Lisu

The Lisu script, also known as Fraser, is used to write the Lisu language in China, Myanmar, India and Thailand. The script is derived from the Latin alphabet and was developed by James Ostram Fraser in 1915, who produced a Lisu translation of the New Testament using his alphabet. In 1992 the Chinese government recognised the Fraser alphabet as the official script for the Lisu language and has encouraged its use since then.

Unicode blocks Lisu
Alternate names
Timeframe 1915 to present
Regions
Type alphabet
Alternate names left to right
Status living
Number of speakers 657000
Languages
Main sources Daniels, P. 1996. “The Invention of Writing: The Fraser script” in The World’s Writing Systems, ed. Peter T. Daniels & William Bright. New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 581-582.
Secondary sources
Proposal http://std.dkuug.dk/jtc1/sc2/wg2/docs/n3424.pdf

Low Surrogates

There are no glyphs in this Unicode block. The Low Surrogates first appeared in Unicode 2.0, in 1996.

Unicode blocks Low Surrogates
Alternate names
Timeframe 1996 to present
Regions
Type
Alternate names
Status
Number of speakers
Languages
Main sources The Unicode Consortium. 2011. The Unicode Standard, Version 6.0, defined by: The Unicode Standard, Version 6.0. Mountain View, CA: The Unicode Consortium, p. 535 (Section 16.6).
Secondary sources
Proposal

Lycian

The Lycian alphabet dates from about 500 BCE to 300 BCE. It is found on about 150 stone inscriptions, over 200 coins, and a few other objects in the area of Lycia (SW Turkey). The script is used for Lycian (earlier known as "Lycian A,"). A dialect of Lycian, called Lycian B or Milyan, is known from two texts and is covered by the characters in the Unicode block. The Lycian alphabet shows a close relationship with the Greek alphabet. The Lycian language is not fully understood, but the discovery of a 41-line trilingual inscription at Letoon in southwest Turkey has considerably assisted in the study of the language, as has recognition of shared features between Lycian and the better-known Luvian language.

Unicode blocks Lycian
Alternate names
Timeframe x-500 to -300
Regions
Type alphabet
Alternate names left to right
Status historical
Number of speakers 0
Languages
Main sources Melchert, H. C. 2004. "Lycian" in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World’s Ancient Languages, ed. Roger Woodard. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 591-600.
Secondary sources Swiggers, P., and W. Jenniges. 1996. “The Anatolian Alphabets” in The World’s Writing Systems, ed. Peter T. Daniels & William Bright. New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 282-284.
Proposal

Lydian

The Lydian alphabet is closely related to, or derives from, the Greek alphabet. The script has been found on over 100 inscriptions and coins from the end of the 8C (or the beginning of 7C) BCE until the 3C BCE, primarily in or near Sardis, in present-day Turkey. Lydian is not well understood, as the textual evidence is limited and no extensive bilingual text has been uncovered to date.

Unicode blocks Lydian
Alternate names
Timeframe x-8C or -7C to -3C
Regions
Type alphabet
Alternate names variable
Status historical
Number of speakers 0
Languages
Main sources Melchert, H. C. 2004. "Lydian" in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World’s Ancient Languages, ed. Roger Woodard. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 601-608.
Secondary sources Swiggers, P., and W. Jenniges. 1996. “The Anatolian Alphabets” in The World’s Writing Systems, ed. Peter T. Daniels & William Bright. New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 284-285.
Proposal

Mahjong Tiles

Mahjong tiles are game symbols of Chinese origin representing the set of tiles used to play the popular game of mahjong. The game has been around since at least the mid-19C, though its precise history is not known. The game spread to Japan, Britain, and the United States during the early 20C. The block of characters encoded in the Mahjong Tiles block covers a superset of the symbol symbols, as there is some variety in the sets used in different countries.

Unicode blocks Mahjong Tiles
Alternate names
Timeframe mid-19C to present
Regions
Type symbols
Alternate names
Status living
Number of speakers
Languages
Main sources The Unicode Consortium. 2011. The Unicode Standard, Version 6.0, defined by: The Unicode Standard, Version 6.0. Mountain View, CA: The Unicode Consortium, p. 505 (Section 15.8).
Secondary sources
Proposal

Malayalam

The Malayalam script is used to write the Malayalam language of the state of Kerala of southwestern India. The Malayalam language is a Dravidian language like Kannada, Tamil, and Telugu. Malayalam has borrowed words from Tamil, Sanskrit, Arabic, and English.

