5.0349 African Font Encoding (TeX) (1/254)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Tue, 1 Oct 1991 20:38:08 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 5, No. 0349. Tuesday, 1 Oct 1991.

Date: Tue, 1 Oct 1991 17:41 +0100
Subject: FC font encoding scheme (for TeX) -- 2nd draft

Second Draft for the African Font Encoding Scheme FC

This is the second draft for the FC font encoding scheme. I want to fix
this scheme at 1-nov-1991 and change it no more. If you see any flaw in
it, complain now, before it is too late. I'm nearly ready with a
METAFONT fount according to the fc scheme, and I want to make it
accesible to the public in the beginning of 1992. It will be
copyrighted, but free according to the GNU licence. Send any
suggestions to:


or to:

J"org Knappen
Institut f"ur Kernphysik
Postfach 39 80
D-W 6500 Mainz

The TUG (TeX User Group) conference of Cork 1990 has proposed a 256 character
font encoding scheme well suited for european languages. This scheme does not
fit for the various african languages with latin writing. So I want to propose
a scheme suited for the so called critical languages of africa. It should be
named FC or FCM for aFrican Computer.

The coding is arbitrary besides the following rules:

* The lower 128 codes are identical to the Cork scheme
* A glyph also occurring in the Cork scheme is placed on the same code point
as in the Cork scheme
* Each letter from the 128-char cm-font is saved (Thus !', \L,\O etc. will
* The uppercase/lowercase mechanism holds

The following languages are covered:
Akan, Bamileke, Basa (Kru), Bemba, Bete, Ciokwe, Dinka, Efik, Ewe-Fon, Fulani
(Fulful), G\~a, Ganda, Gbaya, Hausa, Igbo, Kamba, Kanuri, Kikuyu, Kikongo,
Kpelle, Krio, Luba, Mandekan (Bambara), Mende, More, Ngala, Nyanja, Oromo,
Rundi, Kinya Rwanda, Sango, Shona, Somali, Songhai, Sotho (two different
writing systems), Suaheli, Tiv, Tsonga, Yao, Yoruba, Xhosa and Zulu.

Also covered are: Maltese and Sami (European languages not covered by the
Cork scheme).

Not included are:

Tamasheq (Berber): The UNESCO suggests an alphabet with hooktop t, s, and z.
Since I have not seen this in real print, I'm not sure about the relevance of
this alphabet, I don't even know if it was adopted by one coutry in which
Tamasheq is spoken.

Nama: The symbols for the click sounds in Nama are not included. They can,
however, be created by macro calls.

Serer: I have a secondary reference that Serer uses hooktop p. If I had a
primary reference, this character is a candidat for inclusion.

\.Igb\.o: The catholic orthography includes an horizontal crossed o, which is
not included in the fc scheme, since this system is considered obsolete.

I tried to consult the most recent dictionaries. A good part of the
mentioned languages has not yet a standardised writing system.

I considered accents which are only tonal marks and optional in writing not
to be a part of a letter. These should be created by using floating
accents. (Even double accenting is possible, e.g. Open e with tilde and
acute.) Accented letters, where the accent is a part of the letter, are

Here are first the changes since the first draft:

I newly included: A with trema
T with tail
Latin letter Iota
Double universal accent

I moved to other code points:
Open E with Tilde
O with macron

I removed: A with circumflex
A with grave
U with circumflex
W with breve
small raised w

Only by typo, in some versions an A with acute occured. This was never
really in and is not included now.

Support is weak for the following characters:
E with acute
C with cedilla
G with dot above
A with trema
These are the most likely ones to dissappear for new insertions. If you know
facts supporting them, let me know.

