point my answer is "no". You can certainly use them as allo*graphs* (representations of the same sound), but they are no more allo*glyphs* than o-with-umlaut and "oe" are (synchronically.)
>As for the three A's, they come from three separate alphabets. It >would be quite odd to mix alphabets within a single word.
Not too long ago, letters like o-with-umlaut vs. n-with-tilde were also considered to come from separate alphabets (eg German vs. Spanish), and arguably they still are. Yet nobody says you cannot use both when devising a writing system for a language. Also, Japanese, IPA, etc.
>More importantly, you would lose the ability to map each letter to its >lowercase equivalent.
Which is probably the main reason the alphabets are considered distinct, tho I wonder how offen it would come handy. The distinction between different upper case <> lower case mappings, especially. John Vertical _________________________________________________________________ Windows Live Messenger - kivuttoman viestinnän puolestapuhuja.


Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>