Re: Japan opposes any proposals with UNICODE

From: NAOI Yasushi (
Date: Mon May 01 2000 - 08:46:25 EDT

At 3:44 PM +0900 00.4.30, Martin J. Duerst wrote:

>>I can't understand what the term "the same abstract shape" means. If six
>>characters in Figure 10-4 "would normaly be subject to unification" then:
>>o Do U+50C9 and U+91D1 have the same abstract shape?
>>o DO U+5202 and U+5204 have the same abstract shape?
>>I can't believe that. I agree these six Kanji characters are cognate, I
>>however think U+50C9 and U+91D1
> As far as I know, these are definitely not cognate.
>>(U+5202 and U+5204) are not cognate and
>>not similar at all.
> I'm not familliar enough with them, and don't have
> references handy.

U+5202 or U+5204 traditionally differs from another in both meaning and
pronunciation. The evidence can be seen in KangXi dictionary, Morohashi
dictionary, and Hanyu Da Zidian, which are standard IRG dictionaries.

> At least the first case seems to suggest that of the six Kanji
> in Fig. 10-4, the last one might be removed. There are other
> rules that would prevent it's unification, too.

That's for sure.

> But please note that if two characters A and B differ
> only in components C and D, and C and D are considered
> non-cognate or different in abstract shape, this doesn't
> automatically mean that A and B are considered to be
> different in abstract shape.
> There are quite some examples where a difference in a simple
> character is important, but if that appears as a component,
> the difference becomes less relevant. The most famous case
> (usually explained as non-cognate, not as a difference
> in abstract shape) is U+571F vs. U+58EB.

We might think that U+571F and U+58EB have the same abstract shape
(since they have quite similar shape), as you pointed out. On the
contrary, U+5202 and U+5204 are not only non-cognate but also quite
different in their shape. So, what you've mentioned is questionable for
me. I think if components C and D are considered non-cognate AND different
in abstract shape then Kanji A and B might be automatically considered to
be different in abstract shape.

Further, I think that the meaning of "the same abstract shape" is very
ambiguous and arbitrary. For example, I can't understand the reason why
U+6649 and U+664B are treated as the components that have the same
abstract shape, while U+5939 and U+593E are treated as the components that
are different in abstract shape in The Unicode Standard.

NAOI Yasushi
Glamour Profession, Inc.

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