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Versions: 00                                                            
Network Working Group                                         H.Melikyan
Request for Comments: DRAFT                     Armenian Computer Center
<draft-melikyan-armenian-charsets-00.txt>                    17 May 1998

             Armenian Character Sets: Implementation Guide

Status of this Memo

   This document is an Internet-Draft.  Internet-Drafts are working
   documents of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), its areas,
   and its working groups.  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
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   Rim), ftp.ietf.org (US East Coast), or ftp.isi.edu (US West Coast).


   The document presents the set of Armenian characters that is used in
   the information systems in accordance to AST 34.001 and AST 34.002
   standards of the State Standards Commission of the Republic of
   Armenia, as well as provides classification and sorting thereof and
   recommendations for implementation of basic algorithms of text

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction
   2. Basic Character Set
      2.1. Naming
      2.2. Classification and Sorting
      2.3. Ligatures
   3. Encoding
      3.1. Basic Principles
      3.2. Cross Reference of Coding Tables
   4. Character Set and Language Tags

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      4.1. Coded Character Set Tags
      4.2. Language Tags
   5. Acknowledgements
   6. Author's Address
   7. References

1. Introduction

   The publication of comments in reference to the standards is due to
   the following considerations:

      (1) The Armenian character sets have been used in different
      computer systems approx. since 1982, whereas the state standard
      was established only in 1997. This time lag resulted in emergence
      of incompatible coding systems. The existing discrepancies are
      also due to the existence of two different grammars of the
      Armenian language.

      (2) The emergence of internationalized operating systems and an
      important number of multi-lingual applications result in
      situations when the national language support is implemented by
      programmers that are not familiar with the given language.

   The present memo is a recommendation rather than a binding standard.

   The recommendations set forth herein are elaborated on the basis of
   the state standards AST 34.001 (reg.no. 166-97) and AST 34.002
   (reg.no.  167-97), as well as ArmSCII standard.

2. Basic Character Set

2.1. Naming

   The Basic Armenian character set presented below follows the standard
   AST 34.001. The first column contains full naming of the characters,
   and the second column provides abbreviations thereof that can be used
   in the systems confined to the Latin character set.  The detailed
   classification of the characters follows in the points below.

   In spite of the fact that the space, numbers and Latin letters are
   also part of the Armenian character set, these were not included in
   the AST 34.001 standard since these are present in all systems.

      Table 1. Basic Character Set


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      Armenian Eternity Sign              armeternity
      Armenian Ligature "ew"              armew
      Armenian Section Sign               armsection
      Armenian Full Stop (Verjaket)       armfullstop
      Armenian Right Parenthesis          armparenright
      Armenian Left Parenthesis           armparenleft
      Armenian Right Quotation Mark       armquotright
      Armenian Left Quotation Mark        armquotleft
      Armenian EM Dash                    armemdash
      Armenian Dot (Mijaket)              armdot
      Armenian Separation Mark (But)      armsep
      Armenian Comma                      armcomma
      Armenian EN Dash                    armendash
      Armenian Hyphen (Yentamna)          armyentamna
      Armenian Ellipsis                   armellipsis
      Armenian Apostrophe                 armapostrophe
      Armenian Exclamation Mark (Amanak)  armexclam
      Armenian Accent (Shesht)            armaccent
      Armenian Question Mark (Paruyk)     armquestion
      Armenian Capital Letter [ayb]       Armayb
      Armenian Small Letter [ayb]         armayb
      Armenian Capital Letter [ben]       Armben
      Armenian Small Letter [ben]         armben
      Armenian Capital Letter [gim]       Armgim
      Armenian Small Letter [gim]         armgim
      Armenian Capital Letter [da]        Armda
      Armenian Small Letter [da]          armda
      Armenian Capital Letter [yech]      Armyech
      Armenian Small Letter [yech]        armyech
      Armenian Capital Letter [za]        Armza
      Armenian Small Letter [za]          armza
      Armenian Capital Letter [e]         Arme
      Armenian Small Letter [e]           arme
      Armenian Capital Letter [at]        Armat
      Armenian Small Letter [at]          armat
      Armenian Capital Letter [to]        Armto
      Armenian Small Letter [to]          armto
      Armenian Capital Letter [zhe]       Armzhe
      Armenian Small Letter [zhe]         armzhe
      Armenian Capital Letter [ini]       Armini
      Armenian Small Letter [ini]         armini
      Armenian Capital Letter [lyun]      Armlyun
      Armenian Small Letter [lyun]        armlyun
      Armenian Capital Letter [khe]       Armkhe
      Armenian Small Letter [khe]         armkhe
      Armenian Capital Letter [tsa]       Armtsa
      Armenian Small Letter [tsa]         armtsa
      Armenian Capital Letter [ken]       Armken

