Klaas Ruppel Klaas.Ruppel at domlang.fi
Tue May 23 07:54:28 UTC 2000

As a respond to the request for an abstract of my lecture I gave
2000-05-19 in the Finno-Ugric Society in Helsinki in Finnish I send
you a modified translation of the handout I distributed.


A. Request to support inclusion of the whole Finno-Ugric Phonetic
Alphabet in the standard ISO/IEC 10646

B. Background, arguments and www-links

A. Request

Dear Uralist, if you want to make sure that one of your essential
tools, FUPA, can be fully used in future computers and information
technology, please, do the following:

SEND TO THIS LIST a message supporting the inclusion of all elements
of FUPA in ISO/IEC 10646. The proposal for the committee maintaining
this standard can be found at
There are still several detail problems to solve (pp. 2-4 of the
draft) and the authors of the proposal (Michael Everson, Trond
Trosterud and I; all of them subscribers of this list) would be very
interested to discuss those problems with the (other) Uralists. All
other comments too are naturally very welcome.

Feel free to propagate the issue to other uralists or interested
scientists and encourage them to join this list.

B. Background, arguments and links

In our days computer fonts there can be simultaneously used at most
256 characters. In computers of the next generation the number of
characters in one font has - practically speaking - no limit any
more. The standards ISO/IEC 10646 and Unicode (virtually) content of
all characters of all scripts of the whole world. The maintaining
committee of ISO/IEC 10646 and the Unicode consortium work closely
together and the two standards are maintained in parallel. The number
of coded character places in those standards is over (2
milliards / billions (Amer.)).

The number of characters and diacritics used in FUPA is at least 300.
About half  of them are already encoded in the standards mentioned
above. The proposal drafted by Michael Everson, Trond Trosterud and
Klaas Ruppel aims to add the other half of FUPA. For this proposal to
be successful it is essential that the Uralists community expresses a
clear need for this.

The full implementation of the FUPA script means
- input and output of language material without loss of accuracy
- electronic versions of existing diacritic text (by writing or scanning)
- use of FUPA in electronic publication (e-mail, web-publishing, web-databases
- accurate find function in Uralic language material, sorting, processing etc.

As Prof. Janhunen pointed out after my lecture and again in his
recent email FUPA is not only in use in the Uralistic environment,
its use extends widely the field of Altaistics too. Prof. Janhunen
also mentions that FUPA is a much better tool for phonetic
description than IPA.

Additionally in ALE (Atlas Linguaram Europae), a still ongoing
Paneuropean project the used IPA transcription is completed by
elements of FUPA. So the full support for FUPA in ISO/IEC 10646 and
Unicode is not only in the interests of the Uralists community but in
the interests of a much broader user community.

If you have difficulties to read our proposal in pdf-format, please,
let me know and I will send you a paper version.

Since the proposal is a paper written for the standardization
environment, it may be partly hard to read. Please, do not hesitate
to ask for clarification, e.g. on this list.

ISO/IEC 10646 and Unicode:
Roadmap to ISO/IEC 10646:
Character sets and Unicode:

|\ |\ |\  Klaas Ruppel http://www.domlang.fi/english.html
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