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Thanks, Valentin, glad the info was helpful. I'm interested in pursuing the matter of "missing" Ajami diacritics or whatever in Unicode Arabic - for all languages of the region - and wonder if there is any existing effort in this area. If not, would there be sufficient interest in setting up some sort of means of sharing information across language specializations (Manding, Hausa, Fula, Berber, Wolof, etc.) about: 1) what special characters and diacritics are/were used in Ajami writing across Africa (mainly West), 2) what of these are available (or adaptable) in Unicode, and 3) what of these are not included in Unicode and might, subsequent to further research, be proposed to the Unicode consortium (possibly with aid of the Berkeley Script Encoding Initiative). I could set something low-maintenance up if there is interest/need but no one with the time to take this on - just so that there is a common "space" to collect the minutiae of Ajami diacritics etc. I have no idea whether we'd ultimately be talking about a total of 4 or 5 diacritics that Unicode does not yet account for, or about some significantly larger number of diacritics and modified letters. I cc to several people with expertise & interest in Ajami, as well as to some others from the a12n-collaboration WG, and also Deborah Anderson of the Script Encoding Initiative for comment on any or all of the above. Sorry for the blunderbuss approach - I'd just like to bring this phase of this (admittedly scattered) discussion to some sort of cloture so that it can be built on rather than duplicated again elsewhere in a couple of years (noting that some of these issues were touched on already on H-West-Africa a few years ago). Thanks in advance! Don Don Osborn, Ph.D. email@example.com *Bisharat! A language, technology & development initiative *Bisharat! Initiative langues - technologie - développement http://www.bisharat.net ----- Original Message ----- From: "Valentin Vydrine" <vydrine@VV1964.spb.edu> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent: Wednesday, November 06, 2002 8:00 AM Subject: Manding Adjami > Don, thank you for your prompt answer. > >> Thanks, Valentin. The lack of harmonization (not to speak of >> standardization) of Ajami transcriptions has of course been noted for other >> languages as well - for instance by John Philips wrt Hausa. There >> were >> never (so far as I know) any regional meetings in Africa on >> harmonization of >> transcription for Ajami such as there were for Latin-based >> orthographies in >> the 60s and 70s, and even in the case of the latter there are still varying >> conventions after all the work. >> >> I took a quick look at Unicode chart for Arabic at >> http://www.unicode.org/charts/PDF/U0600.pdf for the characters you >> seek and >> think I found all there - see in text below (I assume there are >> corresponding presentation forms for each). Maybe lackof fonts is the >> issue? Apparently there's not much that includes this range. I did >> find >> that the Arial Unicode MS font has these - but if you don't have that >> or >> want that typeface, I don't have any suggestions. > > Thank you! I looked into the chart; effectively, all characters I need > are there - except for zal with two dots above: > in Mandinka, these dots are one under the other, and in the Chart, they are horizontal. > > I'll read the information in the sites you mention and try to make out what can I do with it. > >> The larger issue, of assuring that Unicode includes necessary >> diacritics and >> can make the necessary combinations, still seems valid. Has survey >> work on >> modified Arabic scripts like that of Nikolai Dobronravine been >> extended to >> comparing what people write (characters and diacritics) with what is >> currently in the Unicode repertoire? Or is it as you suggest not >> really >> possible to account for all the various diacritics in use? > > to my knowledge, no survey of the Mandinka Adjami has been done, exept > for my publication in the Mandenkan bulletin, No. 33. > Generally speaking, Mandinka Adjami is a pariah of the Manding studies: VERY little has been published on it, there are very few texts > available... leave alone its use in electronic form! > >> As for the Unicode process, it's fairly involved from all I can see (details >> are at http://www.unicode.org/pending/proposals.html). For Ajami characters >> and diacritics that are not yet included, if the number of characters >> involved turned out to be significant, it might be possible to work >> with the >> Berkeley Script Encoding Initiative (see >> http://linguistics.berkeley.edu/~dwanders/), such as the N'Ko folks >> apparently are. > > thank you! > > Valentin Vydrine > John Edward Philips, Ph.D. http://www2.gol.com/users/philips/