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      Armenian Small Letter [ken]         armken
      Armenian Capital Letter [ho]        Armho
      Armenian Small Letter [ho]          armho
      Armenian Capital Letter [dza]       Armdza
      Armenian Small Letter [dza]         armdza
      Armenian Capital Letter [ghat]      Armghat
      Armenian Small Letter [ghat]        armghat
      Armenian Capital Letter [tche]      Armtche
      Armenian Small Letter [tche]        armtche
      Armenian Capital Letter [men]       Armmen
      Armenian Small Letter [men]         armmen
      Armenian Capital Letter [hi]        Armhi
      Armenian Small Letter [hi]          armhi
      Armenian Capital Letter [nu]        Armnu
      Armenian Small Letter [nu]          armnu
      Armenian Capital Letter [sha]       Armsha
      Armenian Small Letter [sha]         armsha
      Armenian Capital Letter [vo]        Armvo
      Armenian Small Letter [vo]          armvo
      Armenian Capital Letter [cha]       Armcha
      Armenian Small Letter [cha]         armcha
      Armenian Capital Letter [pe]        Armpe
      Armenian Small Letter [pe]          armpe
      Armenian Capital Letter [je]        Armje
      Armenian Small Letter [je]          armje
      Armenian Capital Letter [ra]        Armra
      Armenian Small Letter [ra]          armra
      Armenian Capital Letter [se]        Armse
      Armenian Small Letter [se]          armse
      Armenian Capital Letter [vev]       Armvev
      Armenian Small Letter [vev]         armvev
      Armenian Capital Letter [tyun]      Armtyun
      Armenian Small Letter [tyun]        armtyun
      Armenian Capital Letter [re]        Armre
      Armenian Small Letter [re]          armre
      Armenian Capital Letter [tso]       Armtso
      Armenian Small Letter [tso]         armtso
      Armenian Capital Letter [vyun]      Armvyun
      Armenian Small Letter [vyun]        armvyun
      Armenian Capital Letter [pyur]      Armpyur
      Armenian Small Letter [pyur]        armpyur
      Armenian Capital Letter [ke]        Armke
      Armenian Small Letter [ke]          armke
      Armenian Capital Letter [o]         Armo
      Armenian Small Letter [o]           armo
      Armenian Capital Letter [fe]        Armfe
      Armenian Small Letter [fe]          armfe

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      End of Table 1.

   The naming of characters are hereinafter referred to in abbreviated
   forms contained in the second column.

2.2. Classification and Sorting

   unclassified-symbols ::= {armeternity, armew, armsection}

   punctuation-signs ::= {armfullstop, armparenright, armparenleft,
      armquotright, armquotleft, armemdash, armdot, armsep, armcomma,

   pseudo-letters ::= {armyentamna, armellipsis, armapostrophe}

   diacritic-signs ::= {armexclam, armaccent, armquestion}

   letters ::= {capital-letters, small-letters}

   capital-letters ::= {Armayb, Armben, Armgim, Armda, Armyech, Armza,
      Arme, Armat, Armto, Armzhe, Armini, Armlyun, Armkhe, Armtsa,
      Armken, Armho, Armdza, Armghat, Armtche, Armmen, Armhi, Armnu,
      Armsha, Armvo, Armcha, Armpe, Armje, Armra, Armse, Armvev,
      Armtyun, Armre, Armtso, Armvyun, Armpyur, Armke, Armo, Armfe}

   small-letters ::= {armayb, armben, armgim, armda, armyech, armza,
      arme, armat, armto, armzhe, armini, armlyun, armkhe, armtsa,
      armken, armho, armdza, armghat, armtche, armmen, armhi, armnu,
      armsha, armvo, armcha, armpe, armje, armra, armse, armvev,
      armtyun, armre, armtso, armvyun, armpyur, armke, armo, armfe}

   The sorting order is important for letter characters only and is made
   in the order presented in the Table 1.

