Unicode 11 Georgian uppercase vs. fonts

Michael Everson via Unicode unicode at unicode.org
Fri Jul 27 06:58:51 CDT 2018

On 27 Jul 2018, at 12:22, Alexey Ostrovsky via Unicode <unicode at unicode.org> wrote:
> It is a mistake or misinterpretation of evidence provided (modern samples and samples from 19th c., provided in N4712 in the same context, are of different nature, it is clear even from images) and §8 of the document states opposite. 

No, it is a question of orthography, as I have shown with my English/French/German examples. Structurally, the script has case. Orthographically case is used in a way differently from other casing scripts.

> The criteria for presence of orthographic distinction between cases is clear: there must be either some typical usage of a case (like USA) or there must be a semantic difference between different cases (like smith vs. Smith).

Your analysis is mistaken. There is no “must”. 

> Neither one is correct for Georgian, use of "case" is totally optional (the same §8 agrees with that): there is no difference between "ašš" and "AŠŠ" (აშშ, USA) in the text, so use of uppercase is exactly the same as small caps (and samples provided in photos only confirm it). There is no Georgian orthography rules that regulate use of upper-case. If I am wrong, I will be happy to see an orthographic rule that distinguish between upper- and lowercase or, at least, recommends to use uppercase.

The rule is given clearly in N4712 §8. 

“Any word is written either in all-smalls (Mkhedruli) or in all-caps (Mtavruli)."

> What about samples from 19th century, it was the same attempt (under Cyrillic influence), as an attempt of Shanidze in the middle of 20th century (however, Shanidze used Asomtavruli, which, again, only proves that there were no uppercase for Mkhedruli except on the level of an idea).

Figures 1 through 6 show examples of Georgian using an orthographic rule which is common to Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian and so on. 

> There were no orthography rules on that and, even more, it was not orthography as well.

Perhaps your error is in thinking that there were formally codified orthographic rules published by some Academy or other. Probably there wasn’t. Most Georgians (and I asked a room full of them) do not remember learning Mtavruli. It’s sort of taken for granted. These facts are clear: 

A) Modern Georgian orthography uses lowercase letters always, unless uppercase letters are used in which all the letters in the word are uppercase. 

B) Some 19th and early 20th-century orthography uses lowercase and uppercase letters in the same way that they are used in Cyrillic and Latin. 

> Vast majority of samples from the same period of 19th century are caseless (manuscripts, archive papers, official papers, books, journals, newspapers -- everything).

Yes, we know.

> Either majority of texts from that period are orthographically incorrect, or there was no such orthography like uppercase that time. 

There are two sets of orthographic rules, A) and B) above. 

> One have to distinguish clearly between experiments and a common practice, and N4712 only provide samples, it does not clarify whether it was an orthography or small caps -like usage. an assertion that those couple samples prove that the georgian script had case in 19th century is the same as an assertion that the latin script is caseless in 21st century just because we have enough caseless samples (including this one).

All it means is that A) is the predominant Georgian orthography and B) is a failed experiment that Georgians don’t like any more. Isn’t it wonderful that the UCS can now support both, however? 

Be happy. Or don’t, but you’re going to have to live with the Georgian encoding as it is. 

> With all my respect, N2608R2 is right and N4712 is wrong about case in Georgian.

You are mistaken. Also, in Unicode you can’t have small-caps styling without encoded capital letters because small caps are dependent on the encoded characters.

> Sincerely,
> Alex.


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