ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2 N1636
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DATE: 1997-08-25 | |
DOC TYPE: | Expert contribution |
TITLE: | Encoding Egyptian Hieroglyphs in ISO/IEC 10646-2 |
SOURCE: | Michael Everson |
PROJECT: | JTC1.02.18.02 |
STATUS: | Discussion paper |
ACTION ID: | FYI |
DUE DATE: | -- |
DISTRIBUTION: | Worldwide |
MEDIUM: | Paper and web |
NO. OF PAGES: | 5 (printed at 85%) |
To encode Egyptian hieroglyphs, we should adopt the existing encoding principles which have been developed since computers were introduced into Egyptology in the late 1970s and the early 1980s, and which are widely if not universally employed by Egyptologists today. The Manuel de codage (Paris: 1988) and the Macintosh and Windows implementations (MacScribe and WinGlyph) which support it are sufficiently well-developed that they can be adopted with a minimum of effort into ISO/IEC 10646 -- optimizing the transfer from existing encoded texts to 10646-coded texts.
To begin with, two distinct repertoires should be encoded. The first, smaller set, called BASIC EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHS, consists of the essential Gardiner Middle Egyptian sign list, and comprises 761 characters. The second, much larger set, called EXTENDED EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHS, as presented in Hieroglyphica (Utrecht and Paris: 1993), comprises 4872 characters. Additionally, 37 Alternate Format characters will be needed in order to map currently-encoded texts to 10646. It is expected that in the next decade the final number of hieroglyphs known and analyzed will total some 8000, which means that we can expect, eventually, further extensions (such as EXTENDED EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHS-A) to be added to the standard.
Obviously the only sensible way of naming the characters is to identify them with their standard Egyptological catalogue numbers, since otherwise the character names would be picturesque but overlong. The name EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC SIGN E34 refers uniquely and unambiguously to the hare character used for the sound wn.
The complexity of the repertoire is largely a problem for the Egyptologists in the first place and for the preparer of the encoding proposal in the second; but the set is finite and well-defined. More subtly difficult, however, is mapping the formatting characters of the Manuel de codage to 10646. The chief question is, how closely must the 10646 encoding reflect them? My view is that it should reflect as much of it as possible.
Positioning is an essential part of Egyptian hieroglyphic text processing, and ISO/IEC 10646 must represent positioning and directionality accurately and completely. It should be assumed that Egyptian has a basic left-to-right directionality; both left-to-right and right-to-left are used. The existing U+200E LEFT-TO-RIGHT MARK and U+200F RIGHT-TO-LEFT MARK can be used to effect whatever directional requirements are needed. However, these marks should be used only for reversing the directionality of the entire text, not for individual signs, which may be mirrored without affecting the directionality of the text. For those, a MIRROR SIGN is proposed here, as are a number of rotation signs -- though it should be noted that other scripts, such as Runic, could benefit from such signs. The END OF LINE MARKER and END OF PAGE MARKER are essential for correct processing of columnar Egyptian and their Manual de codage equivalents are heavily relied upon in current encoded texts.
Papyrus of Ani plate VI:6-7
Papyrus of Ani plate VI:6-7
It is proposed that BEGIN RUBRIC SIGN and END RUBRIC SIGN be encoded and that rendering as red or as a black line above be left to implementation. The RUBRIC SIGNs function just as the CARTOUCHE SIGNs do.
Issue: Have all the relevant Manuel de codage characters been accounted for in the list below?
