From: John Hudson (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Nov 05 2007 - 20:53:13 CST
Michael Everson wrote:
> Actually those rules work really well and reliably in Fraktur.
But ligatures in fraktur writing perform a different function from ligatures in the
Italian humanist bookhand that is the basis of roman/antiqua type. The forms of ligatures
in fraktur are also different -- unsurprisingly, since differently created strokes can be
expected to interact and connect in different ways -- and notably the form of the fraktur
f does not have the same collision potential as the roman f.
This is all fine, and I don't see any problem at all with different forms of scripts
having different rules for ligation. Indeed, that makes eminent sense to me because it
recognises that ligation is an aspect of writing style *not of grammar*. What seems silly
to me is devising rules for ligation based on a particular style of writing and then
insisting that those rules also apply for all other styles of writing of a given language.
I don't think it makes any sense to say that there is or should be a single set of rules
for ligation in German that is independent of script style. This is not to say that
individual languages do not give rise to particular orthographic phenomena that require
specific rules *within writing styles*. The presence of triple-f sequences in some German
compound words is an example, as is the presence of semantically differentiated dotted and
undotted i in Turkish. The latter has prompted some people to formulate the rule that fi
ligatures should not be used in Turkish, because it is common in most types for the top of
the f to swallow the dot of the i in this ligature. But the rule is mis-formulated,
because if the form of a ligature in a particular style of writing or typeface design does
not swallow the dot then there is no reason why one should not have an fi ligature in
Turkish. Similarly, I don't think it makes sense to insist on general rules for German
ligation independent of writing style or typeface.
Of course, what this all implies is that handling of rules for German ligation should
happen at a level somewhere well above text encoding -- just as Turkish ligation is --.
where it can take into account the particular embodiment of the text, i.e. a font.
-- Tiro Typeworks www.tiro.com Gulf Islands, BC firstname.lastname@example.org A bilabial velaric ingressive stop is essentially a kiss. -- Pullum & Ladusaw, _Phonetic symbol guide_
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