Published: 13th July, 2016
Last edited: 19th April, 2017
Created: 10th July, 2016
My take on the Tai Le/Tai Nüa/Dehong Dai script which is used mainly in the Dehong region in southwest China. The relative blockiness of the letters made it a prime candidate for a FontStruct treatment.
Tai Le was added to the Unicode standard in version 4.0 in 2003. This font however uses an ad-hoc mapping to Ascii characters. Thanks to the limited number of letters (for a Brahmic script) the mapping mostly makes sense. Aspirated plosives are mapped to upper case and tone markers to shift+digit. The latter have been mapped so that they work on both US and Swedish Mac keyboards (and hopefully many others). Luckily there were no conflict between the two.
The script is an abugida: a syllable-initial consonant letter has an inherent vowel ‹a›. Whether a consonant is initial or final has to be inferred from context, however only ‹p›, ‹t›, ‹k›, ‹m›, ‹n› and ‹ng› can appear in final position.
(The letter pair ‹tone 2› + ‹ka› could really use some kerning.)