The character yogh

The character yogh as a potential source for scribal error is described in Burchfield 1953.

Burchfield’s account of the stroke sequence of the yogh requires some qualification, however. In the word hali3 (col. 396, l. 57) (as well as in a few surrounding words) Orm did not lift the pen clear off the surface of the parchment, and the movements of the pen between the strokes are clearly traced. The yogh was written as three strokes:
     1. the down-stroke of the <t>;
     2. the cross-stroke of the <t>;
     3. the curved stroke below the baseline, turning the <t> into a yogh.

The successive stages in the creation of the yogh are illustrated below:

Burchfield describes the first two strokes in a yogh as executed in the opposite order, thus:

This was, of course, a possible sequence,1 but it is not the one that I have observed in MS. Junius 1.

 1 Harris (1995) does not describe Orm’s yogh, but specifies the stroke sequence of a <t> as 1+2 in Early Gothic (p. 49), the script that most closely corresponds to that used by Orm, but i+ii in Carolingian Minuscule (p. 41). Drogin (1980:127,133), on the other hand, presents the strokes in <t> in the opposite order in both scripts.


Drogin, Marc. 1980. Medieval Calligraphy. Its History and Technique. New York, N.Y.: Dover Publications.

Harris, David. 1995. The Art of Calligraphy: A practical guide to the skills and techniques. London: Dorling Kindersley.