Re: ZWJ, ZWNJ and VS in Latin and other Greek-derived scripts

From: John Hudson (
Date: Thu Jan 25 2007 - 21:22:47 CST

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    Asmus Freytag wrote:

    >> In Latin typography, ligature formation is largely a matter of
    >> stylistic preference. Stylistic preferences do not belong in plain text.

    > In some styles, ligature formation is subject to additional rules that
    > are then no longer a stylistic preference. The most widely know, if only
    > historically relevant, of these is Fraktur (which is encoded in the
    > Latin script). In Fraktur style, and probably dependent on the language,
    > there are a number of ligatures that are essentially mandatory, such as
    > 'ch' for Fraktur texts in German, and others, such as 'st' that are
    > mandatory in some words, and prohibited in others.

    > Once you decide to use Fraktur, ligatures become part of your
    > orthography.

    Right, but deciding to use fraktur is itself a stylistic preference. I'm not sure that
    going through a text that one has decided to set in fraktur -- or which might possible be
    displayed in Fraktur -- and inserting ZWJ everywhere one wanted ligation to occure and/or
    ZWNJ everywhere one didn't want it is a sensible way to enable the orthographic impact of
    this deicision.

    The sad fact is that there is no standard layout model for fraktur, nothing to say how a
    fraktur font should operate or how application of layout features in fraktur fonts should
    be handled. There isn't even any way to signal to an application or layout engine that a
    given font is fraktur.

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Vancouver, BC
    Marie Antoinette was a woman whose core values were chocolate,
    sex, love, nature and Japanese ceramics. Frankly, there are
    worse principles of government than that.  - Karen Burshtein

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