Palemonas Lithuanian Philological Font


Palemonas is the name given to the character set necessary for Lithuanian philology studies, as well as the actual computer font wherein this character set has been practically implemented.

Palemonas font project was initiated by the State Commission of the Lithuanian Language. The work group, supervised by Vladas Tumasonis, also included Mindaugas Strockis, Petras Skirmantas (all from the University of Vilnius), Ona Aleknavičienė, Laima Grumadienė (both from the Institute of the Lithuanian Language), and Albertas Gurskas (Art Academy of Vilnius). The experimental version of the Palemonas font was dedicated to the 100th anniversary of regaining the Lithuanian press in Latin alphabet. Since May 2004 the font has been available on the web site of the State Commission of the Lithuanian Language, It is distributed free of charge.

The primary reason initiating the designing of Palemonas was the need of special characters used in Lithuanian philology, those of Lithuanian phonetic transcription (used mostly in the study of dialects), obsolete letters used by early Lithuanian authors, as well as special symbols for other linguistic disciplines related to Lithuanian philology.

A number of computer fonts for these purposes, implemented mostly in the obsolescent technology of non-standard assignment of 8-bit character codes, have been created in Lithuanian scholarly institutions since the beginning of the computer era. In those fonts, individual encoding schemes were devised on ad-hoc basis with no regard whatsoever to mutual compatibility. Palemonas is intended to replace this chaotic multitude of one-off solutions with a unified character encoding system.

The present version of Palemonas includes approximately 4,300 special characters. The character inventory is based on the analysis of available old Lithuanian texts, phonetically transcribed dialectal texts, and a number of linguistic books and journals. The needs of Baltic and Indo-European philology specialists have been taken into account as well, so Palemonas also includes extended Greek and Cyrillic character sets.

Although Palemonas is primarily meant for scholarly work, it can also serve for general purpose texts.

Character codes of Palemonas are in line with the existing official character codes in the Unicode Standard. Those characters which do not exist in the official Unicode charts are available in Palemonas as Private Use Area (PUA) characters. Characters with diacritic marks can be expressed by composite sequences, the constituents of which are legitimate Unicode characters.

The Palemonas group constantly keeps an eye on the developments of the Unicode Standard, and when necessary, updates the character set and the documentation.

We express especial thanks for the State Commission of the Lithuanian Language for rendering every kind of assistance. We would be also grateful to the users for suggestions on the font design and the inventory of characters. You can find code charts of Palemonas here. Palemonas (version 3.2)   Download