Re: Middle stroke of U+042D

From: John Hudson (
Date: Mon May 17 2004 - 00:17:08 CDT

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    > So, since normal Russians are unaware of the variation in the middle
    > stroke of U+042D, and since russian typographers consider it a purely
    > decorative item, why would Mongolians think otherwise?
    > Indeed, if their goal were to deviate from Russian typographic
    > tradition they wouldn't have adopted the Cyrillic script in the first
    > place, right?...
    > What's then the story behind the alternate glyph for U+042D and its
    > rationale in the SIL Doulos font as given by the online document
    > <Doulos SIL 4.0 Font Documentation.pdf>?

    Some national communities have definite preferences about the form of
    specific letters, and it is perfectly legitimate for a typeface to
    address these preferences with variant glyphs as appropriate to the
    overall design. The best known Cyrillic preference is probably that of
    Serbian, Montenegran and Macedonian communities for specific italic
    forms that differ considerably from the international norms established
    by typical Russian forms. The Mongolian preference refered to in the
    Doulos documentation is a little dubious, I think, because a) it
    concerns such a small detail and not a significant variation in
    letterform comparable to e.g. the Serbian italic forms, and b) unlike
    Serbian, Mongolian has only been written in Cyrillic for a short period
    of time and such variant preferences normally derive from long
    chirographic practice. Frankly, this Mongolian preference looks like the
    sort of thing that develops when a particular typeface in a particular
    style becomes recognised as the norm for writing a language, rather than
    as simply one stylistic possibility.

    John Hudson

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