Unicode 11 Georgian uppercase vs. fonts

Alexey Ostrovsky via Unicode unicode at unicode.org
Sat Jul 28 06:42:10 CDT 2018

On Sat, Jul 28, 2018 at 5:34 AM, Peter Constable <petercon at microsoft.com>

> > Many Georgian scientists working with script and language are not fans
> of "uppercase" font styles.
> >With all my respect, N2608R2 is right and N4712 is wrong about case in
> Georgian.
> Can you comment, then, on N4776, in which the Georgian Minister of
> Education and Science appears to be referring to Mtavruli as “Georgian
> capital letters”?

Peter, sure. First of all, not related to this particular case, but in
general: even a minister can be wrong, so issues of the script must be
solved based on common practice for that script and its orthography, and
not based on individual opinion (even if it is an official institution).
But let's get to N4776 (markup numbers and letters are mine): "... [1]
Availability of different versions of Georgian [A] font is important... [2]
However, it should be noted as well that in modern Georgian capital letters
are only used [2.a] for creating of printed texts, [2.b] for specific
polygraphic purposes and [2.c] their usage is not related to orthography.
Hence, [3] the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia welcomes the
integration of Georgian capital letters, as one of the [B] script versions,
into Unicode standard."

First, #1 clearly shows that the document treats Mtavruli as a graphical
variant of Mkhedruli, not as a separate script, like Mkhedruli,
Asomtavruli, or Nuskhuri.
Second, #2 reaffirms N2608R2, #2.b confirms it is a stylistic variant (and
not a majuscule pair to minuscule Mkheduli), #2.c directly opposes
Michael's statement that Mtavruli use can be treated as orthographic.
Then... #3 welcomes N4712 to encode a graphical variation of Mkhedruli.
So,  N2608R2 is right, but N4712 is welcomed as it adds another Georgian
layer to Unicode.

When they say "capital letters" (მთავრული ასონიშნები, lit. *capital letter
signs*), they obviously mix the concept of a character with a concept of a
glyph (or simply mean glyphs). I think this is the key issue here: Mtavruli
looks like capital glyphs(!) but behave like ordinal Mkhedruli characters
with a stylistic variation.

Also, one minor note on terminology in the translation: both A (translated
as "font") and B (translated as "script") in Georgian text refer to
Mtavruli as to "form of writing" (დაწერილობა), not to as "font" (შრიფტი) or
"writing system" (დამწერლობა).


> Thanks
> Peter
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