From: Michael Everson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Aug 29 2003 - 13:18:18 EDT
At 02:10 -0700 2003-08-26, Peter Kirk wrote:
>>EGYPTOLOGICAL AYIN? I don't think it is either U+02BD or U+02BF.
>>The former is a reversed comma, the latter a half-ring. And neither
>>has a capital, as the Egyptological character has.
>Michael, it is very clear to me that the Egyptological ayin is
>modelled in its glyph as well as its name on the ayin used in
>transliteration of Hebrew, Arabic etc.
Well, *I* gave it its name. And as to the glyph, having an original
model in something does not mean that an entity has not budded off
into its own letterness. ;-)
>The slightly variant shape in Gardiner is simply because all the
>transliterations in Gardiner are in italics and so the visible glyph
>is an italic reversed comma.
I disagree. Gardiner uses plenty of commas throughout his work, and
they are normal, raised, comma-sized commas. The EGYPTOLOGICAL AYIN
is much longer, reaching from just above the baseline to x-height.
There is no chance that it is just an italic reversed comma. A
revised proposal will show examples indicating this.
>As for the casing distinction, I wonder if this is in fact unique to
>Gardiner. If so, perhaps a PUA character is appropriate.
For Egyptian? Certainly not. Gardiner is essential in Egyptology, and
I would consider plain-text representation of his texts to be
essential. Whether it is unique to him or not, his work is seminal.
>But no doubt Paul Cowie can advise on whether this is a widely used.
>If it is, I would suggest adding one new character for an upper case
>ayin rather than a new pair.
I don't think that the apostrophe-ayin is the lower-case of this
character, even if it refers to the same *sound*.
>>The Egyptological characters are quite different from the other
>>modifier letters used for Arabic and Hebrew. Alef in general
>>Semitics looks like a right single quotation mark or a right-half
>>ring. Egyptological Alef looks like two right-half rings one over
>>the other, and usually these are connected. This is clearly a novel
>>And while Semitic Ayin is often represented with either U+02BB or
>>U+02BF, neither of those are casing. To my mind, the Egyptological
>>letters exist in one-to-one relation with Gardiner G1 'Egyptian
>>vulture' (ALEF), M17 'flowering reed' (YOD) and 36 'forearm' (AYIN)
>>apart from the casing which has been added in modern editorial
We need to encode modern editorial practice. And it is not just Gardiner.
>Well, the one to one correspondences are not nearly so simple e.g.
>there are many other hieroglyphic characters which represent a group
>of consonants including alef, yod or ayin.
Cleopatra's name is written with an Egyptian cup; modern editors
encode K or k for that cup depending on context, the capital being
used for proper names. That's why Gardiner cased Egyptian alef, ayin,
and yod. It's that novel *Latin* practice which is proposed for
>>>Or would U+021D or U+025C be suitable for your 3?
>>U+021D is yogh, which is what it is. It is not an Alef, and the
>>resemblance is only superficial. And U+025C is a reverse epsilon,
>>not an Alef.
>Well, I am confused. You are rejecting some alternatives because of
>different shaped glyphs for the same function and others because of
>different functions with essentially the same shape.
The YOGH is NOT essentially the same shape as the EGYPTOLOGICAL ALEF,
any more than DIGIT THREE or LATIN SMALL LETTER REVERSE OPEN E is.
Neither is EGYPTOLOGICAL AYIN the same shape as U+02BD MODIFIER
LETTER REVERSED COMMA. Even if it was derived from that, it has its
own attributes now which make it different. Like size and casing..
>What are the criteria for adding new Latin characters to Unicode? Do
>they have to be novel in function, novel in shape, or just one or
For my part I look at the etymology or origin of the character. I
recognize (some do not) that sometimes a letter is borrowed from
another script and naturalized. I look at how the character
functions, what kinds of glyphs are OK for it. The Egyptological
characters all are unique enough to merit encoding.
>>>>>the sign used for yod (looks like a i with a right ring tick above it)
>>>This one looks rather like U+1EC9 though I am not sure if the hook
>>>above is quite the right shape for you. You might prefer a regular
>>>i followed by U+0357 COMBINING RIGHT HALF RING ABOVE. Or maybe
>>>U+0313 would be preferred, this is the Greek smooth breathing and
>>>looks like a comma.
>>None of the above.
>But the Egyptological glyph is apparently identical to one or other
>of these. We really can't go down the road of encoding combining
>marks by detailed function.
I don't think it is apparently identical to either a half ring (it is
more than half a ring), or apparently identical to the combining
apostrophe. It is, hm, more moon-like than anything. No, I don't
think it's the Vietnamese tone mark either.
>If so we will have to disunify acute accent into all sorts of
>different things: a marker of closer articulation (French), of
>stress (many languages including modern Greek), of tone (classical
>Greek and African languages) etc etc.
I don't follow that logic at all.
>Or else we can note that the Egyptolological mark is identical in
>shape to either U+0357 or U+0313 and so use the existing mark.
It is not identical to either. I do not want to add a combining
Egyptological ring-thingy to Unicode. It is not a productive mark. A
capital and small letter i with a deformed dot is what's needed,
-- Michael Everson * * Everson Typography * * http://www.evertype.com
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