Re: Standaridized variation sequences for the Desert alphabet?

From: Michael Everson <>
Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2017 18:27:40 +0100

On 6 Apr 2017, at 17:45, Mark Davis ☕️ <> wrote:

>> We have honed over many years our understanding of writing systems, and saying “Oh, 𐐉-with-stroke and 𐐃-with stroke are variant shapes of the same thing”… Anyone can see that this is not true.
> ​"Anyone" doesn't matter. What matters is users of Deseret, not you, not me.

Firstly, I am a user of Deseret. I have designed Deseret fonts and typeset books and published them. Secondly, professional script encoders like me are the ones who give advice and counsel to people who come to us with encoding needs.

> If knowledgeable users of Deseret recognize two shapes as representing the same character, that is what matters.

Representing the same sound is not the same thing as representing the same character.

> Similarly, users of Fraktur will recognize that very different shapes represent the same Latin character, while some very similar (to other's eyes) shapes represent different characters (some of the capitals, for example).

Whole-script identity of Roman, Gaelic, and Fraktur is a different kind of identity than the identification of letterforms based on 𐐃/𐐅/𐐋/𐐉 with the stroke of 𐐆.

>> ​The recent instance of adding attested capital letters for ʂ and ʐ is a perfect example. We have seen before some desire to see evidence for casing pairs (though often it has not been sought.) We have never before seen evidence for casing pairs to be thrown out. Case, of course, is a function of the Latin script, just as it is of Greek and Cyrillic and Armenian and Cherokee and both Georgian scripts and others. The UTC’s refusal to encode attested capitals for ʂ and ʐ simply makes no sense.
> ​To you.

I am not answered by such an abrupt, dismissive response. Please explain how the inconsistency makes sense.

>> Your statement "Merely because a character have multiple shapes is not grounds for disunifying it” suggests an underlying view that "everything is already encoded and additions are disunifications”.
> ​No, not at all. That is a false dichotomy.

Well, you used the word “disunify”. To me, that means you assume that if a character which can be used for the diphthong /juː/ has been encoded, that when another, different one is found, with a different derivation, then the second is automatically pre-judged to be unified with the first and must be disunified from it. That does not make sense, because we encode writing systems, not sounds. My view on this has been consistent since I first embarked on this work.

Michael Everson
Received on Thu Apr 06 2017 - 12:28:29 CDT

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