lojban typography

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pne first had this thought when looking at the 6-panel folded-up Lojban Jay's Lojban Brochure that Jay Kominek made available. On the title page, it had "e'osai ko sarji la lojban", with the apostrophe shaped a bit like the number 9 ("smart quote"). I would have thought the Lojban apostrophe looks better as a straight up-and-down line. While either shape is recognisable as an apostrophe, I'd use a straight form for Lojban (and probably also for Hawai'ian and Tongan). What do you think?

  • For Hawaiian, the correct typography is actually an open single quote, not an apostrophe. The backtick (`) is sometimes used as an ASCII approximation; Unicode U+2018 will get you the real thing. --mi'e .braiyn.
    • Speaking of Unicode, I think that Lojban's apostrophe is actually U+02BC --Jay
    • pne agree... the character is very probably U+02BC. What the correct/appropriate glyph is, on the other hand, is what this debate is about :) (compare, for example, U+010F LATIN SMALL LETTER D WITH CARON, where Czech and/or Slovak prefers a glyph with an apostrophe while Verdurian needs a caron or a circumflex for the same character, or U+015F LATIN SMALL LETTER S WITH CEDILLA, of which the Rumanian s-with-comma-below was formerly considered a glyph variant before Unicode caved in and allocated U+0219 LATIN SMALL LETTER S WITH COMMA BELOW.)
      • I can’t interpret CLL chapter 3 as anything other than the character in question being exactly U+0027 and no other. As for glyph it doesn’t say. I usually use U+0027 even when intermingled with English texts, where I of course use U+2019. --Sandra.

Mark Shoulson prefer the 9-quote, for no sensible reason. I just do. And it should be bold and brave and large and hold its own against the letters, as it is so common and of nearly letter-importance in Lojban. Of course, I'm also on record as favoring the use of h' as an acceptable glyph variant of '' in Lojban, especially in handwriting where apostrophes are even more likely to be overlooked (but in print too!) -- mi'e mark

  • nitcion second the apostrophe argument (not the h one!)

Occasional use both in JL and the mailing list indicates that there's a case to be made for lojban quotation marks (used alongside li'u) being guillemets instead of English quotation marks. Arguments? -- nitcion

There are two parts to this argument: (1) should we use punctuation at all, as a visual adjunct to the punctuation-like words, and (2) if so, should we use guillemets instead of quote-marks. Question (1) is a matter of style and personal choice ((Mark Shoulson see no harm in doing it). As for (2), well, if you're going to use punctuation, then yes, I'd say guillemets have a certain visual advantage in a language that's heavy on apostrophes. I like to use them when possible in Klingon, for much the same reason. They have a nice strong presence on the page, but they don't overpower the letters. --mi'e mark

I find it redundant to use punctuation marks along with their verbose names, like ?xu. Is this what you meant, Nick? It also means that, in parsing, such punctuation marks would have to be filtered out rather than be trivially substituting for strings, as the digits currently are. Which of the several quote marks would the guillemets substitute for? I like "9-style" apostrophes, and I don't like "h". --mi'e xod

  • Perhaps �xu would be more appropriate?
    • I don't like much introducing punctuation, but if "�" is to be used I'd suggest using it with pau, and using "?" at the end of any bridi containing any question word. For example: i �pau do djica lo'e tcati ji lo'e ckafi? --xorxes
  • And exactly what "trivial" substitution are you going to use for '?'; would you like "xu", "ma", "xo", "ji", "cu'e", "je'i", "pei", "fi'a", "gi'i", "ge'i", "gu'i", "pau" or "mo"? Same predicament for quote words. Leaving out the real words breaks stuff. Don't do it. mi'e la .djorden.
    • le du'u za'uda sinxa zoi fufufuf. ? .fufufuf kei ckini node poi mi cusku ke'a .i ji'a le du'u mi sanji le nabmi cu smuni le du'u mi casnu za'udi poi sinxa zoi xazebisos. quotes .xazebisos .i mi'e xod

I understood this as meaning that {mi cusku lu" mi klama le zarci "li'u} would be replaced by {mi cusku lu� mi klama le zarci �li'u} (or something like that... whether the guillemets go on the inside or outside is probably up to the writer; perhaps {mi cusku �lu mi klama le zarci li'u�} looks nicer). --mi'e filip

  • What pne said. The number substitution should be a one-off; punct should be auxiliary only, and that is how it was proposed in JL. -- nitcion.

Since Mark Shoulson seem to be back on a fonting binge, anyone have any ideas for a Lojban font? That is, a font designed specifically for writing in Lojban. What features should it have? Obviously, a big and brave apostrophe; what else? Any neat-looking ligatures (like some kind of distinctive ".i" ligature for sentence-boundaries)? Any special characters (for typesetting purposes, not spelling)? Any features of the font? Serifs? Small-caps instead of full-sized? Boldface instead of caps? Just wondering.