[XeTeX] Chinese: vertical typsetting, pinyin tones, and Japanese macrons?

Roger Hart rhart at mail.utexas.edu
Fri Jul 15 04:45:45 CEST 2005

Dear Jonathan,

I hesitate to bring this up because XeTeX is such a wonderful, 
wonderful project, and I'm sure there are many more pressing issues to 
resolve. However, before XeTeX becomes 1.0, might you have time to look 
into the possibility of implementing vertical typsetting for Chinese, 
the ability to typeset the pinyin romanization with tones, and Japanese 
macrons, if you have not already  done so?

1) Chinese vertical typesetting, I've recently learned, much to my 
embarrassment, is not as simple as I thought. I naively tried to write 
a couple of LaTeX macros to break after each character, but of course 
this would not work for more than a single column, and there are other 
problems too.

The solution, it turns out, is to use a font that has rotated each 
glyph 90 degrees, typeset the paragraph, then rotate the entire box 
back 90 degrees.

Werner Lemberg, who has written the excellent CJK package, has 
implemented this for LaTeX.

Is this possible in XeLaTeX?

2) I don't know if it is my error, but it seems that Japanese macrons 
don't typeset in Latin fonts (I've tried Times and Hoefler). For 
example, when I typeset

kenky~{(1  [kenky\=u in LaTeX]

I lose the bar over the u. If I enclose this in the CJK environment, it 
typesets just fine. But romanizations should, ideally at least, be 
typeset in the Latin font (e.g., Times or Hoefler), not in the font 
that is being used for CJK (e.g., Simsun Founder Extended), which may, 
depending on the font, have pretty ugly Latin characters.

3) Also, the pinyin romanization system, the official system of China, 
and increasingly the system of choice for academics worldwide, places 
tone markers over syllables. Ideally, this should look like the 
following, from http://www.namkung.com/zev/TimesPinyin.html

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Sorry the example is so large. I don't know how this is implemented in 
Unicode. Perhaps someone more expert on fonts would know.

As always, thanks so very much for all your efforts,



Roger Hart
Assistant Professor, Departments of History and Asian Studies
University of Texas at Austin

office: Room 405, Garrison Hall
office phone: 512-475-7258
department fax: 512-475-7222
email: rhart at mail.utexas.edu


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