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Appendix G Early Letter Forms and Symbols

Page history last edited by Margaret Nichols 9 years, 6 months ago

 

Appendix G. Early Letter Forms and Symbols

 

 

G1. Introduction

 

 

This appendix provides guidance for transcription of archaic letter and character forms, including marks of punctuation, and archaic conventions of contraction. Although this appendix cannot be exhaustive, it is intended to provide sufficient guidance for the most common occurrences, and to give a basis for judgment in ambiguous situations. For transcription of characters commonly found in signature statements that cannot be reproduced using available typographical facilities, see 7B9.2.

 

G2. Early letter forms and symbols

 

According to the instructions for transcription in rule 0G1.1, earlier forms of letters and symbols are converted to their modern forms.

 

 

 

 

 

Early letter forms and symbols

 

Source

 

 

Transcription

 

 

Example

 

 

Transcription of example

 

 

Notes

 

 

 

 

d

 

 

 

 

dethe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ij

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

alijs

 

 

ooghelijck

 

 

Ligatured italic ij may look like ÿ

 

 

 

 

k

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Typical in early French signatures

 

 

 

 

 

M

 

 

D

 

 

 

 

MDCCV

 

 

Inverted C used to form Roman numeral M or D is called an apostrophus

 

 

 

 

 

r

 

 

 

 

for

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

s

 

 

 

 

refuse

 

 

Long s (an f has a crossbar on the stem; the bar on a long s, if present, extends from one side only)

 

    
  

 

 

ss

 

 

 

 

dess

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sz

 

 

 

 

desz

 

 

Long s and z are spaced normally, no ligature

 

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

West-Riding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

o

 

 

 

můss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

¨

 

 

 

 

Büche

 

 

Superscript e functioning as an umlaut

 

  
 

 

 

&

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

&c.

 

 

 

 

 

           

 

 

G3. Early contractions

 

According to the instructions for transcription in rule 0G8.2, symbols of contraction used in continuance of the manuscript tradition are expanded to their full form, with cataloger-supplied letters or words enclosed in square brackets. The values of many contractions are dependent on context, with the most common values provided here.

 

 

 

 

 

Early contractions

 

 

Source

 

 

Transcription

 

 

Example

 

 

Transcription of example

 

 

Notes

 

 

 

 

[missing letter(s)]

 

 

 

 

 

 

co[n]summatu[m]

 

 

D[omi]n[u]s

 

 

Over a vowel, usually n or m; over a consonant, often replaces several letters

 

 

 

 

[ae]

 

 

 

 

h[ae]c

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Christus]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A contraction using both Greek and Latin letters

 

 

 

[con]

 

 

 

[con]cor[di]a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[es]

 

 

 

 

 

[ius]

 

 

[us]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

statut[es]

 

 

Ross[es]

 

 

cu[ius]

 

 

ei[us]

 

 

A highly versatile symbol; see also, for example, "[habet]," "[que]," "[scilicet]" and "[sed]" below

 

 

 

[habet]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[hoc]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[per]

 

 

[par]

 

 

 

 

 

 

su[per]

 

 

[par]ticulari[bus]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[pro]

 

 

 

 

[pro]pter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[pri]

 

 

 

 

[pri]ma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[quam]

 

 

 

 

vn[quam]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[quan]

 

 

 

 

[quan]tum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[que]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

quo[que]

 

 

Herculeae[que]

 

 

quos[que]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[qui]

 

 

 

 

[qui]b[us]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[quia]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[quo]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[quod]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[recta]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[rum]

 

 

 

 

 

 

quo[rum]

 

 

libro[rum]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[scilicet]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[sed]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[th]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[the]

 

 

[that]

 

 

When y is used to represent the Old English/Icelandic character þ [thorn], enclose th plus additional letters in square brackets.

 

 

 

 

[ur]

 

 

 

 

nascunt[ur]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[us]

 

 

[bus]

 

 

 

 

 

reb[us]
[par]ticulari[bus]

 

 

Superscript; a similar character at baseline represents "[con]"

 

 

 

[ver]

 

 

 

 

[ver]tuoso

 

 

 

 

 

G4. Letters i/j and u/v

 

 

G4.1. Historical background. Some knowledge of the history of printing as it applies to the letters i/j and u/v is helpful when applying the provisions of 0G2.2 [check rule number; do we apply this DCRM(B) rule in DCRM(MSS)?].

 

 

Until the early seventeenth century, the standard Latin alphabet contained 23 letters. The letters we know as i and j were considered different minuscule shapes (or graphs) of the same letter, as were the letters u and v. The letter w was not part of the standard Latin alphabet. A printer’s choice for the u graph in preference to the v graph (or the i to the j) depended on its placement in a word and was governed by convention. Conventions varied somewhat from printer to printer, but often reflected national and regional preferences. While there were variant graphs for lowercase letters, in the pre-modern distribution there was only one graph for each of these letters used as capitals: I (with the gothic form resembling a modern J), and V (with the gothic form resembling a modern U). For example,  = Iacob;  = Vnspotted (capitalized as the first word of a title).