   The case shift applies for letter characters only. The shift from the
   upper case to the lower case replaces the capital letter character
   with the subsequent character as per the Table 1.  Accordingly, the
   shift from lower case to the upper case replaces the small letter
   character with the preceding character as per the Table 1.

   The text search and dictionary applications should take into account
   the following factors: (1) in the Armenian language, a word is a
   sequence of letter characters, diacritic-signs, and pseudo-letters;
   (2) in comparison of words in the text or dictionary, the diacritic-
   signs and pseudo-letters may be ignored.

   In reference to the diacritic-signs, the following factors are

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   important:  (1) the diacritic-sign refers to the preceding letter
   (only vowel in Armenian), (2) a letter can be followed by more than
   one diacritic sign.

2.3. Ligatures

   Ligature is a traditional or convenience graphical presentation of a
   sequence of letters, e.g. the Latin ligature "ft", the German
   ligature "ss", the Armenian ligature "armmen, armnu", etc. The
   ligatures can be officially registered and codified (like in UNICODE
   standard), but the systems supporting ligatures substitute them
   automatically only on the screen, printer, or other graphical

   The Armenian ligature armew that is a combination of armyech and
   armvyun was included in the AST 34.001 standard in view of the
   following considerations: (1) armew is a "ligature symbol" rather
   than a ligature, and (2) armew carries an "and" denotation similar to
   the "&" character.

3. Encoding

3.1. Basic Principles

   The Coded Character Set is a mapping of a set of characters into a
   set of integer numbers, e.g. ArmSCII-7, ArmSCII-8 and ArmSCII-8A

   The term "unification" is used in the following denotation: as a
   rule, the mapping of an Armenian character set takes place in
   operating environments where other character sets are already
   available; thus, certain characters, in particular punctuation marks,
   may have identical graphical mapping and similar functions.  In such
   cases, some characters of the Armenian character set may be mapped
   into already existing codified characters. The details of unification
   of Armenian punctuation marks are reviewed below.

   The mapping of characters in coding tables has several aspects (in
   order of priority): (1) scope of the character mapping, (2) sequence
   of mapping, (3) character unification requirements, (4) general
   requirements of a given operating environment.

   The encoding in every new operating environment should, to the extent
   possible, use the already existing coding tables (see the next
   section).  Should this be impossible, the newly created coding tables
   should follow as much as possible the following general principles:

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      (1) The Armenian character set should be comprehensive (with due
      regard to the unification)

      (2) The Armenian character set should be mapped into a continual
      sequence of codes in the order these are presented in the Table 1.
      The unified character codes should be left absolute, i.e. should
      not be used for other purposes. The most important is the letter

      (3) The unification implies both graphical and functional identity
      of characters. For example, mapping of the parenthesis
      (armparenleft and armparenright) into the parenthesis existing in
      the ASCII is not an error.  On the other hand, the similarity of
      the Armenian full stop (armfullstop) and the colon is purely
      graphical. The armdot and armsep bear functions different from the
      Latin dot and the grave accent character accordingly.  Another
      important factor of character unification is the use of the Latin
      alphabet and punctuation marks in formal languages. It should be
      born in mind, for example, that a comma is often used as a
      separator in lists (e.g. in a keyword list in HTML document
      header), and in order to avoid confusion, the armcomma character
      may be mapped into a Latin comma.

      (4) It may often happen that the requirements of a given operating
      environment may contradict the above principles. For example, the
      pseudo-graphical characters in DOS that were supported by video-
      adapters ("ninth pixel" factor), resulted in the creation of an
      alternative 8-bit coding table ArmSCII-8A. Another example is
      Macintosh OS where codes like ellipsis, nbsp and soft hyphen are
      recognized and interpreted in a special by numerous applications,
      which rendered the meaningful use the ArmSCII standard in this
      system impossible (the ArmSCII-8A table is used in OS Macintosh).

