[sword-devel] Luther1545

Peter von Kaehne refdoc at gmx.net
Thu Jun 19 01:42:36 MST 2008

Chris Little wrote:
> Long s (ſ U+017F) still appears today as the left half of the letter ß, 
> which comes from a ligature of ſ and z (or ʒ).

That is actually not even very old. My dad still learnt the gothic hand
writing regularly at school, while I learnt it from him out of interest
as a teen.

The ß is there exactly this - and its name in German is "SZ" (and only
secodnarily a "sharp S")

 >> Taking the glyph shaping into account I would think the version we have
>> is wrong as it tries to imitate this by using v and u - I have not seen
>> enough, but I think overall a straight use of U only for both letters
>> would be more correct - but equally difficult to read for some.
> I've never seen or heard of anyone encoding texts like these with an 
> assumption of glyph shaping by the renderer. Most people encode the text 
> as it appears. Some will modernize so that u means [u] and v means [v] 
> and [w] is rendered by w.

Positional glyphshaping is simply not anymore part of modern script -
but Gothic script, used in print and handwriting regularly until the
1930/40s, had still remnants of glyphshaping - mostly around the s.

People get confused by it and also have difficulties separating form and
content - and a lot (or most) encodings I found on the net appear to be
done by enthusiasts and not by necessity by people with any semblance of
scholarship. Nothing wrong with that.

> I believe the 1611 KJV is usually encoded with u, v, w, i, & j encoded 
> as they appear on the page, but s & ſ are folded as s. I suppose we 
> could mirror the original orthography entirely and create a modernized 
> derivative. I don't know whether it would be possible to do the 
> modernization at run time via ICU transliteration.

I think it would be equally valid to use u/v/w and i/j as pronounced
(then and now) or u and i as printed. What I do not like though at all
is an attempt to be archaic and mistakenly print sometimes a V and
sometimes a U simply because concepts like glyphshaping are not
recognised. If glyphshaping is desired - I am sure someone clever could
design a nice ttf font doing just this on either basis - in Arabic and
Farsi we use one code point for 4 shapes and there is little stopping
anyone doin tthe same for older German or english texts.

There are serious implications wrt search for trying to imitate the
print-image and ignoring the content and the concept of glyphshaping -
lots of German words are combined words and if a v sound ends up in the
middle of a word and is rendered in a u shape as consequence we still
want to find it in both instances - voll (full) and uebervoll (overfull)
- encode one as voll and the next one as ueberuoll would loolk archaic
but be unsearchable - much better to have this dealt with at a font
level where  a middle v becomes a U shape if necessary, but leave the
encoding intact and searchable.

Incidentally - and I have no answer on that - German glyph shaping form
late 19th early 20th century worked on syllables - so voll and uebervoll
 would be the same, but these old texts seem to use word level - see eg
Water Wasser. I learnt to write it as Wasſer - one shape being used at
the end of a syllable, the other at the begin or middle. But the image I
linked to wrote Waſſer - shaping at word level. I am not sure how
consistent this was used.



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