Garth Wallace gwalla at gmail.com
Thu Jan 7 14:39:50 CST 2016

On Thu, Jan 7, 2016 at 7:56 AM, suzuki toshiya
<mpsuzuki at hiroshima-u.ac.jp> wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm not a representative of the experts working for the
> proposal from Japan NB, but I could explain something.
> 1) "They never took that out?" I'm not sure who you mean
> "they" (UTC? JNB?), but it seems that no official document
> asking for the response from JNB is submitted in WG2.
> If UTC sends something officially, JNB would response
> something, I believe.

I meant the JNB. I thought they had removed that character from the
later revised proposals that were posted on the UTC document register,
but I checked and I had apparently been mistaken.

The issue is only raised in passing in a footnote in Mr. Lunde's feedback.

> 2) Difference in HENTAIGANA LETTER E-1 and U+1B001.
> U+1B001 is a character designed to note an ancient (and
> extinct in modern Japanese language) pronunciation YE.
> When standard kana was defined about 100 years ago,
> the pronunciation YE was already merged to E.
> Some scholars planned to use a few kana-like characters
> to note such pronunciation (to discuss about the ancient
> Japanese language pronunciation), and used some hentaigana-
> like glyphs for such purpose. As far as I know, there is
> no wide consensus that the glyph looking like U+1B001 was
> historically used to note YE mainly, when YE and E were
> distinctively used in Japanese language.

AIUI they simply reused an existing hentaigana to make the
distinction, rather than making a new kana that just happened to look
exactly like it.

> On the other hand, JNB's proposal does not include any
> ancient/extinct pronunciation, Their phonetic coverage
> is exactly same with modern Japanese language. So,
> the glyph looking like U+1B001 is not designed to note
> the pronunciation YE. The motivation why JNB proposed
> hentaigana would be just because of their shape differences.
> Therefore, U+1B001 and HENTAIGANA E-1 could be said as
> differently designed, their designed usages are different.
> Please do not think JNB hentaigana experts overlooked
> U+1B001 and proposed a duplicated encoding. They ought to
> have known it but proposed.

It's not unknown for a single character to have more than one
pronunciation in different contexts.

> However, some WG2 experts suggested to unify them because
> of the shape similarity. I'm not sure whether 2 glyphs are
> indistinctively similar for hentaigana scholars, but I
> accept with that some people are hard to distinguish.
> I cannot distinguish some Latin and Greek alphabets when
> they are displayed as single isolated character.

We're not talking about about different scripts, though. Hentaigana
are obsolete hiragana (eliminated from modern written Japanese by a
spelling reform) but they are still hiragana. Latin and Greek, on the
other hand, are clearly separate but related scripts.

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