Thomas Milo

Script grammar: a linguistic approach to digitising Islamic script

November 5, Saturday 16:00 – Sakıp Sabancı Museum

To create the technology that lies at the basis of Mushaf Muscat, both as a website and as a book, a new, complementary approach was developed to cover those aspects of Arabic script that are crucial and yet not often documented. The approach is analogous to the one followed in the development of typography for Western scripts like Latin, Greek and Cyrillic, but also for Chinese and Indian script. In this approach a representative variety of top-quality handwriting has to be reproduced as accurately as possible.


Thomas Milo - linguist (Slavic, Turkic, Arabic) - has been working since the 1980s on fundamental digital humanities, linking scholarship and computer technology, digitising traditional Islamic scripts and contributing to Cyrillic and Arabic text encoding. He published many articles on the structure and history of Arabic script, notably on the scientific analysis of classical Arabic scripts which led to the introduction of the concept of script grammar. Distinctions: Unicode Bulldog Award 2000 for fundamental contributions to digital text encoding - Dr Peter Karow Award 2003 for exceptional and innovative contributions to the development of digital type and typography related technology.


November 5, 2022

09:00 — 10:00

Morning Coffee


Welcome Remarks: Meltem Müftüler Baç

The Dean of Sabancı University Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences


Welcome Remarks: Nazan Ölçer

Director, Sakıp Sabancı Museum


Gerry Leonidas

Arabic typography: a paradigm for research-informed practice


Titus Nemeth

Building bridges: the case for a book that straddles two worlds

11:30 — 12:00

Coffee Break


Orlin Sabev

The Ottoman transition from scribal to print culture: the layout of the Müteferrika prints


Emanuela Conidi

An approach to the study of Arabic foundry type


Onur Yazıcıgil

The Ottoman printers’ 8 pt Naskh typeface and its Turkish type maker Mehmed Emin Efendi

13:30 — 14:30

Lunch Break


Borna Izadpanah

Naskh types from Europe, Ottoman Empire, and Russia in nineteenth-century Iran and their legacy


Özlem Özkal

A curious case of Ottoman Typography: detached Arabic Letters

15:30 — 16:00

Coffee Break


Thomas Milo

Script grammar: a linguistic approach to digitising Islamic script


Ayşe Aldemir

Members of the Ottoman dynasty who were calligraphers


November 6 — 7, 2022

10:00 — 17:00

Borna Izadpanah & Rainer Erich Scheichelbauer

Arabic-script type design workshop: considering the past, designing for the present

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