The MultiScript Project: Multi-directional, Multi-lingual Script Processing

Richard Moore - United Nations University International Institute for Software Technology

Intended Audience: Software Engineer
Session Level: Intermediate

Although there are many text processing systems which support multiple languages, the majority of these do not allow different languages to be intermixed arbitrarily, neither do they allow the different languages to retain their traditional reading and writing direction.

The MultiScript project at UNU/IIST (the United Nations University International Institute for Software Technology) has paid particular attention to these two issues. In the early stages of the project, a simple but general model of multi-lingual documents was developed in which changes in the directionality of the text can occur at any point in a document. Moreover, the full range of four different directionalities which are used in the various scripts used in the world can all be supported. This model then formed the basis for the development of a prototype MultiScript software system.

In this paper we describe the basic MultiScript model of a multi-directional, multi-lingual document and give an overview of the MultiScript system.

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30 October 1999, Webmaster