Mende Kikakui Number 10

Frédéric Grosshans frederic.grosshans at
Fri Jun 10 11:43:21 CDT 2016

Le 10/06/2016 18:05, Philippe Verdy a écrit :
> OK, <ONE;combining TEENS> represents 11, but <ONE;combining TENS> is 
> not clearly represents 10, and the proposals do not exhibit 10 with 
> the same glyph as PU (even if it is based on it, in fact the combining 
> TENS is a small subscript glyph variant of letter/syllable PU intended 
> to mark digits).
> Using letter PU would discard the initial digit 1, and the subscript 
> variant, making it confusable with a real letter/syllable PU.
> The initial proposal for letter 10 was a PU with a dot, i.e. instead 
> of small-subscripting the PU glyph for TENS, the PU glyph is still 
> used, but it is the initial digit one (normally a vertical stroke) 
> which is subperscripted as a smaller tick (an in my opinion this tick 
> should join with the letter PU, just like the other digits+TENS are 
> displayed by attaching the TENS subscript to the standard digit.
Reading the proposal again, there is a mention that the glyph for 10 
(puu) may be related to the one for PU (see page 3). They look really 
similar, have both the same dot above, but the difference is the extent 
of the vertical line on the right side. The normal way to write 10 does 
NOT include a digit 1. (see discussion at the end of p4, where it is 
explicitly stated), hence the confusion about the proper encoding of 
number 10

> But encoding a standalone digit 10 would have been better
It has certainly been considered, and one can guess from the ad-hoc 
document that many solutions have been evaluated and defended during 
this meeting, and the final decision was a practical compromise. The 
problem with the standalone number 10 is that the native user of the 
script see it as the same symbol as the TENS number, with an inherent 
dot which disapears when combined with something else.

> (and probably extending it to standalone versions for 11 and 12, for 
> usage with months numbers and hours on clock, just like with Roman 
> digits).
No! Roman numerals where included for compatibility with East Asian 
standards. They are compatibility characters.

> It would be interesting to look at how traditional solar clocks or 
> traditional calendars, or even "modern" mechanical clocks with 
> displays in Kikakui Mende, are showing these common numbers 10,11,12 
> (may be there are photos or facsimiles of artworks or "real life" 
> photos kept in some museum or in book library or videos showing some 
> religious celebrations or social events where these digits would have 
> been displayed or taught).

It may be interesting, but no standardisation happen because we 
speculate that “may be there are photos” showing these characters, which 
are presumably encodable as sequence !


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