Patrick Chew wrote :

> At 12:04 AM 8/7/2003 -0400, John Cowan <cowan@...> wrote:
> >Historically Zhuang was not written. It is now being written in the
> >Latin script, being a Pinyin-type system augmented with the tone
> >letters U+01A7/U+01A8 (2), U+0417/U+0437 (3), U+0427/U+0447 (4),
> >U+01BC/U+01BD (5), U+0148/U+0149 (6).

Actually, the unwieldy Zhuang phonetic alphabet devised in 1955 that uses a
mixture of Latin, Cyrillic and IPA letters together with the special tone
letters encoded at U+01A7/01A8 [tone 2], U+01BC/01BD [tone 5] and U+0184/0185
[tone 6] (not U+0148/0149) is no longer in official use, but since 1981 has been
replaced by a new phonetic alphabet using ordinary Latin letters only. An
interesting feature of the old Zhuang alphabet is that the tone letters U+01A8,
U+0437, U+0447, U+01BD and U+0185 (for tones 2-6 - tone 1 is implicit) are
deliberately designed to look like the numerals 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 respectively.

> hrm... I seem to remember that there were a few texts written in
> Zhuang that used a modified Sinitic script.. .kind of like the <idu> system
> for Korean, etc...

There was indeed a tradition of writing Zhuang using a mixture of existing
Chinese ideographs (to represent either the pronunciation or meaning of a Zhuang
word) and specially devised ideographs that represent the meaning and/or the
pronunciation of a Zhuang word in the same manner as the Vietnamese nom script.
These Zhuang-usage ideographs are known as "saw ndip" in Zhuang or "fangkuai
Zhuangzi" in Chinese. However this seems to have been a rather ad hoc system,
which varied considerably from manuscript to manuscript, and was never
formalised as a systematic script. Educated Zhuang tended to use Chinese for
written communication, and the Zhuang-usage ideographs were mainly used for
writing down folk songs and such like. I've not yet met anyone of the Zhuang
nationality who is familiar with this form of writing.

A dictionary of Zhuang-usage ideographs _Gu Zhuangzi Zidian_ was published by
Guangxi Minzu Chubanshe in 1989, which should provide plenty of material for a
Unicode proposal if anyone thinks that there are not yet enough CJKV ideographs
in Unicode.

I have a rather incomplete page on the subject (including some examples of
Zhuang-usage ideographs) at