Re: Historical Cyrillic in Unicode

From: Alexej Kryukov (
Date: Mon Aug 22 2005 - 16:46:48 CDT

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    On Monday 22 August 2005 23:00, John Hudson wrote:
    > 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.

    Well, in case of Ruby notation or any other superscript notation
    the superscript text belongs to a separate text flow. This is something
    quite different than letter-titlos, which represent an integral
    part of any Church Slavonic text and behave exactly like combining
    diacritical marks (in fact, they *are* combining marks).

    > 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,

    The main reason to consider letter-titlos separate characters is that
    using them is required according to the rules of Church Slavonic
    orthography. These rules are quite complex and cannot be described
    by a simple algorithm, so that replacing regular letters with
    letter-titlos can't be entrusted to a rendering engine.

    If this is not a sufficient reason for encoding characters and
    Unicode prefers to consider them glyph variants, then well, it's still
    Unicode's task to propose a consistent method of encoding Church
    Slavonic. In this case we need at least a standard way to tell rendering
    engine that a specific character should be rendered as a combining mark.
    It would be nice to have in Unicode something like "ZERO WIDTH
    COMBINING MARK MARKER", but, until there is no such character,
    I would insist on encoding letter-titlos.

    > and whether the special form of the
    > titlo used with these letters is a glyph variant of the combining
    > titlo mark.

    Well, this is a purely technical (and so less important) question.
    Particularly I would be quite happy with the existing combining titlo,
    but some people will argue, I know...

    Alexej Kryukov <akrioukov at newmail dot ru>
    Moscow State University
    Historical Faculty

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