Re: Old Norse orthography

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Thu Sep 08 2005 - 21:13:47 CDT

  • Next message: Tom Emerson: "Re: Old Norse orthography"

    > Cleasby and Vigfusson's 1874 work "An Icelandic-English Dictionary"
    > contains some characters that I haven't been able to find through
    > Unicode 4.1.

    As I said, you have to work pretty hard to find a language that
    can't be represented by Unicode characters. :-)

    Icelandic works just fine. Even Old Icelandic and Old Norse
    work just fine.

    > For example,
    > tiff/oi_cleasbyvigfusson/b0094.tiff
    > The line containing the right-pointing hand (last full paragraph on
    > the left column) contains a character that looks like a lower-case eth
    > without the slash.

    As the text says: "In very early Icel. MSS. we find the old Latin
    form d, ..." I'd say what you are looking at is simply an uncial d
    from an old manuscript.

    Oh, and yes, it *is* permissible to print dictionaries using more
    than one font. ;-)

    > On the previous page,
    > tiff/oi_cleasbyvigfusson/b0093.tiff
    > bottom of the left column, there is a character referred to as an
    > "inverted C", whose glyph is an inverted, mirrored C with an
    > overbar. This appears to be the recently accepted U+2184 with a
    > combining macron.

    No, I don't think so, although you could use that Claudian letter
    to try to represent this. This is a typographic representation of
    one (of a very large number) of manuscript abbreviations.
    Manuscript paleography is generally considered beyond the scope
    of what has to be represented in plain text.

    > On the same page, top of the right column, there are two runes that
    > are not found in the 16A0 block: the mirrored "D" variant on dagaz
    > (perhaps just a glyph variant of U+16DE?) and the right-pointing
    > triangle for "Latin d".

    More paleography, this time of the very variable forms of runes.
    Even the dictionary here throws up its hands, gives up on metal
    type design and just "pastes" in pictures in this case.


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