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RE: [css3-text] line break opportunities are based on *syllable* boundaries?

From: Andrew Cunningham <andrewc@vicnet.net.au>
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2011 14:14:13 +1100
Message-ID: <538704a37aeb63b6786db2deda508903.squirrel@mail.vicnet.net.au>
To: "Koji Ishii" <kojiishi@gluesoft.co.jp>
Cc: "Phillips, Addison" <addison@lab126.com>, "Kang-Hao Lu" <kennyluck@w3.org>, "WWW Style" <www-style@w3.org>, "WWW International" <www-international@w3.org>
syllable and grapheme clusters are quite distinct and separate concepts.

I'd argue that you do want syllable boundaries, rather than grapheme
cluster boundaries. But syllable boundaries are per language constructs,
based on the phonological and orthographic properties of that language.

While in unicode terms, grapheme clusters hav a more generic definition.

But I doubt that grapheme clusters will give you what you want.

On Fri, January 28, 2011 17:32, Koji Ishii wrote:
> I'm changing back to the original subject as you seem to be talking about
> the original topic, not the definition of "word".
> What I needed here is an appropriate terminology that represents single
> character within this context:
>> In several other writing systems, (including Chinese, Japanese, Yi,
>> and sometimes also Korean) a line break opportunities are based on
>> *syllable* boundaries, not words.
> I want "‚ƒ‚" consists of three, so from what you said, it sounds
> like "grapheme cluster" is the right choice of words to use here.
> I agree with you that the definition of "word" is different from grapheme
> cluster, and I guess answering to that question is even more difficult.
> Regards,
> Koji
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Phillips, Addison [mailto:addison@lab126.com]
> Sent: Friday, January 28, 2011 2:22 PM
> To: Kang-Hao (Kenny) Lu; Koji Ishii
> Cc: WWW Style; WWW International
> Subject: RE: What's the definition of a word? (was: [css3-text] line break
> opportunities are based on *syllable* boundaries?)
> The term "grapheme cluster" would be wrong for this context. A grapheme
> cluster is a sequence of logical characters that form a single visual unit
> of text (what is sometimes perceived as a "character" or "glyph"). This
> term is used for cases such as an Indic syllable followed by a combining
> vowel--in which a base character is combined with additional characters to
> form a single glyph on screen, rather than cases in which separate
> visual/logical units form a single "word" or "sound". It also applies to
> cases such as a base letter followed by a combining accent.
> To help illustrate this, notice that the word "the" is not a grapheme
> cluster, although it is a single syllable. Notice too that "‚ƒ‚"
> consists of *three* graphemes (grapheme clusters), but only two
> syllables.
> The relationship of Han ideographs to both "words" and "syllables" is
> complex and depends both on the language (it is different for Japanese,
> for example) and on context. It is sometimes true that "ideograph ==
> syllable" and sometimes also true that "ideograph == word".
> In any case, the concept of "grapheme cluster" should most definitely not
> be consider to be synonymous with either "word" or "syllable". It is a
> distinct unit and may not be *either* in a given context. My understand
> was that languages written using Han ideographs could be broken anywhere
> except for certain prescriptive cases (which differ by language). While
> this might map to some other concept such as syllables, wouldn't it be
> better to refer specifically to language specific rules?
> Unicode Standard Annex #14 [1] provides a useful description of
> line-breaking properties that may be helpful here.
> Regards,
> Addison
> [1] http://www.unicode.org/reports/tr14/
> Addison Phillips
> Globalization Architect (Lab126)
> Chair (W3C I18N, IETF IRI WGs)
> Internationalization is not a feature.
> It is an architecture.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: www-international-request@w3.org [mailto:www-international-
>> request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Kang-Hao (Kenny) Lu
>> Sent: Thursday, January 27, 2011 8:43 PM
>> To: Koji Ishii
>> Cc: WWW Style; WWW International
>> Subject: What's the definition of a word? (was: [css3-text] line break
>> opportunities are based on *syllable* boundaries?)
>> > In Chinese, Yi, and Hangul, a character represents a syllable as
>> far as I understand, but in Japanese, Kanji characters could have more
>> than one syllable, and also there are cases where multiple characters
>> represent single syllable (like Kana + prolonged sound mark).
>> >
>> > Although this part is not normative, it looks like we should
>> replace "syllable" with "grapheme cluster".
>> >
>> > Please let me know if this change can be incorrect to any other
>> writing systems listed here than Japanese.
>> The situation is similar for Chinese as far as I can tell.
>> Speaking about this, this is editorial but the last time I read the
>> spec, I got a little bit perplexed about the definition of "word".
>> Is
>> there a plan to briefly mention what a "word" is in the introduction
>> section? Or perhaps there should be a glossary that puts "word" and
>> "grapheme cluster" together? I doubt that there would be a consistent
>> and precise definition throughout the spec but a brief and non-
>> normative introduction seems helpful.
>> Cheers,
>> Kenny

Andrew Cunningham
Research and Development Coordinator
State Library of Victoria

Received on Saturday, 29 January 2011 03:14:54 UTC

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