0001 x300 EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC SIGN SEPARATOR 0001 x301 EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC SIGN JUXTAPOSITIONER 0001 x302 EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC SIGN SUBORDINATOR 0001 x303 EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC BEGIN CLUSTER MARK 0001 x304 EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC END CLUSTER MARK 0001 x305 EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC END OF LINE MARKER 0001 x306 EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC END OF PAGE MARKER 0001 x307 EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC BEGIN CARTOUCHE 0001 x308 EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC END CARTOUCHE 0001 x309 EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC BEGIN REVERSED CARTOUCHE 0001 x30A EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC END REVERSED CARTOUCHE 0001 x30B EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC BEGIN CAPLESS CARTOUCHE 0001 x30C EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC END CAPLESS CARTOUCHE 0001 x30D EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC BEGIN HWT SIGN 0001 x30E EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC END HWT SIGN 0001 x30F EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC BEGIN LOW HWT SIGN 0001 x310 EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC END LOW HWT SIGN 0001 x311 EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC BEGIN HIGH HWT SIGN 0001 x312 EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC END HIGH HWT SIGN 0001 x313 EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC BEGIN RUBRIC SIGN 0001 x314 EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC END RUBRIC SIGN 0001 x315 EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC ROTATE TWO HUNDRED SEVENTY DEGREES SIGN 0001 x316 EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC ROTATE ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY DEGREES SIGN 0001 x317 EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC ROTATE NINETY DEGREES SIGN 0001 x318 EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC MIRROR SIGN 0001 x319 EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC MIRROR AND ROTATE NINETY DEGREES SIGN 0001 x31A EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC MIRROR AND ROTATE ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY DEGREES SIGN 0001 x31B EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC MIRROR AND ROTATE TWO HUNDRED SEVENTY DEGREES SIGN 0001 x31C EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC COMBINING QUADRANT SHADING 0001 x31D EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC COMBINING TOP HALF QUADRANT SHADING 0001 x31E EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC COMBINING BOTTOM HALF QUADRANT SHADING 0001 x31F EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC COMBINING LEFT HALF QUADRANT SHADING 0001 x320 EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC COMBINING RIGHT HALF QUADRANT SHADING 0001 x321 EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC COMBINING LEFT TOP QUADRANT SHADING 0001 x322 EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC COMBINING RIGHT TOP QUADRANT SHADING 0001 x323 EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC COMBINING LEFT BOTTOM QUADRANT SHADING 0001 x324 EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC COMBINING RIGHT BOTTOM QUADRANT SHADING 0001 x325 (This position shall not be used) 0001 x326 (This position shall not be used) 0001 x327 (This position shall not be used) 0001 x328 (This position shall not be used) 0001 x329 (This position shall not be used) 0001 x32A (This position shall not be used) 0001 x32B (This position shall not be used) 0001 x32C (This position shall not be used) 0001 x32D (This position shall not be used) 0001 x32E (This position shall not be used) 0001 x32F (This position shall not be used) |
Egyptian hieroglyphs should be encoded in Plane 1 of ISO/IEC 10646. Three rows are required for Basic Egyptian Hieroglyphs and nineteen rows are required for Extended Egyptian Hieroglyphs. The Alternate Format Characters are a bit difficult to place; since three rows are required for the Basic characters, there are only 7 empty spaces at the end of the row. Assuming, a as shown in the table below, that the Basic characters occupy positions 0001 x000, it would be convenient to begin the Extended characters at position 0001 x400. This leaves space in row 0001 x300 available for future standardization (such as additional Alternate Format characters, Meiroitic alphabetic characters (which were taken directly from the hieroglyphic alphabet), etc.).
0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | A | B | C | D | E | F | |
x0 | ¿Basic Egyptian Hieroglyphs? | |||||||||||||||
x1 | ¿Basic Egyptian Hieroglyphs? | |||||||||||||||
x2 | ¿Basic Egyptian Hieroglyphs? | |||||||||||||||
x3 | ¿Alt. Form.? | ??? | ¿Meroitic? | |||||||||||||
x4 | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended? | |||||||||||||||
x5 | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended? | |||||||||||||||
x6 | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended? | |||||||||||||||
x7 | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended? | |||||||||||||||
x8 | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended? | |||||||||||||||
x9 | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended? | |||||||||||||||
xA | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended? | |||||||||||||||
xB | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended? | |||||||||||||||
xC | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended? | |||||||||||||||
xD | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended? | |||||||||||||||
xE | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended? | |||||||||||||||
xF | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended? | |||||||||||||||
y0 | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended? | |||||||||||||||
y1 | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended? | |||||||||||||||
y2 | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended? | |||||||||||||||
y3 | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended? | |||||||||||||||
y4 | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended? | |||||||||||||||
y5 | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended? | |||||||||||||||
y6 | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended? | |||||||||||||||
y7 | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended-A? | |||||||||||||||
y8 | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended-A? | |||||||||||||||
y9 | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended-A? | |||||||||||||||
yA | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended-A? | |||||||||||||||
yB | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended-A? | |||||||||||||||
yC | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended-A? | |||||||||||||||
yD | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended-A? | |||||||||||||||
yE | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended-A? | |||||||||||||||
yF | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended-A? | |||||||||||||||
z0 | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended-A? | |||||||||||||||
z1 | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended-A? | |||||||||||||||
z2 | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended-A? | |||||||||||||||
53 | ¿Egyptian Hieroglyphs Extended-A? |