In message <9705261440.AA16546@unicode.org> you recently said:
> Some scripts are neither left-to-right, nor right-to-left.
> Mongolian is written top-to-bottom; Japanese and Chinese used
> to be written this way, the lines were stacked right-to-left.
> Recently, somebody (sorry, I haven't kept that note) has said that
> mixing Latin with Japanese was impossible, hence modern Japanese is
> written left-to-right. However, there is a way to mix top-to-bottom
> with horizontally written scripts: about twenty years ago I have seen
> a book in Japanese, written top-to-bottom, with German proper, and
> place, names imbedded. These were also written top-to-bottom, with
> the glyphs rotated by 90 degrees; so you could turn the book counter-
> clockwise to read these names, in the usual way. This imebedding
> method would also work with left-to-right phrases in Mongolian text.
I have seen an example of Mongolian text with European digits rotated this
way (in the book The Languages of the World).
> I think, it would be useful to have this method described in a
> forthcoming Unicode standard.
The current standard only mentions what happens with Hebrew and Arabic.
I suspect (but don't have any knowledge) that Mongolian could have
ligatures (vertical of course). In Hebrew style vertical Latin letters
simply go on top on one another without rotation - forming ligatures
is not possible in this case!
> Some old scripts (Greek, Latin, Hethitic, Runes) were used to write
> boustropheda. A boustrophedon runs back and forth like a ploughing
> ox (thence the name), i.e. the lines are written, alternatingly,
> left-to-right and right-to-left.
> As Unicode will adopt the Runes alphabet (or rather: fu=FEark), it
> would propbably be useful to have boustrophedon-markers akin to the
> existing LEFT-TO-RIGHT MARK and its siblings, U+200E .. U+200F and
> U+202A .. U+202E. These markers could be used to mark plain, logically
> formatted, Unicode text. (To mark physically formatted text, you could
> probably use the OVERRIDE characters, U+202D and U+202E.)
> Also a normative boustrophedon algorithm, akin to the existing bidi
> algorithm would probably be nice to have. I guess, this algorithm
> could be much simpler than the bidi algorithm, as the boustrophedon
> feature will apply only to whole paragraphs (it is more like a layout
> style, which does not have to allow for intrinsic character features).
Presumably we would need an indicator as to whether the first line of a
paragraph was left to right or right to left. How often would we wish to
use this though? Would it only be useful for *new* text in these ancient
languages? If I was reproducing an ancient inscription I presumably would
want to show the original line breaks and use explicit codes as you suggested.
Anyone implementing Egyptian heiroglyphs is going to have fun - many of the
characters are mirrored, with the little figures facing the start of the line.
It's a character set with no certain direction. How is BiDi going to cope?
Perhaps they should be treated as Neutrals.
The Cambridge Encylopedia of Language (I think I have the title right) also
mentions a form of boustrophedon where it is reversed at the word not the
character level (each word reads left to right but the words are right to
left). I don't recall if it gave examples of languages that use this or
whether this was more of an invented construct used by some authors.
-- Tim Partridge. Any opinions expressed are mine only and not those of my employer
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:20:34 EDT