Trying to figure out if ǣ and a͞e would sound the same

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/10/16 10:31 -04:00, original URI:

Today I am going to try to clear out some Contact link questions.... 

And a third recent Contact link question was from Leb:

I've been reading your blog for some time now, mostly to clean information on collation. It's good stuff!

I do have a problem, however, and I was just curious if you might have any thoughts. Our group is working with the Menominee language, an almost extinct language spoken by Native Americans in the state of Wisconsin. The orthography they selected necessitated the use of an ae-macron digraph, represented by U+0061 U+035E U+0065.

Now, the group is comprised of largely non-technical persons using Forms in Access 2002 to input data. We've setup a Windows keyboard for them to use that allows them to seamlessly enter this digraph but I think we might have stumbled on a bug in Access or something -- if a word is selected (as in, highlighted) that contains the aforementioned digraph, it fails to render properly. This is to say, the first letter disappears leaving a white space and the double macron shortens in appearance to a single macron. As soon as you deselect the field, everything looks fine.

Would you happen to have any idea what might be causing this?



One of the biggest problems with combing characters is that unless there are specific glyphs that are directly mapped to for a particular sequence, the results of relying on fonts to (a) have all the component pieces and (b) look right consistently when you use the sequence is quite slim.

Taking the sequence U+0061 U+035E U+0065:


you can sort of get results sometimes, but in the specific case of Access two different fonts get used in those two modes and there is no way to control both of them to guarantee the results will always look right (unless both fonts were updated to do a better job here).

For what it is worth, things seem to look much better in Vista for both modes in Access and in Vista in general, which would perhaps represent one alternative here.

To be honest I think the results using U+01e2 (Ǣ, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER AE WITH MACRON) and U+01e3 (ǣ, LATIN SMALL LETTER AE WITH MACRON) will probably be better here, and are more likely to be in vatious fonts....


This post brought to you by Ǣ and ǣ (U+01e2 and U+01e3, a.k.a. LATIN CAPITAL LETTER AE WITH MACRON and LATIN SMALL LETTER AE WITH MACRON)

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