[XeTeX] long s

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Tue Apr 8 13:34:15 CEST 2008

On 8 Apr 2008, at 11:51 am, Gerrit Sangel wrote:

> Hello list,
> If the discussion currently deals with German, I thought this would  
> be the
> right time to ask a question concerning German ;)
> I have modified a Fraktur font to correctly support Unicode and  
> Opentype (with
> Ligatures and so on). This all works fine.
> But the thing is, the babel package has some rules for old German  
> orthography
> (although I now read I shouldn’t use babel?), but I would guess  
> only for the
> antiqua writing with s. In Fraktur writing, words are still written  
> with ſ.
> e.g. “Ausſuchen” (=“choose”).
> The hyphenating there is really easy, it is “aus-ſuchen”, but I  
> guess babel
> does not support this until now.
> Another problem occurs with the zero width non joiner, which is  
> sometimes
> needed e.g. for “auffangen” which has a ZWNJ between the two f  
> and thus is
> also hyphenated there.
> Are there any solutions, yet? Or should I use \- every time?

It sounds to me like you need to update the German hyphenation rules  
to support the Unicode characters ſ and ZWNJ. (If ZWNJ should always  
be a potential hyphen position, I guess you could do this at the  
macro level, just making it active and defining it as \-.)

For ſ, you could have it treated the same as "s" by setting its  
\lccode, I think (though that would have bad effects if you apply  
\lowercase anywhere else), but if you want to make a proper  
distinction then you'd need to explicitly add patterns for it.

It ought to be possible to add patterns to (for example) xu- 
dehypht.tex in such a way that they get loaded by xelatex, but  
ignored by 8-bit (pdf)latex. But I'm not competent to touch German  
hyphenation myself!


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