Re: Latin ligatures and Unicode

From: John Cowan (
Date: Mon Dec 20 1999 - 13:46:31 EST

Michael Everson wrote:

> >Why is this new zero-width ligator being proposed, rather than overloading
> >the existing zero-width joiner with this new function? (ZWJ currently has no
> >defined meaning for European scripts, right?)
> The arguments are rather subtle, but there are good reasons for considering
> the two separate. It has to do with bidi as well as the inherent nature of
> the script (i.e. European scripts are inherently non-cursive, but Arabic is
> inherently cursive).

Well, I think "normally" rather than "inherently" is the right term. A
"cursive" Latin font would be one that has contextual variants (initial, final,
medial, isolated), and controlling such a thing would require ZWJ and ZWNJ.
To render an initial "f" in isolation would require LATIN SMALL LETTER F
followed by ZWJ.

> The ZWL is intended for use with Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, Armenian, Runic,
> Etruscan, and Ogham. At least I know it would satisfy the requirements
> those scripts have. It could also be used for some as-yet unencoded
> scripts, such as Cirth.

Unless rendering processes are forbidden to ligature without a ZWL,
then a ZWNL is also needed in order to block ligaturing "fi" in
Turkish, etc.


Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis vom dies! || John Cowan <> Schliesst euer Aug vor heiliger Schau, || Denn er genoss vom Honig-Tau, || Und trank die Milch vom Paradies. -- Coleridge (tr. Politzer)

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