Unified Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics—Missing Syllable Characters

Jean-François Colson jf at colson.eu
Wed Jul 16 07:45:10 CDT 2014

Le 15/07/14 04:07, Robert Wheelock a écrit :
> Hello!


> I just started to make an ASDF layout for the Innuktitut syllabics 
> characters (in association with Fontboard).

Where can I find Fontboard’s official website ?

>   The syllabic charcters are assigned to their (closest match) Innuit 
> Latin keys (/a/ on A, /pa/ on P, ...) as follows:
> /ai/ (e)    E /i/ I /u/ (o)    U /a/    A
> /h/    O
> /pai/    <SH>B /tai/ <SH>D /kai/    <SH>G /gai/ (tse)    <SH>J
> /mai/    <SH>? /nai/ <SH>~ /sai/    <SH>Z /lai/ <SH>|
> /jai/ (ye)    <SH>F /vai/ (fe) <SH>V /rai/    <SH>Q /lhai/ (lhe)    <SH>{
> /pi/    B /ti/ D /ki/    G /gi/ (tsi)    J /mi/ / /ni/    ` /si/    Z 
> /li/    \
> /ji/ (yi)    F /vi/ (fi)    V /ri/    Q /lhi/    [
> /pu/    <SH>P /tu/ <SH>T /ku/    <SH>K /gu/ (tso)    <SH>C
> /mu/    <SH>M /nu/ <SH>N /su/    <SH>S /lu/ <SH>L
> /ju/ (yo)    <SH>Y /vu/ (fo) <SH>W /ru/    <SH>R /lhu/ (lho)    <SH>}
> /pa/    P /ta/ T /ka/    K /ga/ (tsa)    C /ma/ M /na/    N /sa/    S 
> /la/    L
> /ja/ (ya)    Y /va/ (fa)    W /ra/    R /lha/    ]

I have a few questions:
— How do you handle the final consonants?
— How do you type long syllables (those with a dot above)? with a dead 
key or with the Alt Gr (= right Alt) key?
— There are a few missing characters in your description:
      • ? : You could map it to Shift + ? (Shift + O).
      • ? ? ? ? (qai qi qu qa): You could map them to the still unused 
keys H and X.
      • ? ? ? ? (ngai ngi ngu nga): There’s no room left for them. If 
you applied your general scheme (pai = Shift + pi, pu = Shift + pa), you 
could move ? to Shift + ? and ? to Shift + ?. That way, the keys E and U 
could be freed to accept ? ? ? ?.
      • ? ? ? (nngi nngu nnga): I have no idea where you could put them.
— ? replaces the ?. Aren’t there any question marks in Inuktitut?

> There are quite a few _/missing/_ syllablics characters:
> ·The character for the syllable /lhai/ (lhe) (like a horizontally 
> mirrored /lhi/, or a rotated /lha/)

Once upon a time, the ai-pai-tai… syllables were discarded in Inuktitut 
because there weren’t enough room for the whole syllabary on the daisy 
wheel of an electric typewriter.
Later, they were readopted in Nunavik, but not in Nunavut where ? is 
still written ??.
Apparently, ? ? ? ? ? ? ? are used only at the West of Hudson’s Bay (in 
Nunavut). Therefore, there is no need for a lhai syllable.
If you have examples of use of that syllable, please share them with us 
and the powers that be could perhaps investigate a little about it.

> ·The characters for the entire /sp/- series (shown on Wikipedia’s 
> article on UCAS as copies of ZESS, Z, N, and Russian Cyrillic I-OBROTNOYE)

I suppose ? and ?, which are used for l and r in some languages, come 
from there, and their finals, ? and ?, were not forgotten.
But you’re right : those letters, which look like Z, reversed Z, N, and 
? were completely forgotten.
Perhaps they were judged too archaic to be encoded.
But now, Unicode includes hieroglyphs, cuneiforms, and many other old 
scripts, so I think those characters could be considered for a proposal.

> Where would y’all think about where to place these still-missing UCAS 
> characters?!?!
> Thank You!
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