Re: U+0345 COMBINING GREEK YPOGEGRAMMENI not usable in other scripts as "hook below"?

From: Alexej Kryukov (
Date: Sat Jun 17 2006 - 04:05:50 CDT

  • Next message: Alexej Kryukov: "Re: U+0345 COMBINING GREEK YPOGEGRAMMENI not usable in other scripts as "hook below"?"

    On Saturday 17 June 2006 07:01, you wrote:
    > Well yes and no. Pretty much any Greek typography expert will
    > probably tell you that the adscript is correct following the relevant
    > uppercase Greek vowels in the polytonic system. One does sometimes
    > see subscript iotas in this context, and they are understood by
    > readers, but they are not correct according to the canons of quality
    > Greek publishing.

    This is not exactly true. The fact is that iota subscript below
    capital vowels was rather uncommon for European typography (outside
    Greece) of 19th and 20th centuries. As a result, one can see that in
    99% of editions of classical (ancient) authors combinations with iota
    subscript are always capitalized to an uppercase vowel + regular
    lowercase iota. This practice is described in any manual of Ancient
    Greek language, and so most Western classicists consider any other
    practice unusual or even illegal. However, this rule was never
    considered mandatory in Greece itself: in fact most Gree editions
    of the same time have subscript iotas even below capitals.

    For this reason I probably would never use iota subscript
    with capitals when publishing monuments of Ancient Greek literature
    (since the standard orthography here is formed by the Western practice)
    but would consider these forms even preferrable for any other types of
    texts (i. e. Byzantine texts, liturgical books of Greek Orthodox Church,
    etc.), since in this case the subscript glyph will better correspond to
    the canons of quality Greek publishing.

    Note that in most Unicode fonts prepared by Greek designers all
    combinations with subscript/adscript are implemented by this way (see
    for example Particularly I prefer
    such fonts (and follow this practice in my own fonts) for the following

    -- if one absolutely dislikes iota subscript below capitals, (s)he
    always can type a capital letter and small iota separately, while the
    opposite is hardly possible;

    -- generally speaking, all digraphs encoded as a single character
    are very inconvenient for typesetting, because they are not spaced out
    when we change letterspacing for the piece of text which contains them.
    That's why IMHO the ideal solution for this situation might look as
    follows: the font itself contains only combinations with iota subscript
    encoded to the appropriate slots, which, however, are replaced with
    capital vowels followed by lowercase iota by applying an OpenType tag
    (which may be enabled by default). Unfortunately, I don't know such
    an OpenType tag which would allow replacing a single glyph with multiple
    glyphs in Wester scripts...

    Alexej Kryukov <akrioukov at newmail dot ru>
    Moscow State University
    Historical Faculty

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