Re: Coptic queries (was: Etruscan/Gothic/etc.)

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Sun Nov 23 1997 - 05:30:10 EST

Ar 14:13 -0800 1997-11-21, scríobh John Cowan:
>Marc Wilhelm Kuester wrote:
>> Michael Everson wrote:
>> >Greek and Coptic should never have been unified.
>> I could not agree more.
>Then perhaps they should be de-unified. This is already in
>progress for {S, T} with comma below and for yogh/ezh.

>BTW, how is COPTIC LETTER SO/SOOU (the 6th letter, between EI and
>ZETA) represented in Unicode? The glyph looks vaguely like
>a (Greek, not Coptic) lower-case epsilon with a descending flourish.
>See or
> .
>Context suggests that this is used for the number 6 when
>writing numbers using letters (the ancient Greek method as well),
>and therefore the "correct" unification is GREEK LETTER DIGAMMA.
>The visual resemblance is, shall we say, not striking.

You could use STIGMA? The whole exercise is an awful mess, and the sooner
we deunify the better. One Copticist, my friend Dirk van Damme, who died
last January, gave me a lovely Coptic font he had made for his own work. It
contains some things which I can't identify. It would behoove us to do some
work on that.

>Also, is Coptic caseless? The Coptic-unique letters in Unicode
>are given in two cases, but the difference appears to be one of
>size only. I don't find any bicameral Coptic fonts or texts
>anywhere on the Web.

Dirk's fonts are a little ambiguous on this point. Casing it is probably

>The TrueType font at
>has some additional characters which may have Coptic uses:
>what I would describe as RHO WITH STROKE, FEI WITH STROKE,
>STIGMA, and something that looks like a stylized THORN.
>These appear in the font at glyph codes 0x37, 0x35, 0x36, and 0x34
>respectively. Can anyone pin them down?

I haven't seen that font, but RHO WITH STROKE might be a CHI RHO. There are
some STROKEd letters in Dirk's font too.

Michael Everson, EGT *
15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2; Éire (Ireland)
Gutháin:  +353 1 478-2597, +353 1 283-9396
27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn; Baile an Bhóthair; Co. Átha Cliath; Éire

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