 

 

The dominant patterns in use before the seventeenth century were:

 

 

ê      i used in the initial, medial, and final position, without signifying vocalic or consonantal use; e.g., iustice (modern form: justice)

 

 

ê      j used in the medial or final position only after a preceding i (more typical on the European continent), signifying vocalic use; e.g., commentarij (modern form: commentarii)

 

ê      u used in the initial, medial or final position, without signifying vocalic or consonantal use; e.g., oeuures (modern form: oeuvres)

 

ê      v used in the initial position, without signifying vocalic or consonantal use; e.g., vtilita (modern form: utilita)

 

 

ê      I used in all positions, without signifying vocalic or consonantal use; e.g., Iuan (modern form: Juan)

 

 

ê      V used in all positions, without signifying vocalic or consonantal use; e.g., Vrsprung (modern form: Ursprung)

 

A gradual shift took place over time, from the late fifteenth century through the middle of the seventeenth century, with U/u coming to phonetically signify a vowel and V/v to signify a consonant, regardless of case or position in the word. Likewise with i and j, although the shift was more irregular, with I/i coming to phonetically signify a vowel and J/j a consonant. In the modern 26-letter Latin alphabet, i and j and u and v are all considered separate letters.

 

 

G4.2. Transcription. As instructed in rule 0G2.2, when the rules for capitalization require converting i/j or u/v to uppercase or lowercase,[1] the cataloger is to follow the pattern of usage in the publication being described. Establish the pattern of usage by examining text in the same typeface (i.e., roman, italic, or gothic) in the publication being described. Identify examples of i, j, u, and v having the same function (vowel or consonant) and same relative position (appearing in initial, medial, or final positions) as the letters to be converted. Begin by examining the remainder of the title page and then, if necessary, proceed to examine the body of the text in other parts of the book in the same typeface. If the pattern of usage cannot be determined within a reasonable amount of time, use this conversion table as a solution of last resort.

[Delete table]

 

 

 

 

Uppercase letter to be converted

 

Lowercase conversion

 

I (vowel or consonant) anywhere in word[2]

 

 

i

 

 

II at end of word

 

 

ij

 

II elsewhere in word

 

 

ii

 

V (vowel or consonant) at beginning of word

 

 

v

 

 

V (vowel or consonant) elsewhere in word

 

 

u

 

 

VV representing single letter[3]

 

 

vv

 

 

 

[Delete the following table also]

 

Lowercase letter to be converted

 

Uppercase conversion

 

i (vowel or consonant) anywhere in word

 

 

I

 

 

j (vowel or consonant) anywhere in word

 

 

I

 

 

u (vowel or consonant) anywhere in word

 

 

V

 

 

v (vowel or consonant) anywhere in word

 

 

V

 

 

vv representing single letter29

 

VV

 

 

G5. Letter w

 

 

G5.1. Historical background. The representation of the letter w is not to be confused with the developments of the u/v graphs. The w graph was part of the standard alphabet for Germanic languages. Most early printing was in Latin, shifting gradually to include a greater proportion of vernacular languages throughout Europe. W and w must have been scanty in cases of roman type, and they appear to have been frequently exhausted when setting text in Dutch, English, or German. When that happened, compositors usually did one of two things: used VV or vv to stand in for W or w, or permanently altered V or v type pieces—achieved by filing or shaving one of the serifs, often the right serif on the left piece—so that the two type pieces would sit closely together in the forme, thereby more closely resembling a w. In early German texts, printers sometimes used a curved r followed by a v to approximate a w.

 

 

G5.2. Transcription. When VV and vv graphs have been used to represent the single letter W or w, transcribe them as VV or vv as appropriate. When there is clear evidence of the filing of one or both pieces of type showing the intention of creating the W or w graph, transcribe as W or w, making an explanatory note, if considered important. In cases of doubt, transcribe as VV and vv. When separate rv graphs have been used by the printer to approximate the single letter W or w, transcribe as W or w, making an explanatory note, if considered important (see 0G7.2).

 

 

 

 

Forms of W

 

 

Source

 

 

Transcription

 

 

Example

 

 

Transcription of example

 

 

Notes

 

 

 

 

vv

 

 

 

 

vvhole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

w

 

 

 

 

whole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

w

 

 

 

 

weysse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1] An uppercase J or U in the source signals a modern distribution, in which i and j are functioning as separate letters, as are u and v, requiring no special consideration while converting case.

 

 

[2] Do not convert a final uppercase I meant to represent an ii ending (see 0G2.3).

 

 

[3] This must be distinguished from VV or vv as a combination of a vowel and a consonant as in the examples VVLT or vvlt (vult, “he wants”) and VVA or vva (uva, “grape”).

 

 

 

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