Re: ligature usage - WAS: How do we find out what assigned code points aren't normally used in text?

From: Philippe Verdy <>
Date: Sat, 10 Sep 2011 23:27:37 +0200

In fact I also think that the fi ligature is still suitable for
Turkish, the way it is encoded, as meaning the ligature of a f and a
dotted i. I don't see why such ligature would not exhibit the presence
of the dot.

It is just a matter of glyph design, and a ligature of f and dotted i
is still possible (all depends on how you design the "f" part, notably
its top part). As well the same font design could include a distinct
ligature of f and dotless i, even if it's not encoded in Unicode.

The encoded fi ligature is clearly a compatibility character, no
longer needed for correct rendering of ligatures with today's font
technologies. How the encoded fi ligature should look like in the
rendered glyph does not matter as long as you recognize the f and the
dotted i in it.

If most fi ligatures present in many fonts do not exhibit the
difference, it's only because these font designs were not considering
the needs for Turkic typographies, when most Latin-written languages
do not have a strong differenciation between dotted and dotless i
(these languages just have a concept of "soft dots", where the dot
itself does not really modify the i, but only helps reading some
old-style typographies, for example to help separate strings made of
successive letters m, n, u, i).

For long, the dot was only a typographic feature, used contextually in
a discretionary way where it could be useful for readers, long before
becoming a standard, and not a distinctive diacritic. The fi ligature
belongs to the same class of typographic features, but it is probably
not helpful with modern font designs like Arial, Helvetica, Times, or
even Courier (in this case, a monospaced version of the fi ligature is
really bad, but it should not prevent a double-width presentation of
the ligature in a monospaced font)... I also think that for most Latin
languages, it will be suitable to drop the soft dot on i and j, if it
does not effectively help the reader.

-- Philippe.
2011/9/10 Kent Karlsson <>:
> Den 2011-09-10 20:58, skrev "Jukka K. Korpela" <>:
>> There is a deeper language-dependency. According to Oxford Style Manual,
>> one should not use the fi ligature in Turkish, as that would obscure the
>> distinction between normal i and dotless i (ž). This makes perfect sense
>> to me.
> It does not make perfect sense to me. Rather that:
> *If f followed by i is such that their font glyphs overlap (using
> normal letter spacing), making a ligature appropriate, makes that
> *font* unsuitable for Turkish, as such a ligature would obscure...*.
> If that is what you (and other who have said the same thing) meant,
> then fine. But taken at face value, your statement does not make
> (typographic) sense.
>    /Kent K
Received on Sat Sep 10 2011 - 16:30:50 CDT

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