   ArmSCII does not fully correspond to the above principles, and the
   Armenian block in the current version of UNICODE (2.1) corresponds to
   neither (1), (2), nor (3).

3.2. Cross Reference of Coding Tables

      Table 2. Cross reference of coding tables

      1 - Short name
      2 - ArmSCII-7
      3 - ArmSCII-8 (AST 34.002, Basic coding table)
      4 - ArmSCII-8A (AST 34.002, Alternative coding table)
      5 - ArmSCII-16U
      6 - UNICODE Version 2.1

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      1              2    3    4    5      6
      armeternity    21   A1   DC   0521   -
      armew          -    26   26   0512   0587
      armsection     22   A2   1A   0522   00A7
      armfullstop    23   A3   3A   0523   0589
      armparenright  24   A4   29   0524   0029
      armparenleft   25   A5   28   0525   002A
      armquotright   26   A6   AF   0526   00BB
      armquotleft    27   A7   AE   0527   00AB
      armemdash      28   A8   2D   0528   2014
      armdot         29   A9   2E   0529   002E
      armsep         2A   AA   60   052A   055D
      armcomma       2B   AB   2C   052B   002C
      armendash      2C   AC   5F   052C   2013
      armyentamna    2D   AD   DD   052D   058A
      armellipsis    2E   AE   DE   052E   2026
      armapostrophe  7E   FE   FE   057E   02BC
      armexclam      2F   AF   7E   052F   055C
      armaccent      30   B0   27   0530   055B
      armquestion    31   B1   DF   0531   055E
      Armayb         32   B2   80   0532   0531
      armayb         33   B3   81   0533   0561
      Armben         34   B4   82   0534   0532
      armben         35   B5   83   0535   0562
      Armgim         36   B6   84   0536   0533
      armgim         37   B7   85   0537   0563
      Armda          38   B8   86   0538   0534
      armda          39   B9   87   0539   0564
      Armyech        3A   BA   88   053A   0535
      armyech        3B   BB   89   053B   0565
      Armza          3C   BC   8A   053C   0536
      armza          3D   BD   8B   053D   0566
      Arme           3E   BE   8C   053E   0537
      arme           3F   BF   8D   053F   0567
      Armat          40   C0   8E   0540   0538
      armat          41   C1   8F   0541   0568
      Armto          42   C2   90   0542   0539
      armto          43   C3   91   0543   0569
      Armzhe         44   C4   92   0544   053A
      armzhe         45   C5   93   0545   056A
      Armini         46   C6   94   0546   053B
      armini         47   C7   95   0547   056B
      Armlyun        48   C8   96   0548   053C
      armlyun        49   C9   97   0549   056C
      Armkhe         4A   CA   98   054A   053D
      armkhe         4B   CB   99   054B   056D

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      Armtsa         4C   CC   9A   054C   053E
      armtsa         4D   CD   9B   054D   056E
      Armken         4E   CE   9C   054E   053F
      armken         4F   CF   9D   054F   056F
      Armho          50   D0   9E   0550   0540
      armho          51   D1   9F   0551   0570
      Armdza         52   D2   A0   0552   0541
      armdza         53   D3   A1   0553   0571
      Armghat        54   D4   A2   0554   0542
      armghat        55   D5   A3   0555   0572
      Armtche        56   D6   A4   0556   0543
      armtche        57   D7   A5   0557   0573
      Armmen         58   D8   A6   0558   0544
      armmen         59   D9   A7   0559   0574
      Armhi          5A   DA   A8   055A   0545
      armhi          5B   DB   A9   055B   0575
      Armnu          5C   DC   AA   055C   0546
      armnu          5D   DD   AB   055D   0576
      Armsha         5E   DE   AC   055E   0547
      armsha         5F   DF   AD   055F   0577
      Armvo          60   E0   E0   0560   0548
      armvo          61   E1   E1   0561   0578
      Armcha         62   E2   E2   0562   0549
      armcha         63   E3   E3   0563   0579
      Armpe          64   E4   E4   0564   054A
      armpe          65   E5   E5   0565   057A
      Armje          66   E6   E6   0566   054B
      armje          67   E7   E7   0567   057B
      Armra          68   E8   E8   0568   054C
      armra          69   E9   E9   0569   057C
      Armse          6A   EA   EA   056A   054D
      armse          6B   EB   EB   056B   057D
      Armvev         6C   EC   EC   056C   054E
      armvev         6D   ED   ED   056D   057E
      Armtyun        6E   EE   EE   056E   054F
      armtyun        6F   EF   EF   056F   057F
      Armre          70   F0   F0   0570   0550
      armre          71   F1   F1   0571   0580
      Armtso         72   F2   F2   0572   0551
      armtso         73   F3   F3   0573   0581
      Armvyun        74   F4   F4   0574   0552
      armvyun        75   F5   F5   0575   0582
      Armpyur        76   F6   F6   0576   0553
      armpyur        77   F7   F7   0577   0583
      Armke          78   F8   F8   0578   0554
      armke          79   F9   F9   0579   0584
      Armo           7A   FA   FA   057A   0555
      armo           7B   FB   FB   057B   0585

