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Mongolian Vowel Separator

From: fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>
Date: Mon, 04 Feb 2013 18:14:04 -0800
Message-ID: <51106AEC.9050604@inkedblade.net>
To: "www-archive@w3.org" <www-archive@w3.org>
Forwarding to www-archive for future reference...

Martin Heijdra wrote:
> fantasai wrote:
>>
>> Hi Martin!
>> I had a question about the Mongolian Vowel Separator.
>> Unicode lists it with all the visible spaces:
>>    http://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/category/Zs/list.htm
>>
>> Is it actually a visible space, that separates words? I can't
>> find much information on it, just wanted to make sure it wasn't
>> some word-internal formatting character.
>
> It's both, and that created some issues: at the moment I worked
> on the font a supposition that control characters had no physical
> representation was part of Uniscribe, and that caused the MVS not
> to have a physical space presence. An easy workaround was available,
> so we used that.
>
> The size should be 1/6 of an em. The presence of the MVS causes
> the previous letter to be the shape of a final (which therefore
> in some documentation is considered also a "medial" variant,
> judging from the position in the word); the MVS is then followed
> by a particular left-leaning final version of the "a" or "e".
>
> There are words which optionally can have an MVS, but in most cases
> there is a difference between a word with or without MVS, which
> otherwise would be the same. (Transcription e.g.  is ter-e vs. tere,
> or aq-a vs aqa.) It only occurs in Mongolian, not the other languages.
>
> Since the ONLY following letters can be the a or e, the work around
> was in the font to give the extra space to a special post-MVS variant
> of a/e rather than to the MVS; but the intention of the Mongolian
> rule writers clearly was that MVS was a space which caused particular
> behavior.
>
> > Is it used to separate words, like regular spaces, or is it
> > internal to a word? Or both?
>
> It's internal to a word (therefore, NEVER break there). It's often
> just a way to make a distinction between otherwise similar words,
> just like French ou and oł. And, as I said, only words ending on
> "a" or "e" can have this behavior.
>
> Martin
Received on Tuesday, 5 February 2013 02:14:43 GMT

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