Re: Pre-1923 characters? (was: unicode Digest V4 #3)

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Mon Jan 05 2004 - 18:29:08 EST

  • Next message: Peter Kirk: "Re: U+0185 in Zhuang and Azeri (was Re: unicode Digest V4 #3)"

    > >Not a good idea: the Nogai and Khakass languages appear to have used both
    > >gha/oi and "i with lower right hook" according to
    > > and
    > > .
    > >
    > >Charles Cox
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > Thank you, Charles. I note also that both Nogai and Khakass used the
    > dotless i with lower right as well as the small b or soft sign as
    > distinct characters, which implies that these two cannot be considered
    > as glyph variants as they might be for Azerbaijani.
    > From the same site,
    > shows an
    > odd Azeri Latin alphabet for 1922-1928 which seems to have an L with a
    > hook, but this is probably an error for the dotless i with hook which is
    > missing.

    Somebody probably needs to go to Baku to dig out actual printed
    materials from the 20's and 30's to make an assessment of actual

    There are a lot of Cyrillic "characters" and Cyrilatinic "characters"
    from this period which are proposed based on single attestations
    in charts like this, without sufficient analysis of the actual
    typographic practice (including people substituting pieces of
    type for new characters not in their font cases) and acceptable
    ranges of variation at the time.

    My own interpretation of the likely identity of this is as an
    I-with-Cyrillicdescender, to represent the Turkic high back
    unrounded vowel (modern Turkish U+0049/U+0131). This would
    follow the Ukrainian precedent of using an I/i-shaped character
    (instead of the Cyrillic U+0418), and follow the Cyrillic
    practice of appending descenders (or hooks, often in free
    variation in actual practice in typography) to the letters
    as diacritics. The cited forms that look more like L/l with
    descenders could, in fact, just be pieces of type turned upside
    down (the U+0490 GHE WITH UPTURN that Peter noted), or could
    be people's misinterpretations of how the diacritic was being

    During this period, the Latin orthographies for these Turkic
    languages were clearly not fully standardized in usage, and
    there presumably was contention between alternative
    conventions, including the use of capital/small soft sign
    for this sound. The ALA-LC gives yet more possibilities for
    Khakass during this period, including o-diaeresis and
    y-diaeresis for the back unrounded vowels (Khakass 1924-1927),
    and use of dotted-I/i for the unrounded front vowel (i.e.
    the modern Turkish convention) (Khakass 1939).


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