CSUR Tonal

Luke Dashjr luke at dashjr.org
Sat Mar 14 11:17:44 CDT 2015

On Friday, August 06, 2010 9:02:39 AM Andrew West wrote:
> Looking at the examples shown on
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_W._Nystrom>, it seems to me that
> 0-8 are ordinary digits, and the symbols for 9 through 15 are inverted
> or inverted+modified forms of the digits '7' through '1', so that
> there is some sort of imperfect bilateral symmetry on the clock and
> compass faces, with '0' and '8' as the axis of symmetry. Thus the '9'
> is an inverted '6' (as 16-6=10) not an ordinary '9'. So except for the
> odd glyph forms for 9, 11, 12 and 15 (would be be expected to be
> simple inversions of '7', '5', '4' and '1') it makes sense as a system
> to me.
> Anyhow, I do not think the ordinary digits '0' through '8' should be
> encoded in the CSUR.

The question was recently raised whether this reasoning is sound, considering 
that the digits '0' through '8' are not the same when being "rendered" by 
text-to-speech. A number '100' (written in tonal digits) ought not be spoken 
the same as ASCII '100' although it is visually identical when displayed as 
writing. Does Unicode give any relevance to non-visual rendering, or do TTS 
just need to settle for environmental hints (eg, the user explicitly telling 
it tonal numbers are in use)?

For additional context, the pronunciation vs visual differentiation came up 
when trying to get the BTC "B with double lines" encoded in Ubuntu's fonts. 
The font designers argue that because the BTC version should be pronounced 
"bitcoins", it is not appropriate to use the existing encoding which might be 
pronounced differently[1].

Thank you for any insight on this matter,


1. https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-font-family/+bug/1061115

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