Unicode blocks Malayalam
Alternate names
Timeframe 13C to present
Regions
Type abugida
Alternate names left to right
Status living
Number of speakers 35.8 million
Languages
Main sources Mohanan, K.P. 1996. "Malayalam Writing” in The World’s Writing Systems, ed. Peter T. Daniels & William Bright. New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 420-425.
Secondary sources
Proposal

Mandaic

The Mandaic script is used to write the liturgical language of the gnostic Mandaean religion, which has adherents in Iraq, Iran and the diaspora. A small number of people speak a variety of the Mandaic language today. The script appears to have evolved from the Aramaic script or the Parthian chancery script.

Unicode blocks Mandaic
Alternate names
Timeframe ca. 2C to present
Regions
Type alphabet
Alternate names right to left
Status liturgical
Number of speakers 5500
Languages
Main sources Naveh, Joseph. 1987. Early History of the Alphabet: An Introduction to West Semitic Epigraphy and Palaeography. Jerusalem: Magnes Press, the Hebrew University.
Secondary sources Daniels, P. 1996. "Mandaic” in The World’s Writing Systems, ed. Peter T. Daniels & William Bright. New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 511-514.
Proposal http://std.dkuug.dk/jtc1/sc2/wg2/docs/n3485.pdf

Mathematical Alphanumeric Symbols

The Mathematical Alphanumeric Symbols block contains letter-like symbols that are used in mathematical or technical notation. The characters in this block, which include Latin and Greek letters, show various style variations, such as bold, italic, bold italic, double-struck, and sans serif glyphs, which are important for math semantics. The symbols in the block are not intended to be used for general, non-mathematical text, for which users should instead use characters from the Latin and Greek blocks, and rely on rich text features in a word-processing program (such as to make the letters "italic").

Unicode blocks Mathematical Alphanumeric Symbols
Alternate names
Timeframe various
Regions
Type symbols
Alternate names left to right
Status living
Number of speakers
Languages
Main sources The Unicode Consortium. 2011. The Unicode Standard, Version 6.0, defined by: The Unicode Standard, Version 6.0. Mountain View, CA: The Unicode Consortium, pp. 481-485 (Section 15.2).
Secondary sources
Proposal

Mathematical Operators

The Mathematical Operators block includes characters for operators, geometric symbols, relations, and a number of other symbols with special mathematical usages. Because mathematical operators often have more than one meaning, some characters have several semantic values attributed to them. The Supplemental Mathematical Operators set contains additional symbols that supplement the Mathematical Operators block.

Unicode blocks Mathematical Operators, Supplemental Mathematical Operators
Alternate names
Timeframe various
Regions
Type
Alternate names
Status living
Number of speakers
Languages
Main sources The Unicode Consortium. 2011. The Unicode Standard, Version 6.0, defined by: The Unicode Standard, Version 6.0. Mountain View, CA: The Unicode Consortium, pp. 490-492 (Section 15.4).
Secondary sources
Proposal

Meetei Mayek

The Meetei Mayek script is used to write the Meetei (Manipuri) language, which is spoken primarily in Manipur, a state in northeastern India that borders on Myanmar. The Manipur Government has supported the teaching of the Meetei Mayek script in schools. In its modern form of the script, most of the letters are named after a part of the body.

Unicode blocks Meetei Mayek
Alternate names
Timeframe ca. 11C to present
Regions
Type abugida
Alternate names left to right
Status living
Number of speakers 1.4 million
Languages
Main sources Debendra Singh, N. 1990. Evolution of Manipuri Script. [Imphal]: Manipur University, Centre for Manipuri Studies. (Research Report, 5.)
Secondary sources
Proposal http://std.dkuug.dk/jtc1/sc2/wg2/docs/n3206.pdf; http://std.dkuug.dk/jtc1/sc2/wg2/docs/n3478.pdf; http://std.dkuug.dk/jtc1/sc2/wg2/docs/n3473.pdf

Miscellaneous Mathematical Symbols

The Miscellaneous Mathematical Symbols-A and -B blocks contains various symbols used for mathematical notation. The Symbols-A block includes symbols that are used mostly as operators or delimiters, and the Symbols-B block contains symbols such as fences and other delimiters.

