Special characters of old Sorbian orthographys

From: Gerrit Ansmann <gansmann_at_uni-bonn.de>
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2012 13:16:55 +0200


I am currently working on a blackletter (fraktur) digitalization, which amongst others aims at including all special characters ever used in such a script. Especially old Sorbian literature (17th century until 1950) features a rich selection of special characters. Most of these already exist as unicode characters or are straightforward combinations, but there are a few cases where I am not sure how which encoding to use or whether they may qualify as new characters.

First, there are stroked variants of ‹W› and ‹w› (see appended sketch). Since combined characters do not qualify for unicode anymore, I first thought to encode them using U+0337 (combining short solidus overlay). However, »LATIN CAPITAL LETTER L WITH STROKE« and »LATIN CAPITAL LETTER L, COMBINING SHORT SOLIDUS OVERLAY« are listed as confusable characters, which in turn confused me. So my questions are: Do these characters qualify for a submission to unicode? If not: what would be the proper way to encode them? If yes: Is there a preferred temporary work-around? Either way, I suggest adding the current stance on letters with stroke to the FAQ.

Second, there is an ‹a› with to vertically aligned dots above. Should this be encoded as ‹a + U+0307 + U+0307› (‹ȧ̇› – ‹a› with double ‹combining dot above›) or does it qualify for a new diacritical mark?

Third, I noticed, that the positioning of diacritical marks on certain letters is not straightforward. E.g., for a ‹b with acute›, the acute could be placed either above the bowl or the vertical stem of the ‹b›. Am I assuming correctly, that this disambiguity is not to be dealt with on the encoding level, but on the font level, e.g., with glyph variants?

If any of the above qualifies for a new character: Am I assuming correctly, that these have not already been proposed? (I have searched http://www.unicode.org/alloc/Pipeline.html and http://std.dkuug.dk/jtc1/sc2/wg2/docs/n4031.pdf.)

Gerrit Ansmann

Received on Sun Sep 16 2012 - 10:06:56 CDT

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