Re: Sample of german -burg abbreviature

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Fri Oct 01 2004 - 17:30:49 CST

  • Next message: Michael Everson: "Re: Sample of german -burg abbreviature"

    > At 06:04 PM 9/30/2004, Michael Everson wrote:
    > > see no reason given for us not to unify the handwritten symbol we have
    > > seen with BREVE ABOVE.

    and Asmus responded:

    > Functionally, the symbol is not a breve. Visually, the sample does not look
    > like a standard breve, and the font resource cited matches the style of the
    > sample according to the contributor who cited it, implying that there well
    > may be a particular conventional shape to this symbol. Finally, the mark is
    > not placed above the 'b'. To me these facts imply that on all three counts
    > a unification with the ordinary combining breve is definitely inappropriate.

    I would agree, but nobody seems to be suggesting what to me seems
    the *obvious* alternative:


    The mark isn't a breve above, but it *is* derived from a small "u" written
    above and then written (not kerned, because this is handwritten) in
    a more felicitous position between the "bg" sequence, rather than
    on top of the "b", for reasons similar to the alternative glyphs
    used in typography of Czech ascender letters with haceks.

    If you need to make a formal font to reflect this style, then
    you just design a ligature in it to represent the sequence
    <0062, 0367, 0067>. And then you make *that* ligature kern
    heavily left over the adjoining "n"'s, "r"'s, etc. to reflect
    the positioning of the funky "b"'s.

    Getting a font to mimic this particular display style would be a little
    bit of work, but I really don't see a basic text content representation
    issue here. We already have all the relevant characters encoded to
    deal with this for plain text (and *legible* display).

    > There are two items that are possibly subject to question.
    > One is the putative derivation of the symbol from a superscript 'u'. I
    > think it's quite possible that that is correct,

    I think it is almost certainly correct, but of course further
    confirmation would be nice.

    > The other is the question of whether a unification with the double breve
    > (i.e. a breve that spans two characters) can and should be considered.

    Nah. It is no more a double breve than it is a single breve.

    > Rather than exchanging more opinions on this matter, it would bring us
    > forward if the people who discovered the mark could collect all the
    > evidence together with any useful arguments that surfaced in the e-mail
    > discussion

    Including *my* alternative. ;-)

    > and put it into a formal character proposal. That would allow
    > UTC and WG2 to settle the open issues I mentioned based on the best
    > available evidence - which is how we proceed with all proposed characters.


    > A./

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