[scribus] tone marks

John Jason Jordan johnxj at comcast.net
Fri May 17 14:14:05 UTC 2013

On Thu, 16 May 2013 20:29:35 +0100
scribus.mantis.mail_in at a-bc.net dijo:

>With recent development of the language, there are changes coming up
>for the orthography. It will mean (one or more) tone marks on certain
>vowels and possibly even certain consonants.
>All we would need is some help, for correctly placing those famous
>combining diacritical marks, listed as Unicode U+300 to U+036F. We only
>need a fraction of those, and our vowels are these:
>A a
>Ǝ ǝ
>E e
>Ɛ ɛ
>I i
>Ɩ ɩ
>O o
>Ɔ ɔ
>U u
>Ʊ ʊ
>Sadly our alphabet is not located in just one code page (like Greek or
>Arabic), we are using the "crumbs off the table" from various
>Latin-tables and even from IPA; because a few years back, Africa missed
>the moment to lobby for their languages. But maybe the problem of
>placing "the combinings" is not so much dependent on what the
>"carrier-character" is?
>I will attach some test-data, which was made by colleagues a while ago.
>Our needs are much less, but it gives you an idea. Just copy&paste that
>into a recent LibreOffice with a well-stocked font (like Andika), and
>it should look "bad", but nicely so.
>Then paste it into Scribus 1.4.2 (my latest) and the markers will go
>wild (sideways). Not meant as a criticism.

The first thing I note is that Scribus will not substitute glyphs, but
LibreOffice will. When you type a character (regardless of how you do
it) into a LibreOffice document, if the font does not contain the glyph
LibreOffice will search other fonts on your computer to find one that
does have the glyph, and then substitute it. You can turn this feature
off, but it is on by default, and LibreOffice does not tell the user
what it has done. Later you select all the text in the LibreOffice
document and paste it into Scribus, and all the substituted glyphs will
be blank spaces because Scribus will not substitute glyphs. This is by
design, and it's a good thing. In desktop publishing sometimes we need
to send a file to a print shop and if the print shop does not have all
the fonts the output will be missing the glyphs. 

I would suggest you start by using the Junicode font. It is free, open
source, and was created by Prof. Peter Baker, who is a linguist. It is
extremely complete and should have all the glyphs you need.

One way to enter the glyphs on a Linux computer is Ctrl-Shift+u, then
enter the Unicode value. However, this can be tedious if you need to do
it all the time. A faster way is to use the Compose key. Computers in
the U.S. do not have a Compose key, but you can add it by changing the
settings in Linux. I did so and assigned it to the Windows key, which
is otherwise useless for me. Using the Compose key I can type a lot of
characters; for example, I hold down the Compose key and type an e,
then release the Compose key and type e again, and I get a schwa ə.
Unfortunately, the Compose key won't do all of the glyphs in your
sample above, but there is a file somewhere on the computer that the
Compose key uses to look up which glyph to use. I think you can modify
that file to suit yourself. 

I hope some of that helps. [ɡʊd lʌk] !

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