The table:

octal code description

200 Capital letter hooktop B
201 Capital letter hooktop D
202 Capital letter open E (\varepsilon-like)
203 Capital letter reversed E (like \exists)
204 Capital letter long F
205 Capital letter E with ha\v{c}ek
206 Capital letter ipa Gamma
207 Capital letter double barred H

210 Capital letter hooktop K
211 Capital letter Enj
212 Capital letter open O (reversed C)
213 Capital letter N with acute
214 Capital letter Esh
215 Capital letter Eng
216 Capital letter Round V
217 Capital letter hooktop Y

220 Capital letter G with dot above
221 Capital letter M with acute
222 Capital letter S with ha\v{c}ek
223 Capital letter N with dot above
224 Capital letter N with line below
225 Capital letter S with dot below
226 Capital letter Ezh
227 Capital letter crossed T

230 Capital letter E with dot above
231 Capital letter E with dot below
232 Capital letter I with tilde
233 Capital letter T with tail
234 ligature t-esh
235 ligature fj
236 Lowercase letter crossed d
237 double grave accent

240 Lowercase letter hooktop b
241 Lowercase letter hooktop d
242 Lowercase letter open e
243 Lowercase letter inverted e
244 Lowercase letter long f
245 Lowercase letter e with ha\v{c]ek
246 Lowercase letter ipa gamma
247 Lowercase letter crossed h

250 Lowercase letter hooktop k
251 Lowercase letter enj
252 Lowercase letter open O
253 Lowercase letter n with acute
254 Lowercase letter esh
255 Lowercase letter eng
256 Lowercase letter round v (\upsilon)
257 Lowercase letter hooktop y

260 Lowercase letter g with dot above
261 Lowercase letter m with acute
262 Lowercase letter s with ha\v{c}ek
263 Lowercase letter n with dot above
264 Lowercase letter n with line below
265 Lowercase letter s with dot below
266 Lowercase letter ezh
267 Lowercase letter crossed t

270 Lowercase letter e with dot above
271 Lowercase letter e with dot below
272 Lowercase letter i tilde
273 Lowercase letter t with tail
274 double universal accent
275 inverted exclamation mark
276 inverted question mark
277 universal accent

300 Capital letter Iota
301 Capital letter I with dot below
302 Capital letter Open E with tilde
303 Capital letter A with tilde
304 Capital letter A with trema
305 Capital letter Open O with tilde
306 Capital letter ligature AE
307 Capital letter C with cedilla

310 Capital letter E with grave
311 Capital letter E with acute
312 Capital letter E with circumflex
313 Capital letter E with trema
314 Capital letter E with line below
315 Capital letter E with macron
316 Capital letter E with tilde
317 Capital letter I with diaresis

320 Capital letter crossed D (Edh)
321 Capital letter N with tilde
322 Capital letter O with grave
323 Capital letter O with dot above
324 Capital letter O with circumflex
325 Capital letter O with tilde
326 Capital letter O with trema
327 Capital letter ligature OE

330 Capital letter crossed O (\O)
331 Capital letter O with dot below
332 Capital letter O with line below
333 Capital letter O with macron
334 Capital letter O with ha\v{c}ek
335 Capital letter U with dot below
336 Capital letter U with tilde
337 cross piece for polish L and l (and maybe other letters, like I
and J)

340 Lowercase letter iota
341 Lowercase letter i with dot below
342 Lowercase letter open e with tilde
343 Lowercase letter a with tilde
344 Lowercase letter a with trema
345 Lowercase letter open o with tilde
346 Lowercase letter ligature ae
347 Lowercase letter c with cedilla

350 Lowercase letter e with grave
351 Lowercase letter e with acute
352 Lowercase letter e with circumflex
353 Lowercase letter e with trema
354 Lowercase letter e with line below
355 Lowercase letter e with macron
356 Lowercase letter e with tilde
357 Lowercase letter i with diaresis

360 Lowercase letter d with tail (note: not edh!)
361 Lowercase letter n with tilde
362 Lowercase letter o with grave
363 Lowercase letter o with dot above
364 Lowercase letter o with circumflex
365 Lowercase letter o with tilde
366 Lowercase letter o with trema
367 Lowercase letter ligature oe

370 Lowercase letter crossed o (\o)
371 Lowercase letter o with dot below
372 Lowercase letter o with line below
373 Lowercase letter o with macron
374 Lowercase letter o with ha\v{c}ek
375 Lowercase letter u with dot below
376 Lowercase letter u with tilde
377 Lowercase letter scharfes s (\ss)

J"org Knappen email: knappen@vkpmzd.physik.uni-mainz.de
Institut f"ur Kernphysik
Postfach 3980
D-W6500 Mainz