Contrastive use of kratka and breve

Philippe Verdy verdy_p at
Wed Jul 2 12:57:35 CDT 2014

The alternative would be to encode a separate CYRILLIC COMBINING "LUNAR"
BREVE for the case of the initial /j/, or to encode that letter /j/

However in your examples, that letter /j/ only occurs in the word initial
position where phonology transforms the long /i/ into /j/. Contextually you
can still make the difference even if the glyphs are not contrasted.

But may be you have examples showing that letter /j/ in a non-initial
position (at start of a syllable, i.e. after a vowel) or at end of words
(also after a vowel) where such contextual guess is not easy to decide
between /j/ and long /i/.

It would be interesting to have details where krafka is expected and where
a breve is expected, and where they can be confusing. If you cannot find
such example then a simple rendering rule would be to use the lunar form of
the breve in syllable start position (over и at start of a word, or
over и after
another vowel), and the krafka form (with both arms terminated by a rounded
bowl) in all other positions (over и in the middle of a syllable after a
consonnant... or also over и at end of word unles you also need the
distinction there between a final long /i/ and a final /j/?),

2014-07-02 19:34 GMT+02:00 Philippe Verdy <verdy_p at>:

> ZWNJ is not supposed to join or disjoin combing diacritics from a base
> letter (even if it has such limited use in Indic scripts, but only between
> letters to prevent clusters with subjoined letters),
> CGJ would be better used to prevent canonical compositions but it won't
> normally give a distinctive semantic.
> It looks like you have a case where you would need to encode a variant of
> the base letter и (with a variant selector). The rendering may be still
> fuzzy as there's no such variant registered for that CYRILIC LETTER I.
> Probably, given that you have fonts making a specific contrast for и +
> U+306, adding a CGJ in the middle would do the trick if it is only to
> prevent the canonically equivalent composition which could occur in many
> places.
> 2014-07-02 18:11 GMT+02:00 Leo Broukhis <leob at>:
>> Here
>> is an example of й and и + U+0306 COMBINING BREVE used contrastively (/j/
>> vs short /i/) thanks to a difference in typographic style of Cyrillic breve
>> (kratka) and regular breve.
>> For me in Win7 using и + U+0306 results in a contrast, but given that и +
>> U+0306 is a canonical decomposition of й and a renderer is allowed, if not
>> encouraged, to use the glyph for й every time it sees и + U+0306, what is
>> the right (portable) way to do that? Would и + ZWNJ + U+0306 work? Should
>> it?
>> I'd like to reply to
>> Thanks,
>> Leo
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