Re: Unicode Cyrillic GHE DE PE TE in Serbian

From: John Hudson (
Date: Tue Jan 04 2000 - 19:26:10 EST

At 03:47 PM 04-01-00 -0800, Erland Sommarskog wrote:

>If I understand this correctly the different appearences of some lower-
>case Cyrillic letters are gathered at one code point? Here I'm tīnot
>talking about the special Serbian variants which I've never seen, but
>the difference between a small "T" and "m" which both could be a lower-
>case T in Russian and Bulgarian.


>If I understand this correctly, I will see a small T in a regular font,
>and "m" if I switch to italics? I am somewhat puzzled by this. When I
>learnt Russian, I never learnt these forms, thinking that I would never
>write them anyway. But when I came to Bulgaria, I found that they might
>well appear in print to, and not being italic at all.

>I reckon that you wouldn't be likely to mix a small T and "m" in the
>same text, so from that point of view, it could well be said a font
>issue. Still, they're visually so completely different that, you hardly
>can call them glyph variants.

They are certainly glyph variants in the sense that Unicode distinguishes
glyphs and characters. Both forms of this letter represent the same
Cyrillic character, so they are variant renderings -- i.e. glyph variants
-- of the single character. Almost all glyphs are potential or explicit
variants, since there are very few characters which have totally strict
normative forms (e.g. the estimate sign) which are not supposed to be
varied from font to font. Some glyph variants are visually similar -- e.g.
the uppercase Latin A and its smallcap form --, but others are very
dissimilar (compare, for instance, the traditional and simplified forms of
many Chinese hanzi). As long as they represent the same Unicode character,
they are all glyph variants.

John Hudson

John Hudson

Tiro Typeworks
Vancouver, BC

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