various stroked characters

Date: Thu Sep 05 2002 - 16:07:03 EDT

I'm pondering what to do with various "X WITH STROKE" characters that are
in use. The dilemma is deciding when one has a typographic variant of
another character versus a new character.

One that I know is a clear-cut case is p with horizontal stroke through the
bowl (used in some phonetic traditions for voiceless bilabial fricative):
there is nothing like this, so it is a new character need.

The less clear cases involve b, d and g.

1) Lower case "b" with a horizontal stroke through the bowl (hereafter
"b-stroke-bowl") is used in some phonetic traditions for voiced bilabial
fricative (beta, in IPA). The annotation for U+0180 ("b" with a horizontal
stroke across the ascender) indicates that one of its intended purposes is
for phonetic transcription of the same phone. Of course, U+03B2 (beta) also
has this function and is not unified with 0180, but these are clearly
distinct characters (e.g. 0180 and 03B2 have other unrelated functions). I
can't imagine anyone using b-stroke-bowl contrastively with 0180. Thus,
probably the best option is to treat b-stroke-bowl as a typographic variant
of 0180.

Any opinions confirming this view or to the contrary?

2) Next, consider the g. The representative glyph in TUS3.0 for U+01E5
shows a double-bowl g with a horizontal stroke through both sides of the
bottom bowl. The annotation indicates that it is used for Skolt Saami.
Looking at a few fonts, I see some variations: Andale Mono and Code 2000
have a double-bowl g with a horizontal stroke through *the right side only*
of the lower bowl; Lucida Sans Unicode and Arial Unicode MS have a
single-bowl g with a horizontal stroke through the right side only of the

Now, what I'm concerned with is a g (single-bowl in all instances I'm
familiar with) that has a horizontal stroke through both sides of the
(upper -- only) bowl, used in some phonetic traditions to represent a
voiced velar fricative (IPA gamma). Any opinions on whether to treat this
as a new character or as a typographic variant of U+01E5?

3) Finally, the d. Unicode has three upper-case stroked-d characters for
which the representative glyphs are identical, but which have distinct
lower-case counterparts (the basis for having three distinct upper-case
characters). Of the three pairs, two really aren't relevant to this
discussion. The one relevant pair is U+0110 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER D WITH

Now, in some phonetic traditions, a "d" with a horizontal stroke through
the bowl (both sides) is used for a voiced interdental fricative (IPA
U+00F0). Some phonetic traditions represent this using U+0111.

I've also learned of some African languages that are written with upper and
lower stroked d; I've seen samples that show some glyph variation: some
samples show a horizontal stroke that crosses both sides (both upper and
lower case); other samples show the horizontal stroke on only one side --
through the stem of the upper case (just like U+00D0, U+0110 and U+0189),
and through the right side of the bowl of the lower case (not through the
ascender, as shown in the charts for U+0111).

So, again: any opinions on whether d-stroke-bowl should be unified with
U+0111 or considered a new character?

- Peter

Peter Constable

Non-Roman Script Initiative, SIL International
7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Dallas, TX 75236, USA
Tel: +1 972 708 7485
E-mail: <>

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