Re: Cyrillic guillemotleft and guillemotright

From: John H. Jenkins (
Date: Fri May 13 2005 - 11:58:04 CDT

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    On May 13, 2005, at 10:33 AM, Hans Aberg wrote:

    > Now, to the guillemots. Assume that <<...>> are the Cyrillic
    > guillemots and that [[...]] are the French guillemots. If I write
    > [[Russian text]], is the semantic meaning from that different from
    > <<Russian text>>, assuming the quoted text is the same? The first
    > case is probably part of a French text, quoting some Russian, and
    > the second case, some Russian text quoting Russian.

    And the standard Unicode response would be that in the former case,
    you use a font specifically designed for (or optimized for) French,
    and in the latter one designed for Russian.

    This sort of unification issue is common in Unicode -- Japanese vs.
    Chinese glyph design for Han, French vs. Polish glyph design for
    accented Latin letters -- and has been from the first. Unicode
    considers these glyph issues to be addressed through some other
    mechanism. I should point out specifically that OpenType allows for
    the same font to have different glyphs for the same character
    depending on the language, if the application supports this, as do
    other high-level font formats such as AAT and Graphite.

    John H. Jenkins

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