Re: Old Cyrillic Yest

From: Doug Ewell <>
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2012 09:21:56 -0700

QSJN 4 UKR <qsjn4ukr at gmail dot com> wrote:

> Old Cyrillic letter YEST (Є) has two variants: broad (also called
> Yakornoye Yest) and narrow. They are saved in modern Ukrainian script
> (only), where U+0404/0454 UKRAINIAN IE is used for the inherited BROAD
> YEST and the modern, rectangle form of U+0415/0453 IE for the NARROW
> YEST. Unicode Standard has a remark to use U+0404 for the Old Cyrillic
> YEST, but it is unclear, how to distinguish the BROAD YEST and the
> NARROW YEST. Unfortunately some fonts use U+0404/0454 for any YEST and
> U+0415/0435 for the modern rectangle IE, some old-style fonts use only
> the old YEST but with codepoint U+0415/0435 and do not use U+0404/0454
> at all, some use U+0404/0454 for the BROAD YEST and U+0415/0435 for
> the NARROW YEST... Please regulate it!

The Unicode Consortium does not regulate this aspect of fonts, nor
should it, except to say that glyphs have to represent the true abstract
character, and not display, say, a "B"-like glyph at the code point for
the letter A.

If you are saying that Chapter 7.4 of TUS needs a description of these
two abstract characters, that seems fair, but that is as far as the
"regulating" goes.

> Unicode Standard has some codepoins for other broad Cyrillic letters:
> U+A64C/A64D BROAD OMEGA, U+047A/047B ROUND OMEGA (misnomer, it is
> broad o). Adding new codepoints for the BROAD YEST does not solve the
> problem: as i said, UKRAINIAN IE and BROAD YEST is the same letter in
> fact. Adding new codepoints for the NARROW YEST is bad idea too,
> existing texts use U+0404/0454 for NARROW YEST more often than for
> BROAD YEST (just since broad form is rare:). So we need as many as 4
> new codepoints in U+A6xx block for CYRILLIC CAPITAL and SMALL LETTER
> BROAD and NARROW YEST. That way we shall be able to use both
> discernible letters of the Old Cyrillic, and we shall not mix them
> with the modern Ukrainian letters nor each other.

This would create duplicate encodings for existing text, a Bad Thing. If
this is genuinely a problem, the improved explanation in Chapter 7.4
(above) would be a better solution.

Doug Ewell | Thornton, Colorado, USA | @DougEwell ­
Received on Mon Nov 12 2012 - 10:24:18 CST

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