Unicode blocks Miscellaneous Mathematical Symbols-A, Miscellaneous Mathematical Symbols-B
Alternate names
Timeframe various
Regions
Type symbols
Alternate names
Status living
Number of speakers
Languages
Main sources The Unicode Consortium. 2011. The Unicode Standard, Version 6.0, defined by: The Unicode Standard, Version 6.0. Mountain View, CA: The Unicode Consortium, p. 492 (Section 15.4).
Secondary sources
Proposal

Miscellaneous Symbols

The characters in the Miscellaneous Symbols block are a mixed collection of symbols that tend to be pictographic. While the symbols may be used for text decorations, they can appear as text characters in printed works, such as chess books, horoscopes, and game manuals. Subsets include weather and astronomical symbols, pointing hands, religious and ideological symbols, the Yijing (I Ching) trigrams, planet and zodiacal symbols, game symbols, dictionary and map symbols, and recycling symbols. The symbols derive from a variety of national and vendor character sets, including the Japanese ARIB STD-B24 standard and the emoji sets of Japanese cell phone carriers. The Miscellaneous Symbols and Pictographs block likewise contains pictographic characters as well as emoji characters. This block spans categories such as weather, planets, food and drink, animal and human faces, communication, and Japanese grade school symbols. The Miscellaneous Symbols and Arrows block contains mathematical symbols and arrows, a number of generic symbols, and shapes from the ARIB STD-B24 standard used in various contexts (such as in dictionaries and on maps).

Unicode blocks Miscellaneous Symbols and Arrows, Miscellaneous Symbols, Miscellaneous Symbols And Pictographs
Alternate names
Timeframe various
Regions
Type symbols
Alternate names
Status living
Number of speakers
Languages
Main sources The Unicode Consortium. 2011. The Unicode Standard, Version 6.0, Mountain View, CA: The Unicode Consortium, pp. 492-493, 500-503 (Sections 15.4, 15.8 ).
Secondary sources
Proposal

Miscellaneous Technical

The Miscellaneous Technical set includes various technical symbols, including keytop labels, mathematical delimiters, angle brackets and crops and quine corners, as well as symbols used in dentistry notation, drafting, programming (APL), and metrical notation.

Unicode blocks Miscellaneous Technical
Alternate names
Timeframe various
Regions
Type symbols
Alternate names
Status living
Number of speakers
Languages
Main sources The Unicode Consortium. 2011. The Unicode Standard, Version 6.0, defined by: The Unicode Standard, Version 6.0. Mountain View, CA: The Unicode Consortium, pp. 495-498 (Section 15.6).
Secondary sources
Proposal

Modifier Tone Letters

The set of Modifier Tone Letters contains modifier letters used to mark tones. These include: corner tone marks used in a transcriptional system of Chinese (invented by E. Bridgman and S. Wells Williams in the early 19C); a group of tone letters used primarily for Chinese; a set of tones used for an orthography used to write Chinantec, an Oto-Manguean language of Mexico; marks to indicate tone used by linguists for African languages.

Unicode blocks Modifier Tone Letters
Alternate names
Timeframe various
Regions
Type
Alternate names
Status living
Number of speakers
Languages
Main sources The Unicode Consortium. 2011. The Unicode Standard, Version 6.0, defined by: The Unicode Standard, Version 6.0. Mountain View, CA: The Unicode Consortium, p. 229-230 (Section 7.8).
Secondary sources
Proposal

Mongolian

The Mongolian block reflects a unification of Mongolian and the three derivative scripts, Todo, Manchu, and Sibe. The Mongolian script was itself derived from the Uighur script around the beginning of the 13C CE and has remained in use in Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China. However, in the 1940s, the traditional script was replaced by a Cyrillic orthography in Outer Mongolia (the present-day country of Mongolia). The Mongolian script has been revived since the early 1990s in Mongolia. In 2010 the President of Mongolia issued a decree that the traditional script will be required in certain official documents starting in 2011.

