RE: Mongolian

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Mon Jan 10 2000 - 08:34:46 EST

Marco said:

>Why in the Unicode database Mongolian letters are assigned to bidi class "L"
>(= strongly left-to-right)? E.g.:
> 1820;MONGOLIAN LETTER A;Lo;0;L;;;;;N;;;;;
>I read that Mongolian as other alphabets in the same family ("Sogdian"?) was
>originally right-to-left. In the course of its history, it became vertical
>by rotating documents 90 degrees *counter* clockwise.
>So wouldn't "R" (= strongly right-to-left) have been a better choice?
>And, considering Michael's information about modern usage, wouldn't "ON" (=
>other neutrals) have been the best choice of all?

Remember that Mongolian is usually written in Cyrillic; when mixed with
other scripts (Latin, Cyrillic, Tibetan, Han), Mongolian is often written
horizontally, and left-to-right is far more practical than right-to-left.

Other scripts can be written in more than one direction. Ogham is
bottom-to-top or left-to-right; the bidi class "L" applies. So too for
Etruscan, which can be left-to-right or right-to-left.

Michael Everson ** Everson Gunn Teoranta **
15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2; Éire/Ireland
Vox +353 1 478 2597 ** Fax +353 1 478 2597 ** Mob +353 86 807 9169
27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn; Baile an Bhóthair; Co. Átha Cliath; Éire

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