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Charles Butler wrote:
> How is Hongul (Korean) encoded.  I thought it was spacial characters 
> merged to look like graphics, not a corpus of words.  There are only 
> 20 letters in Korean, yet it does print looking like ideographs.
>  

Hi Charles,

There are 11172 different Hangul.  These are created from 68 different 
Jamo shapes.  The Jamo shapes are listed sequentially and specific 
constructions rules are used to create Hangul based on the sequential 
order of the Jamo.

This is a complicated exception to the idea of a character is a letter 
or a pictograph.  In the case of Hangul, a pictograph is represented by 
a combination of characters.  The same technique is used for accented 
characters like "é", which can be a combination of the letter "e" 
followed by the accent character.

More information...
http://www.kfunigraz.ac.at/~katzer/korean_hangul_unicode.html


Charles Butler wrote:
> I have just looked at the Wikipedia article on Hongul rendering using 
> Unicode, and what the unicode font system has to do to assemble a word 
> (merging more than one character in a set square).  If Hongul can do 
> it with a limited character set (around 240) then there is no reason 
> that SignWriting cannot define itself with a character rendering. 

The reason is that Hangul uses construction rules and SignWriting uses 
spatial position.  When one Jamo is followed by another Jamo, there is a 
specific rule that is applied.  In SignWriting, if a hand symbol is 
followed by a movement arrow and then a facial expression, there is no 
specific rule that can be used to create the sign.


The only possible way to get this to work would be with the idea of 
attachment  points, where an additional character is placed between 2 
symbols to explicitly state how to symbols are joined.  However, this 
has the complication of terminal ends, such as when both hands are involved.


Let's take the example




To encode this with attachment points, it would look like this...
, attachment point 135 degrees, , attachment point 90 degrees, , return 
to center, attachment point 225 degrees, , attachment point 270 degrees,



I am convinced that the Hangul construction technique is inadequate for 
SignWriting; however the Hangul technique may be a good starting place 
for future development.

I am convinced that we can not make assumptions of symbol placement 
based on symbol order alone.

I am unconvinced that the idea of attachment points will work or is 
worth the effort.

For what it's worth,
-Steve