Historical Cyrillic letters

From: John Cowan (cowan@locke.ccil.org)
Date: Wed Dec 29 1999 - 11:02:49 EST

Discussions with Ivan Derzhanski (iad@math.bas.bg) on another mailing
list have elicited the following comments on the historical Cyrillic
letters at U+460:

1 (editorial). The shapes of LETTER IOTIFIED E (U+0464/0465) as shown at
charts.unicode.org are wrong: their right halves should look like LETTER IE,

2 (editorial). A note should be added that despite its name, LETTER
ROUND OMEGA is a variant of LETTER O, not LETTER OMEGA. Fortunately, the
character database is not affected.

3 (substantive). LETTER VARIANT LITTLE YUS (which looks like "A" with
a bar joining the feet) is missing. In some manuscripts, VARIANT LITTLE YUS
and LITTLE YUS were used instead of LITTLE YUS and IOTIFIED LITTLE YUS
respectively, i.e. for /e~/ and /je~/. Because of the contrastive use of
LITTLE YUS in the two different manuscript traditions, this cannot be
considered a mere glyphic variant.

4 (substantive). LETTER IOTIFIED A (which looks like dotless "I" followed
by "A", ligatured with a centered horizontal bar) is missing. This was
the pre-Peter-the-Great Cyrillic letter for /ja/. Peter abolished it
in favor of a glyphic variant of BIG YUS, which had the same pronunciation
in Russian, producing the modern LETTER YA.

5 (substantive). LETTER VARIANT YERU (which looks like YERU, but with a
HARD SIGN instead of a SOFT SIGN as its left half) is missing. This was
the original Bulgarian Cyrillic letter, but was replaced by YERU in Russia.

6 (substantive). Why does LETTER OMEGA WITH TITLO lack a canonical
decomposition, since there is a COMBINING TITLO?

John Cowan                                   cowan@ccil.org
       I am a member of a civilization. --David Brin

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:20:57 EDT