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      Armfe          7C   FC   FC   057C   0556
      armfe          7D   FD   FD   057D   0586
      End of Table 2.

4. Character Set and Language Tags

4.1. Coded Character Set Tags

   In the systems and protocols using mnemonic tags for coded character
   sets, the following tags should be used (name, official source,
   optional alias):

      Name:    armscii-8
      Source:  Armenian State Standard AST 34.002 Basic 8-bit coded
               character set
      Alias:   AST_34.002

      Name:    armscii-8a
      Source:  Armenian State Standard AST 34.002 Alternative 8-bit
               coded character set
      Alias:   AST_34.002-A

4.2. Language Tags

   Dictionaries, spelling checkers and other linguistic systems, as well
   as operating environments distinguishing human languages and locale
   identification should take into consideration the existence of 4
   mutually incomprehensible forms (dialects) of the Armenian language:
   Eastern, Western, Grabar and Middle. Table 3 presents two forms of
   suggested mnemonic tags: MIME-style (RFC-1766) and Windows-style 3-
   letter abbreviations.

      Table 3. Language tags

      MIME-style name  3-letter code  Full name
      hy-eastern       AME            Armenian Eastern
      hy-western       AMW            Armenian Western
      hy-grabar        AMG            Armenian Grabar
      hy-middle        AMM            Armenian Middle

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5. Acknowledgements

   This document is the result of long and intensive consultations and
   cooperation with the staff of the Standards Working Group of the
   Armenian Computer Center. Special thanks for most valuable inputs and
   comments go to (in alphabetical order):

      Hovhannes Gizoghian
      Tigran Haroutunian
      Aram Hayrapetian
      Ivan Lulukian
      Vahram Mekhitarian
      Rouben Taroumian-Hakobian
      Hovhannes Zakaryan

6. Author's Address

   Hovik Melikyan
   Armenian Computer Center
   email: hovik@moon.yerphi.am

7. References

   [AST 34.001]
      Information Technologies -- Character Set And Information
      Encoding:  Character Set -- State Standardization Committee of the
      Republic of Armenia, July 1997

   [AST 34.002]
      Information Technologies -- Character Set And Information
      Encoding: 8-bit Coded Character Sets -- State Standardization
      Committee of the Republic of Armenia, July 1997

      Armenian Standard Code for Information Interchange -- Center of
      Humane Technologies "Armenian Computer", June 1991

      Alvestrand, H., "Tags for the Identification of Languages", RFC
      1766, March 1995.

      The Unicode Consortium, "The Unicode Standard -- Version 2.0",
      Addison-Wesley, 1996.


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      N. Freed, N. Borenstein, "Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions
      (MIME) Part One: Format of Internet Message Bodies", RFC 2045. N.
      Freed, N. Borenstein, "Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions
      (MIME) Part Two:  Media Types", RFC 2046. K. Moore, "MIME
      (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) Part Three: Message Header
      Extensions for Non-ASCII Text", RFC 2047. N. Freed, J.  Klensin,
      J. Postel, "Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) Part
      Four: Registration Procedures", RFC 2048. N.  Freed, N.
      Borenstein, "Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) Part
      Five: Conformance Criteria and Examples", RFC 2049. All November

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