Re: Rare extinct latin letters

From: Patrick Andries (
Date: Fri May 30 2003 - 13:23:49 EDT

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    ----- Message d'origine -----
    De : "Philippe Verdy" <>

    > From: <>
    > > Patrick Andries on 05/29/2003 06:15:10 PM:
    > >
    > > > Could letters like « l molle »
    > > (
    > > > ) or long-tailed A (between O and P in Baïf's alphabet http://pages.
    > > >, letters which I believe cannot be
    > > > composed from other existing Unicode characters, be considered for
    > > > Unicode encoding
    > >
    > > If there is a user need, then probably yes.

    [PA] Well, may be. My enquiry was motivated by the question of a
    typographer asking for support of texts (although not quoting Meigret and
    Baïf) where it seems important to have original letters preserved in a
    digital plain text format (beside and above a scanned image) in order to put
    such texts on the Web and be able to search the original forms. I have asked
    for further information to see what the real need will be.

    > I'd like to see some real historic publication that is not an attempt to
    reform the French orthograph, using an invented "new" alphabet only used by
    1 author.

    [PA] I understand. But these texts are still studied today (I have a recent
    popular book on the History of the French Language with pages dedicated to
    these authors) and regularly printed as fascimiles for study (Honoré
    Champion of Geneva publishes facsimile Renaissance books, here are the two
    Meigret books they currently publish
    2 ). I'm not sure that this is very different from Deseret or other
    alphabets having very few source documents. We are also speaking here about
    a few additional letters to be able to represent these texts, not complete
    new alphabet.

    > Such text is probably interesting to study as it gives hints on how French
    was *spoken* when it was written (i.e. interesting for phonetic studies),
    but I doubt it has a real language value until there is some real usage of
    these modified alphabets created only as a proposal for a future reform of
    the orthograph that was never applied.

    [PA] I believe the need of an encoding may be pragmatically ascertained, I
    don't known about the « real linguistic value » of an alphabet. I have, by
    the way, no problem if someone says : « Sorry, too idiosyncratic and
    excentric ! Use the private user area if you need such characters. » This
    may well be the case.

    > Also the letter forms are not quite clear, because the metal fonts use
    characters that were apparently manually manufactured individually. So the
    glyphs are near but not enough distinctable from these small scanned images.
    This would require a more complete analysis of the text, if such text

    [PA] I'm not sure I understand : I have facsimiles of these books at home (I
    am currently travelling so I can't scan additional pages), these texts do
    exist (usually several hundred pages of them per author).

    P. A.

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