From: Wolfgang Schmidle (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Dec 01 2009 - 05:04:51 CST
I am working with a Latin text from ca. 1500, which contains a set of
medieval characters. For instance, it contains the abbreviation qꝫ (q
and "letter et" U+A76B) for "-que" in the form of a ligature. The MUFI
Initiative has assigned the PUA codepoint U+E8BF to this ligature. Thus,
an appropriate font (such as Andron or Junicode) can display my text.
However, I would like to avoid PUA codepoints. In the examples in
document N3027, virtually all instances of the "letter et" are in fact
instances of the ligature character. Thus it seems that the ligature is
not supposed to be assigned an official codepoint in the foreseeable
In ch. 16 of the Unicode 5.0 book, it says that the "zero width joiner"
U+200D requests ligatures, e.g. "f+200D+i" should result in a "fi"
ligature. Although 200D seems to be meant for languages with mandatory
ligatures such as Arabic, the Latin "fi" is explicitly given as an
Consequently, in a font that contains the ligature glyph at e.g. U+E8BF,
the sequence q+200D+A76B should ideally be displayed by the same glyph
as the single codepoint E8BF, i.e. a rendering mechanism for this font
should replace q+200D+A76B by E8BF. Normal fonts would display the
sequence as qꝫ instead of the ligature.
Unfortunately, the rendering doesn't seem to work this way. And even in
a sophisticated font such as Hoefler Text, the "zero width joiner" has
the opposite effect: While "fi" is by default displayed as a ligature
and thus looks exactly like the "latin small ligature fi" U+FB01, the
sequence f+200D+i is not displayed as ligature, but as the normal
sequence "fi" with ligatures disabled.
Is there no implemented rendering mechanism for 200D in the Latin
alphabet? Or is 200D not meant for cases like these? Is there another
way to avoid the PUA codepoint?
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