At 02:10 -0700 2003-08-26, Peter Kirk wrote:

EGYPTOLOGICAL AYIN? I don't think it is either U+02BD or U+02BF. The former is a reversed comma, the latter a half-ring. And neither has a capital, as the Egyptological character has.

Michael, it is very clear to me that the Egyptological ayin is modelled in its glyph as well as its name on the ayin used in transliteration of Hebrew, Arabic etc.

Well, *I* gave it its name. And as to the glyph, having an original model in something does not mean that an entity has not budded off into its own letterness. ;-)

The slightly variant shape in Gardiner is simply because all the transliterations in Gardiner are in italics and so the visible glyph is an italic reversed comma.

I disagree. Gardiner uses plenty of commas throughout his work, and they are normal, raised, comma-sized commas. The EGYPTOLOGICAL AYIN is much longer, reaching from just above the baseline to x-height. There is no chance that it is just an italic reversed comma. A revised proposal will show examples indicating this.

As for the casing distinction, I wonder if this is in fact unique to Gardiner. If so, perhaps a PUA character is appropriate.

For Egyptian? Certainly not. Gardiner is essential in Egyptology, and I would consider plain-text representation of his texts to be essential. Whether it is unique to him or not, his work is seminal.

But no doubt Paul Cowie can advise on whether this is a widely used. If it is, I would suggest adding one new character for an upper case ayin rather than a new pair.

I don't think that the apostrophe-ayin is the lower-case of this character, even if it refers to the same *sound*.

The Egyptological characters are quite different from the other modifier letters used for Arabic and Hebrew. Alef in general Semitics looks like a right single quotation mark or a right-half ring. Egyptological Alef looks like two right-half rings one over the other, and usually these are connected. This is clearly a novel letter.


And while Semitic Ayin is often represented with either U+02BB or U+02BF, neither of those are casing. To my mind, the Egyptological letters exist in one-to-one relation with Gardiner G1 'Egyptian vulture' (ALEF), M17 'flowering reed' (YOD) and 36 'forearm' (AYIN) apart from the casing which has been added in modern editorial practice.

We need to encode modern editorial practice. And it is not just Gardiner.

Well, the one to one correspondences are not nearly so simple e.g. there are many other hieroglyphic characters which represent a group of consonants including alef, yod or ayin.

Cleopatra's name is written with an Egyptian cup; modern editors encode K or k for that cup depending on context, the capital being used for proper names. That's why Gardiner cased Egyptian alef, ayin, and yod. It's that novel *Latin* practice which is proposed for encoding.

Or would U+021D or U+025C be suitable for your 3?

U+021D is yogh, which is what it is. It is not an Alef, and the resemblance is only superficial. And U+025C is a reverse epsilon, not an Alef.

Well, I am confused. You are rejecting some alternatives because of different shaped glyphs for the same function and others because of different functions with essentially the same shape.

The YOGH is NOT essentially the same shape as the EGYPTOLOGICAL ALEF, any more than DIGIT THREE or LATIN SMALL LETTER REVERSE OPEN E is. Neither is EGYPTOLOGICAL AYIN the same shape as U+02BD MODIFIER LETTER REVERSED COMMA. Even if it was derived from that, it has its own attributes now which make it different. Like size and casing..

What are the criteria for adding new Latin characters to Unicode? Do they have to be novel in function, novel in shape, or just one or the other?

For my part I look at the etymology or origin of the character. I recognize (some do not) that sometimes a letter is borrowed from another script and naturalized. I look at how the character functions, what kinds of glyphs are OK for it. The Egyptological characters all are unique enough to merit encoding.

the sign used for yod (looks like a i with a right ring tick above it)

This one looks rather like U+1EC9 though I am not sure if the hook above is quite the right shape for you. You might prefer a regular i followed by U+0357 COMBINING RIGHT HALF RING ABOVE. Or maybe U+0313 would be preferred, this is the Greek smooth breathing and looks like a comma.

None of the above.

But the Egyptological glyph is apparently identical to one or other of these. We really can't go down the road of encoding combining marks by detailed function.

I don't think it is apparently identical to either a half ring (it is more than half a ring), or apparently identical to the combining apostrophe. It is, hm, more moon-like than anything. No, I don't think it's the Vietnamese tone mark either.

If so we will have to disunify acute accent into all sorts of different things: a marker of closer articulation (French), of stress (many languages including modern Greek), of tone (classical Greek and African languages) etc etc.

I don't follow that logic at all.

Or else we can note that the Egyptolological mark is identical in shape to either U+0357 or U+0313 and so use the existing mark.

It is not identical to either. I do not want to add a combining Egyptological ring-thingy to Unicode. It is not a productive mark. A capital and small letter i with a deformed dot is what's needed, that's all.
Michael Everson * * Everson Typography * *

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