LINGUIST List 2.352

Saturday, 20 July 1991

Disc: Character Encoding

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  1. "Thomas R. Hofmann", Whistler's characters & ISO representation

Message 1: Whistler's characters & ISO representation

Date: 17 Jul 91 11:13:47 EDT
From: "Thomas R. Hofmann" <71721.2655%CompuServe.COMRICEVM1.RICE.EDU>
Subject: Whistler's characters & ISO representation
Whistler (Jun10) makes a very good case for Unicode in pointing out
that any collection of composite characters (character + diacritic) will
inevitably miss the various kinds of ad-hoc transcriptions that have
been based on Latin script, already published over hundreds of years, &
I might add, the many more that textual annotators have employed but did
not publish. It strikes me then that linguists, philologists, & even
historians have a reason to make their needs known & that ISO draft DIS
10646 needs floating diacritics (& hence serious revision).
I have 2 simple questions:
1st, I understand that ISO is a supra-national effort, & that a private
person's input can only be through their national representative. If
so, how do I find out who the representatives from Canada, USA & Japan
are, to express my opinion? (& their e-addresses)
2nd, I have a need, & I believe that there will be a general need as
long as English spelling is not revised, for diacritics that stretch
over 2 characters, such as is found in the _Concise Oxford Dictionary_.
Such a scheme, suitably revised, is not only a multidialectal phonology,
but coordinates pronunciation with standard spelling, a vital
requirement for ESL/EFL learners & native reading education -- it is
like the ITA (initial teaching alphabet) but valid for many dialects &
in addition, consistent with traditional spelling.
Does Unicode have any provision for such long diacritics? Or, for a
1/2-measure, placing a diacritic between 2 characters? (Some elements
of English spelling are longer than 2 characters, such as OUGH, or even
A 3rd question is whether anyone can advise me on software (preferably
PC-compatable) that can do this last feat for camera-ready copy. How do
publishers manage this?
 Ron Hofmann Ab0665JpnKnzw1.Bitnet
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