Re: The always disapearing sign CUNEIFOR SIGN U U

From: Richard Wordingham <>
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2013 20:24:51 +0100

On Thu, 12 Sep 2013 18:30:47 +0200
Frdric Grosshans <> wrote:

> However, this character 12399 is absent from the ballot, which stops
> the additions in the cuneiform block at 12398. What is the rational
> for omitting this character ? Stability with "legacy" encoding (i.e.
> pre-unicode 7) ?

I suspect the problem may simply be a lack of character stability. The
problem is that sometimes the symbol for 20 was two characters
<U+1230B CUNEIFORM SIGN U, U+1230B>, which could be mistaken for 610,
and sometimes the two U's were clearly over struck, forming what I would
call a ligature. I understand that there are some cases where what in
some periods was clearly a sequence of characters was in other times
clearly a single character.

If we aren't going to have a character CUNEIFORM SIGN U U, I wish we
could have a clear recommendation such as:

"Use <U+1230B, U+200D ZERO WIDTH JOINER, U+1230B> for the 'digit' 20,
and use <U+1230B, U+2009 THIN SPACE, U+1230B> for '610'."

I've asked how the two should be distinguished, and got no useful
answer - though Michael Everson's answer that CUNEIFORM SIGN U U would
be encoded would have been useful if it had come to pass.

<U, ZWJ, U> isn't perfect - one version of the proposal recommended
treating cuneiform letters as ideographic so far as line-breaking was
concerned. Perhaps then one would need something like <U, ZWJ, WJ, U>
or <U, WJ, ZWJ, U> for '20'.

Received on Thu Sep 12 2013 - 14:26:46 CDT

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