[XeTeX] Ligatures question

John Was john.was at ntlworld.com
Tue Jun 2 20:39:44 CEST 2009

Oh dear, it's not really a matter of looking beautiful....  I like the old Greek ligatures (hint to Yannis - PLEASE return my font book!) but I wouldn't get away with using them, even in a sixteenth-century translation of the Aeneid that I'm supposed to be editing at some point (and at that period the ligatures would have been expected by readers of printed books).

I didn't go into matters medieval (when I'm *not* typesetting the  medieval latin dictionary I avoid such topics), where there's more to be said on the subject, but if you look at modern scholarly editions of Latin author you will not (I fervently hope) find the ligatures in use beyond the restricted area of reporting precise forms in the source documents when a reading is in doubt.

(Incidentally, my modern edition of the Vulgate does not use the ligatures, though my Polyglot Bible, which fits eight languages onto facing pages, does, as expected - it's an 1869 printing but it uses standing type that was set up decades earlier.)


----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Nicolas Vaughan 
  To: Unicode-based TeX for Mac OS X and other platforms 
  Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 7:16 PM
  Subject: Re: [XeTeX] Ligatures question

  I am typesetting a bilingual Latin-Spanish work. For the Latin, I am using old-style ligatures ("st", "ct", etc.) and dypthong ligatures. I believe they look beautiful---even in a modern edition.
  I agree with Fr. Michael: of course not all combinations of "ae", "oe", etc., are dypthongs.


  On Tue, Jun 2, 2009 at 1:09 PM, Fr. Michael Gilmary <FrMichaelGilmary at maronitemonks.org> wrote:

    Nicolas Vaughan wrote:

      I need them not for French, but for Latin.

    Hi Nicholas!

    Depending on what texts your using, I do have an "exceptions" list for the Vulgate Bible, i.e., a list of words/names which have 'ae' or 'oe' which don't take the digraph/ligature (for example, the names Michael, Israel, etc., or the words aer, aes, etc.).

    United in adoration of Jesus, 

    fr. michael gilmary, mma

    Most Holy Trinity Monastery
    67 Dugway Road
    Petersham, MA 01366-9725

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