Date: 1997-04-14
This is an unofficial HTML version of a document submitted to WG2.

Title: Reminder about 4 medieval English Latin characters

Source: Michael Everson
Status: Irish national position
Action: Consideration by WG2 and UTC

ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2 N1106, dated 1994-10-11 was updated with a proposal summary form, N1163, on 1995-03-10. ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2 N1166, dated 1995-03-10, contained a proposal summary form. No action has been taken on these proposals, which appear to have fallen between the cracks. Ireland would like these simple requests for additional Latin characters to be approved by WG2 and UTC with no further delay. This document contains a reiteration of the content of N1163 and N1166.


The characters U+0195 LATIN SMALL LETTER HV and U+01BF LATIN LETTER WYNN require capital forms. The first of these characters is used in Gothic, the second is used in Old and Middle English. Both of these characters have case. Documentation from Mossé's Manuel de la langue gotique and the Oxford English Dictionary is given in N1166.

It is proposed to add LATIN CAPITAL LETTER HWAIR and LATIN CAPITAL LETTER WYNN to ISO/IEC 10646, and to add an informative note in parentheses after the two existing characters:


In this table, WYNN is given in the original font I made in 1995, and in two fonts used by Old and Middle English scholars, which are available on the Internet.


The characters U+01B7 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER EZH and U+0292 LATIN SMALL LETTER EZH do not represent the Middle English letters LATIN CAPITAL LETTER YOGH and LATIN SMALL LETTER YOGH, although they have been falsely unified with them. Unlike EZH, which has no glyph variants and must be written with a sharp Z-like angle on top, YOGH is often, indeed usually, written rounded. YOGH and EZH must not be unified.

These characters have a superficially similar appearance, but YOGH has a wider range of permissible glyph variants, and is historically derived from a form of the lower-case letter g. YOGH is used in medieval English texts. YOGH refers to a number of velar or velar-related sounds (/gh/, /j/, /w/, /x/). EZH is a character used in the International Phonetic Alphabet, and is used in transcriptions of languages such as Georgian and Armenian. EZH is historically derived from the letter z, and has no glyph variants; it must always be drawn with a sharp Z-like angle at the top. EZH refers to palatal and apical sounds like /zh/ or /dz/. YOGH and EZH are different characters. In modern Skolt Sámi orthography, EZH is used for /dz/ and EZH WITH CARON is used for /dzh/. YOGH is never found to take diacritics.


In this table, YOGH is given in the original font I made in 1995, and in a font used by Old and Middle English scholars, which is available on the Internet.

Go to the follow-up discussion document on YOGH
Michael Everson, Evertype, Dublin, 2001-09-21