Standaridized variation sequences for the Deseret alphabet?

Martin J. Dürst duerst at
Thu Mar 23 00:54:03 CDT 2017

Hello Michael, others,

[Fixed script name in subject.]

On 2017/03/23 09:03, Michael Everson wrote:
> On 22 Mar 2017, at 21:39, David Starner <prosfilaes at> wrote:

>> There's the same characters here, written in different ways.
> No, it’s not. Its the same diphthong (a sound) written with different letters.

I think this may well be the *historically* correct analysis. And that 
may have some influence on how to encode this, but it shouldn't be dominant.

What's most important is (past and) *current use*. If the distinction is 
an orthographic one (e.g. different words being written with different 
shapes), then that's definitely a good indication for splitting.

On the other hand, if fonts (before/outside Unicode) only include one 
variant at the time, if people read over the variant without much ado, 
if people would be surprised to find both corresponding variants in one 
and the same text (absent font variations), if there are examples where 
e.g. the variant is adjusted in quotes from texts that used the 'old' 
variant inside a text with the 'new' variants, and so on, then all these 
would be good indications that this is, for actual usage purposes, just 
a font difference, and should therefore best be handled as such.

The closes to the current case that I was able to find was the German ß. 
It has roots in both an ss and an sz (to be precise, an ſs and an ſz) 
ligature (seeß). And indeed in some 
fonts, its right part looks more like an s, and in other fonts more like 
a z (and in lower case, more often like an s, but in upper case, much 
more like a (cursive) Z). Nevertheless, there is only one character (or 
two if you count upper case) encoded, because anything else would be 
highly confusing to virtually all users.

What is right for Deseret has to be decided by and for Deseret users, 
rather than by script historians.

Regards,   Martin.

>> The glyphs may come from a different origin, but it's encoding the same idea.
> We don’t encode diphthongs. We encode the elements of writing systems. The “idea” here is represented by one ligature of �� + �� (1855 EW), one ligature of �� + �� (1859 EW), one ligature of �� + �� (1855 OI), and one ligature of �� + �� (1859 OI).
> Those ligatures are not glyph variants of one another. You might as well say that Æ and Œ are glyph variants of one another.
>> If a user community considers them separate, then they should be separated, but I don't see that happening, and from an idealistic perspective, I think they're platonically the same.
> I do not agree with that analysis. The ligatures and their constituent parts are distinct and distinctive. In fact, it might have been that the choice for revision was to improve the underlying phonology. In any case, there’s no way that the bottom pair in can be considered to be “glyph variants” of the top pair. Usage is one thing. Character identity is another. Æ is not Œ. A ligature of �� + �� is not a ligature of �� + ��.
> Michael Everson
> .

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