Unicode blocks Mongolian
Alternate names
Timeframe 13C to present
Regions
Type alphabet
Alternate names vertical
Status living
Number of speakers 13 million
Languages
Main sources Kara, G. 1996. "Aramaic Scripts for Altaic Languages" in The World’s Writing Systems, ed. Peter T. Daniels & William Bright. New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 536-558.
Secondary sources
Proposal

Musical Symbols

The Musical Symbols block covers characters used by basic Western musical notation and its antecedents (mensural notation and plainsong - or Gregorian - notation). This set draws largely from common musical notation (CMN), a comprehensive coded language in regular use to represent sound. In order to handle layout and pitch representation, users should rely on higher level protocols.

Unicode blocks Musical Symbols
Alternate names
Timeframe various
Regions
Type symbols
Alternate names
Status living
Number of speakers
Languages
Main sources The Unicode Consortium. 2011. The Unicode Standard, Version 6.0, defined by: The Unicode Standard, Version 6.0. Mountain View, CA: The Unicode Consortium, pp. 513-516 (Section 15.11).
Secondary sources McCawley, J. 1996. "Musical Notation” in The World’s Writing Systems, ed. Peter T. Daniels & William Bright. New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 847-854.
Proposal

New Tai Lue

New Tai Lue is a simplification of an older Tai Lue script (called Tai Tham, Lanna, or Old Tai Lue). New Tai Lue was developed in the 20C and is used primarily in southern China to write the Lü (or Tai Lue) language. The script is unrelated to the Tai Le script.

Unicode blocks New Tai Lue
Alternate names
Timeframe 20C to present
Regions
Type abugida
Alternate names left to right
Status living
Number of speakers 700000
Languages
Main sources Wu Língyún, and Zhang Qiusheng. 1981. Xıshuang Bannà Dai yuwén gàikuàng. (Xishuang Banna Dai language and literature survey). [s.l.]: Yúnnán [.. ..] chubanshè.
Secondary sources
Proposal http://std.dkuug.dk/jtc1/sc2/wg2/docs/n2634.pdf

Number Forms

The Number Forms block contains a series of number-related symbols. These include: Roman numerals and vulgar fraction characters. Most of these symbols were included in the Unicode Standard to provide compatibility with other encoding standards. In general, the use of compound characters in this block is discouraged, as other characters are available to represent them.

Unicode blocks Number Forms
Alternate names
Timeframe various
Regions
Type numeric
Alternate names
Status living
Number of speakers
Languages
Main sources The Unicode Consortium. 2011. The Unicode Standard, Version 6.0, defined by: The Unicode Standard, Version 6.0. Mountain View, CA: The Unicode Consortium, pp. 485-486 (Section 15.3).
Secondary sources
Proposal

Ogham

Ogham is an early medieval alphabetic script devised to write the Primitive and Old Irish language and perhaps other languages (such as Pictish). It is sometimes referred to as the “Celtic Tree Alphabet”. Monumental Ogham inscriptions are found in Ireland, Wales, Scotland, England, and on the Isle of Man.

Unicode blocks Ogham
Alternate names
Timeframe 5C to 7C
Regions
Type alphabet
Alternate names variable
Status historical
Number of speakers 0
Languages
Main sources McManus, D. 1996. "Ogham" in The World’s Writing Systems, ed. Peter T. Daniels & William Bright. New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 340-345.
Secondary sources
Proposal http://www.evertype.com/standards/og/ogham.html

Ol Chiki

Ol Chiki, also known as Ol, Ol Ciki, Ol Cemet’ and Santali, is used to write the Santali and other Munda languages. It is used in the Mayurbhanj district of the Indian state of Orissa. Pandit Raghunath Murmu created the Ol Chiki script in the 1920s as part of his efforts to promote Santali culture.  The script has received some governmental support.

Unicode blocks Ol Chiki
Alternate names
Timeframe 1920s to present
Regions
Type alphabet
Alternate names left to right
Status living
Number of speakers 6.1 million
Languages
Main sources Zide, N. 1996. “Scripts for the Munda Languages: Ol Cemet'” in The World’s Writing Systems, ed. Peter T. Daniels & William Bright. New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 614-615.
Secondary sources
Proposal http://std.dkuug.dk/jtc1/sc2/wg2/docs/n2984.pdf