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Tools for the "The Secret History of the Mongols".

The Secret History of the Mongols (Monggol-un niguca tobciyan→MNT) is the oldest work of Mongolian literature surviving today. Though the language of the text is Middle Mongolian, the text was written entirely in Chinese characters which were used to render Mongolian phonetically.

Modern tools for typing, editing and typesetting Chinese do not easily lend themselves for preparing research documentation due to pecularities of the historical source.

The MNTTeX package assists the scholar typesetting the complex Chinese material by accessing all characters either by number or pronounciation as well as offering convenient access to small or combined characters.

The MNTTeX package relies on an existing environment for processing Chinese characters and assumes that the package CJK is installed. It is further required to have a recent inputenc package with ucs support from the unicode package. Without these, MNTTeX is not likely to work. Furthermore it is required to use the font zysong.ttf or a similar font in Song style. Since not all characters used in the MNT are provided by modern fonts they had to be made for this package. Being closely modelled according to Song style, these especially made characters would stand out in stark contrast from e.g. Kaiti style character sets. Limited in number, these individual characters were coded as scalable vector images, rather than as font. No difference between these characters and ordinary characters can be perceived in print even though the on-screen display may appear hardly intelligible.

The author is Oliver Corff.

License: lppl Version: 0.3 Catalogued: 2006-07-01