Re: Writing a proposal for an unusual script: SignWriting

From: Mark E. Shoulson (
Date: Fri Jun 11 2010 - 16:08:02 CDT

  • Next message: "Re: Writing a proposal for an unusual script: SignWriting"

    On 06/11/2010 03:39 PM, steve wrote:
    > Greetings Unicode List,
    > The primary difference between SignWriting and other scripts is that
    > SignWriting is a spatial script. The graphemes of SignWriting are not
    > written sequentially and do not have definable attachment points.
    > Imagine a two dimensional canvas. The graphemes can be written anywhere
    > on the canvas. A completed sign (or word) will consist of several
    > graphemes spatially arranged on a canvas. There is an infinite number
    > of signs that can be created.
    > A spatial script requires a coordinate system, either cartesian or
    > polar. I do not believe Unicode currently includes any spatial scripts,
    > but it is impossible to use SignWriting without a coordinate system.

    I should probably read up more about SignWriting before trying to
    answer, but (yes, that stupid "I should do X but...") I'm wondering if
    there might be ways to shoehorn things into Unicode's style anyway.

    One answer might be what was done for Western musical notation. The
    notes depend on position, but that information is not considered part of
    the encoding; that is left up to "higher order formatting." So too you
    could have the positioning information wind up someplace "out of scope,"
    which would make encoding SignWriting simpler, but not really solve the
    issue of representing it (you'd have to do more work to complete that).

    Another possibility (which maybe they could have used for musical
    notation too) is to try to narrow down the locations into some finite
    set and work out some way to code those. This seems to be essentially
    what has been done on which you linked to. I
    wonder if this will work out; if anything is suited to this approach, it
    would be western musical notation—which didn't use it.


    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Jun 11 2010 - 16:10:24 CDT