Unicode and Elfscripts

From: Michael Everson (everson@egt.ie)
Date: Mon Mar 27 2000 - 08:58:57 EST

Greetings to elfscript@egroups.com. If you are receiving this and are not a
member of that discussion list, see
http://www.egroups.com/list/elfscript/info.html . Further discussion of
this topic (standardization in Plane 1 of Tengwar and Cirth) will take
place there.

Proposals for encoding Elfscripts in the Universal Character Set have been
around for some time. I've joined elfscript@egroups.com as it seems a
useful forum for the ad-hoc discussions.

Tengwar proposals which have been seen by the standards committee:

http://www.egt.ie/standards/csur/tengwar.html The first proposal for the
ConScript Unicode (Private Use Area) Registry.

http://www.dkuug.dk/JTC1/SC2/WG2/docs/n1641/n1641.htm The second proposal
(first proposal to WG2).

http://www.egt.ie/standards/iso10646/pdf/tengwar.pdf The third proposal
(follows some corrections by Arden Smith).

discussion of vowel representation and modes. Inconclusive and under
revision by me.

Guidelines on how to proceed with discussion:

1. Do not post "competing" proposals. I am managing the proposal, and, as a
member of ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2 and am deeply involved in the encoding of
many scripts in the Unicode/10646 it is well to leave management of the
proposal in my hands. I assure you I will take all comments and criticisms
and suggestions into account, but a few years ago Måns Björkman (I think it
was Måns) published a separate table and I _still_ haven't completely
figured out the delta between his and mine because he moved things around
and renamed them as well. Hence Rules 2 and 3.

2. Do not worry about the order of the characters in the table right now.
Ordering is irrelevant to the UCS character set encoding, and we can settle
on the aesthetics of the table layout LATER.

3. Do not worry too much about the character names right now. We do need to
discuss them and settle on good ones, but they're less important than Rule

4. We need to determine whether the character set is complete or not. Are
there characters missing? Are there characters which are duplicates of each
other and should be unified? Are there characters which are unified and
should be differentiated? Do we have citations for EACH character we encode?

Personally, although I know that Tengwar is everyone's favourite, I would
like to hold off on it for a little while (I am preparing a big new summary
paper on it) and instead begin by looking at what I think is in fact a more
complete proposal, namely, that for the Cirth. See the Cirth proposal at

I've published a revised code table and names list (again due to Arden
Smith's comments) at http://www.egt.ie/standards/iso10646/pdf/cirth.pdf

For your information, I am contacting the Tolkien Estate to ensure that
there are no legal impediments to encoding these scripts, and possibly to
discuss technical issues with Christopher Tolkien in the fullness of time.

Please let us continue this discussion at elfscript@egroups.com.

Michael Everson ** Everson Gunn Teoranta ** http://www.egt.ie
15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2; Éire/Ireland
Vox +353 1 478 2597 ** Fax +353 1 478 2597 ** Mob +353 86 807 9169
27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn; Baile an Bhóthair; Co. Átha Cliath; Éire

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