David Birnbaum

Prof., PhD University of Pittsburgh, United States

Proposal for a unified encoding of Early Cyrillic glyphs in the Unicode Private Use Area

  • Summary/Abstract

    The paper proposes an encoding standard for early Cyrillic characters and glyphs that are still missing in the Universal Character Set (UCS) of the Unicode Standard and for different reasons will probably never be included, but are nevertheless used by the paleoslavistic community. This micro-standard is meant to expand, not to replace the Unicode standard and follows the path chosen by the Medieval Unicode Font Initiative (MUFI) a few years ago for the Latin script (see http://www.hit.uib.no/mufi/). Starting from the inventory of Old Cyrillic originally proposed at the conference held in Belgrade on 15–17 October 2007 (see BP), and taking in view the recommendations given by Birnbaum et al. 2008 and the MUFI-consortium, the chosen set is limited to 178 units with a specific function (characters and composites, superscript characters, modifier characters, and punctuation marks), which are located in the Private Use Area (PUA). Their positions (code points) are coordinated with MUFI. This set we will call PUA1. In the future a second set PUA2 will be proposed for a number of ligatures and paleographic variants that may not be coordinated with MUFI and are intended for special publications addressed to Slavistic readers. It is hoped that the proposed PUA encoding for Early Cyrillic Symbols, for which we choose the abbreviation CYFI, will establish itself as a sort of micro-standardization. Designers of scholarly fonts are encouraged to include these symbols according to this proposal (see code points in the appendix).

Unicode U+2E2F, Cyrillic Yerik (Vertical Tilde)

  • Summary/Abstract

    In the previous volume of Scripta & e-Scripta (vol. 6, 2008), the authors published a "White Paper" concerning "Early Cyrillic Writing after Unicode 5.1", which commented upon achievements in Unicode version 5.1 as well as candidates for future inclusion and variants. The White Paper was accompanied by a large table that included, among other things, representative glyphs for each character and its assigned codepoint in Unicode 5.1. Copies of both documents were distributed to participants in the XIVth International Congress of Slavists, held in Ohrid in September 2008. In the printed version, the Unicode code point for the vertical tilde, a new addition to Unicode version 5.1, was given as U+2E3A. However, as was brought to our attention later, the vertical tilde was assigned a different code point for the final published version of the Unicode standard, v. 5.1. In the standard, the correct code point for this glyph is U+2E2F (see http://www.unicode.org/charts/PDF/U2E00.pdf).

Paul the Not-So-Simple

  • Summary/Abstract

    The present report describes the construction of a technologically innovative electronic edition of the Old Church Slavonic "Life of St. Paul the Simple" from the Codex Suprasliensis. From a philological perspective, the on-line edition of the Life of St. Paul the Simple described here has attempted to address the pedagogical and research needs of Slavic medievalists by providing a textual edition that presents the manuscript material in a way that is both richer and more easily accessible than any other edition, paper or electronic. From a technological perspective, it has also attempted to explore some of the ways in which modern electronic text technology can be used to produce research and teaching tools that are superior to those available without such technology.

Character Set Standardization for Early Cyrillic Writing after Unicode 5.1

  • Summary/Abstract

    A White Paper prepared on behalf of the Commission for Computer Processing of Slavic Manuscripts and Early Printed Books to the International Committee of Slavists This White Paper emerged from discussions among the authors at the Slovo conference that took place in Sofia from 2008-02-21 through 2008-02-26. It is partially a response to three documents published by the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences: "Standard of the Old Slavic Cyrillic Script", "Standardisation of the Old Church Slavonic Cyrillic Script and its Registration in Unicode", and "Proposal for Registering the Old Slavic Cyrillic Script in Unicode" The purpose of this White Paper is to provide for the benefit of medieval Slavic philologists: 1. A review of the current state of Unicode with respect to encoding early Cyrillic writing. 2. A brief statement of basic Unicode design principles. 3. An overview of the relationship between character set and font technologies. 4. A response to "Standard","Standardisation", and "Proposal" that provides a realistic perspective on the compatibility of these documents with modern character set standards. 5. A discussion of the possible need for further expansion of the early Cyrillic character inventory in Unicode. 6. A discussion of strategies for meeting the encoding needs of Slavic medievalists in a standards-conformant way. This White Paper is contributed for discussion before and during the September 2008 International Congress of Slavists in Ohrid.

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