Dutch IJ & the austrian stamp's encoding

From: André Szabolcs Szelp (a.sz.szelp@gmx.net)
Date: Tue Jan 17 2006 - 17:55:49 CST

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    The discussion about IJ in the beginning asked, if
    I + ZWJ + J
    would be the proper use for getting rid of the letter-spacing
    in typesetting.

    ZWJ is for indicating graphical ligatures. On the other
    hand, I'd like to point your attention to the already
    which seems to be meant exactly for such a use:
    it indicates, that two glyphs for one grapheme (an not
    ligature, and that's exactly what the Dutch IJ is:
    a single grapheme, and in fact not a ligature),
    this information can be used by the application
    for e.g. correct collating or spacing.

    Note, for example, that the same letter-spacing behaviour
    can be observed for German "ch" or "tz" when typeset in
    Fraktur. (though not in roman fonts).

    It's an other question, that U+034F is not supported by most
    applications, but it's still the correct representation for
    IJ in Dutch if you want to avoid compatibility characters.

    Concerning the discussion about the Austrian stamp,
    the text encoded is clearly O-umlaut, U-umlaut and
    U, and the O-e, U-e, V forms are merely font issues.

    How can you verify this? If the text was marked and
    the font changed to, e.g. Roman, you would /not/ expect
    to see O-e, U-e and V. On the other hand, in this
    historicising font style the form of U is V and the
    form of Ö is Oe. Period.

    > Perhaps my eyes are playing tricks on me, but I think
    > that there is a word on the third line of the lower
    > section beginning with "xpi"...? Is this perhaps Greek
    > ("Christ"?) commingled with the Latin?

    Yes. Definitely. It is highly common in medieval manuscripts
    to use abbreviations and diacritics, this is, because
    (a) parchment was expensive and (b) you copied texts by hand.
    So it was more economic to use them both in material
    and manpower.

    XPI is a common abbreviation in latin text for Christi
    (genetiv of Christus), and it's origins are indeed the
    greek form of the letters. Nevertheless, it is the latin
    letters "xpi", not chi,rho,iota in this context.
    (for Christus in nominative XP was used most commonly).

    In fact, that's just an accident, but it was this monday
    that I got myself
    Lexicon Abbreviaturarum - Dizionario di Abbreviature latine
    ed italiane (by Antonio Cappelli), which is a great
    book exactly about this topic of medieval and renaissance
    scribal abbreviations.

    A great book, you should get it, if you are interested
    in manuscripts. It has a huge dictionary part, and an
    introductory (quite important part) in italian, but
    you can understand the italian, if you had some latin
    in school and know english. The two make it perfectly

    I've also read on the internet, that the book has an
    English translation, but it was not available to me.


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