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RE: FVS for NA

From: <jrmt@almas.co.jp>
Date: Fri, 7 Aug 2015 22:57:49 +0900
To: "'Martin Heijdra'" <mheijdra@Princeton.EDU>, "'Richard Wordingham'" <richard.wordingham@ntlworld.com>, <public-i18n-mongolian@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000001d0d119$0c198110$244c8330$@almas.co.jp>
Martin, 

Thank you very much for your detailed explanation.
It is very helpful. 
Actually, we had communicated with Aaron Bell and Greg Eck in early 2014 or
in the 2013.
When they are working on the Mongolian Baiti's version 5.11 revision.
I have told they have the updated document and we have followed the
Mongolian Baiti's mapping in most case.
Only one thing is not followed point is "those -i diphthongs things".
But there are something we had missed. I found our font slightly different
on http://r12a.github.io/scripts/mongolian/variants
 
It is true I am looking forward to have one globally accepted Variant
mapping rules from UTC or W3C.
We will soon modify our font mappings to follow the new standards.

Thanks and Best Regards,

Jirimutu
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-----Original Message-----
From: Martin Heijdra [mailto:mheijdra@Princeton.EDU] 
Sent: Friday, August 7, 2015 10:32 PM
To: Richard Wordingham; public-i18n-mongolian@w3.org
Subject: RE: FVS for NA

Richard, Jirimutu:

1. The original document which specified that was the TR 170 document agreed
upon by China and Mongolia in 1999. 

I actually started with learning about Mongolian encoding when I asked
Unicode how the NA would be treated, as a toggle, or whether a FVS would be
needed either before a vowel or consonant, thus whether it would be denoted
a specific glyph. 

2. The above document (which I could send or you could find on the net, but
the discussion is way beyond that now) is completely insufficient for full
processing, even if it was useful as the first step; and there were some
slight discrepancies with the table as published in Menggu wen bian ma,
although they were supposed to be 100% the same. I found just small mistakes
in both versions (not different opinions, most probably just mistakes--but
it made it difficult to declare one version the end-all.)

I am not sure what access most people have to the Menggu wen bian ma book. I
*think* Andrew only put the tables in that book online, the meat of the
book. In addition to the table, and some documents treating a few background
issues, there are some documents (in Chinese) about the exchange of Unicode
and the that combined Chinese-Mongolian group, discussing e.g. whether a
Mongolian space or a NNBSP is needed. Of historical interest only (but I
have nothing against historical interest.)

3. The real tables needed to decide behavior in running text were provided
to me by Microsoft, and originated with long documents, for each of the 4
scripts, made under auspices of prof Quejingzhabu. I am not sure who
provided the input, whether it was him singly or a group effort; certainly
largely Chinese. Since I received at one time updates, also that document
was not final apparently; and changes could be in the order of those -i
diphthongs, so not minor. I have no doubt that an updated final, widely
agreed-upon version of this document is wat is needed to be published by
Unicode (it was not specific to any particular implementation such as
OpenType, thus even the more useful), but its proprietary status or not was
never too clear to me. From the answer by Jirimutu I gather that some
version is available to this group (the 7th?), but that there are later
versions that are not (yet). I know it is apparently difficult to get that,
but I can't see how a shared understanding can be created without it. You
don't want to have a situation whereby you on behalf of Unicode publish one
version, and everyone in Inner Mongolia (where the major part of users and
publications of traditional Mongolian are) follow another. There would be
nothing standard about that. On the other hand, China can't declare as
standard anything which is not published either.

4. There are similar documents for Manchu, Todo and Sibe. The latter two are
rather trivial, the first is not. The relationship was largely so that the
definitions of FVSs were for the script, NOT only for its Mongolian-language
implementation (thus, if the same "letter" would follow different rules in
different languages, they were separated; but conversely, if their behavior
did not conflict (even if certain variants might be specific to one
language),  letters were unified.) Thus, occasionally behavior in Manchu
could/should influence the Mongolian discussion. However, since Manchu is a
dead language, I for one would be perfectly happen to favor Mongolian as the
guideline to set defaults. But the ai/ay/ayi issue definitely also involves
Manchu. (BTW, I am also surprised nobody has pointed out words like naiman
yet.) Uyghur, from which Mongolian is derived, is not specified as a
language covered by this script. In practice Daur is. The registers for
Sanskrit- and Tibetan-derived scripts create additional problems, but also
there I for one would treat those only secondarily, not influencing the
choices of FVSs.

5. Richard: you refer to "aleph" and referred once to the Daniels & Bright
book, I think. That is a particularly useless piece of writing for
Mongolian: it treats the derivation of the script historically before it
actually settled down, while not at all treating current behavior (with that
purpose, it may be useful, and the author is famous and competent. But it
should in my view never have been published in this book, since all the
other entries were about current scripts and how they work.) A comparison is
if the Latin script would only be treated as far as it derived from
Egyptian, and  only use it as a version of Egyptian. Any other English or
German introduction to the language or script is superior.


Martin

-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Wordingham [mailto:richard.wordingham@ntlworld.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 06, 2015 7:14 PM
To: public-i18n-mongolian@w3.org
Subject: Re: FVS for NA

On Thu, 6 Aug 2015 13:15:10 +0000
Martin Heijdra <mheijdra@Princeton.EDU> wrote:

> Thus, the following message refers to the N. The FVS1 there always was 
> defined as a *toggle*, always meaning "the first exception to the
> rule": thus, in running text, NA+FVS1 did NOT refer to a particular 
> glyph, and any such assumption so is wrong (unless you completely 
> change the rules). The NA has different default versions, with or 
> without dot, before consonants and vowels; the FVS1 chooses the 
> opposite. Thus, in running text, unlike metatext, there is no ONE 
> definition of NA+FVS1: it depends on context. At least, that was the 
> model chosen. Thus it is not even true to say, what is the case in 
> most cases, that the FVS defines a glyph, but that whether the FVS is 
> needed in running text depends on the context, and I think that is the 
> assumption of many: the very shape of NA+FVS1 depends on the context.

Where is this toggling behaviour by FVS1 explicitly specified?  I have find
no trace of such a specification.

Additionally, where have we recorded the rules for dotting NA?  For example,
it is not clear from what Martin said that an aleph as the initial but not
the only part of a vowel symbol counts as a consonant. 

Richard.
Received on Friday, 7 August 2015 13:58:12 UTC

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