Re: Historical Cyrillic in Unicode

From: John Hudson (
Date: Mon Aug 22 2005 - 14:00:00 CDT

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    Alexej Kryukov wrote:

    > U+0483 is combining titlo by itself. That's something quite
    > different. Here I mean so-called letter-titlos, i. e. superscript
    > letters written above the word they belong to. These characters
    > are quite similar to Latin superscript letters in the combining
    > marks block (0363--036f), but some of them are usually combined
    > with titlo (hence the name), which, however, has a different shape
    > in this case. Church Slavonic has quite strict rules which require
    > specific words to be written with letter-titlos rather than with
    > regular inline letters.

    This sort of thing (see also Japanese Ruby notation and Ethiopic liturgical/chant
    notation) is normally considered a layout issue, i.e. a glyph processing and positioning
    issue rather than a character encoding issue. So the first thing to do would be to confirm
    whether the letter-titlos are simply glyph variants of the regular letters, as superscript
    Latin letters are, and whether the special form of the titlo used with these letters is a
    glyph variant of the combining titlo mark. If so, then the expectation would probably be
    that this aspect of OCS text would be handled via markup and application of layout features.

    Note that I am not personally familiar enough with this aspect of OCS typesetting to
    determine whether there might actually be grounds for some new characters.

    > I think encoding missing Church Slavonic characters is even more
    > important than supporting various versions of historical Cyrillic,
    > because books in Church Slavonic represent an important part of
    > printed production of Russian Orthodox Church (of course philologists
    > need the corresponding characters as well). It is also much
    > easier, because Church Slavonic has a quite stable typographic
    > traditions, so that it is easy to figure out which exactly
    > characters are needed.

    Agreed, although there is also a scholarly need to be able to correctly represent earlier
    manuscript conventions from the evolutionary period of the OCS orthography, before it
    became stable.

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Vancouver, BC
    Currently reading:
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