Mende Kikakui Number 10

Philippe Verdy verdy_p at
Fri Jun 10 13:51:02 CDT 2016

2016-06-10 18:43 GMT+02:00 Frédéric Grosshans <frederic.grosshans at>

> 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.

So the error was to encode the TENS as a combining character instead of a
standalone, that would have just created a ligature when it follows a digit
from 2 to 9

If TENS had been a normal digit (non combining) the sequence from 1 to 10
would be uninterrupted and encoded with just one character.

Between 11 and 19, the TEENS would still be needed as a combining character
after a digit 1-9 (it does not exist in standalone, except after a SPACE or
NBSP or a DOTTED CIRCLE to show it as a spacing character like we do for
usual diacritics).

Then for 20, 30, ... 90, we would have just encoded TWO..NINE, TEN (as a
contextual ligature). No ligature was needed for 10 (only encoded as the
single character TEN).

But now that TEN is a combining character we then need to use NBSP,TEN...
or ONE,TEN ! I'm not convinced, given waht you say, that this insertion of
ONE is conceptually correct if  the language is perceived as not
differentiating the character when it is used in isolation for 10 or in
combination with TWO for 20.

Having to insert a ONE before TEN looks like a Unicode-specific quirk not
matching the logical perception of the script.
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