L2/17-377

Proposal for the encoding of three Arabic tanween characters

Eric Muller — Amazon

October 15, 2017

Background

In L2/15-329, Mussa A. A. Abudena proposes 6 characters (1 through 6) for the vowel signs and tanweens, as they are typically rendered in Qalun’s transmission of Nafi’s reading of the Quran.

I agree with the UTC that characters 1 through 3 are just glyphic variants damma, dammatan, and open dammatan. The UTC also suggested that the remaining three characters be represented by the combination of damma or fatha with U+06E2 ARABIC SMALL HIGH MEEM ISOLATED FORM, and kasra with U+06ED ARABIC SMALL LOW MEEM.

I would like to argue that the representation suggested by the UTC is inadequate, and not just for the typical appearance of Qalun’s transmission of Nafi’s reading, but actually for all calligraphic styles of the Quran. I therefore propose to encode three additional tanween characters, to be used in all transmissions.

Sources

[kfgqpc-h] edition of the Quran made available by the King Fahd Complex For The Printing Of The Holy Quran. It uses Hafs’ transmission of Asim’s reading. This transmission is by far the most popular currently. Unicode text and font available at http://fonts.qurancomplex.gov.sa/?page_id=42 and images downloadable at http://dm.qurancomplex.gov.sa/download/.

[oman] Electronic Mushaf Muscat Calligraphy Project. Also uses Hafs’ transmission of Asim’s reading. Unicode representation is only available punctually. https://www.mushafmuscat.om/.

[kfgqpc-w] edition of the Quran made available by the King Fahd Complex For The Printing Of The Holy Quran. It uses Warsh’s transmission of Nafi’s reading. Available at https://archive.org/details/QuranWarshNarration as images only.

[tunisian] Tunisian edition of the Quran. It uses Warsh’s transmission of Nafi’s reading. Available at https://archive.org/details/QuranWarshAsbahani). If you read Arabic, you can learn about the various tanweeen forms in pages 9-11 of the appendix.

[wics] edition of the Quran, published in 1989 by the World Islamic Call Society - Tripoli - Libya. Uses Qalun’s transmission of Nafi’s reading. Available at https://archive.org/details/Ms7FalGmaHRYaH as images only.

The Quran

Nazalization of the three short vowels fatha, kasra, and damma is ordinarily written using fathatan, kasratan and dammatan (the tanween).

In the Quran, three distinct pronunciations of the tanween are written by different signs:

fatha damma kasra
ordinary vowel sign [kfgqpc-h] 2:7
[tunisian] 2:7
[kfgqpc-w] 2:6
[wics] 2:6
[kfgqpc-h] 2:6
[tunisian] 2:6
[kfgqpc-w] 2:5
[wics] 2:5
[kfgqpc-h] 2:6
[tunisian] 2:6
[kfgqpc-w] 2:5
[wics] 2:5
ordinary tanween [kfgqpc-h] 2:182
[tunisian] 2:182
[kfgqpc-w] 2:181
[wics] 2:181
[kfgqpc-h] 2:7
[tunisian] 2:7
[kfgqpc-w] 2:6
[wics] 2:6
[kfgqpc-h] 2:36
[tunisian] 2:36
[kfgqpc-w] 2:35
[wics] 2:35
open tanween [kfgqpc-h] 2:182
[tunisian] 2:182
[kfgqpc-w] 2:181
[wics] 2:181
[kfgqpc-h] 2:7
[tunisian] 2:7
[kfgqpc-w] 2:6
[wics] 2:6
[kfgqpc-h] 2:36
[tunisian] 2:36
[kfgqpc-w] 2:35
[wics] 2:35
meem tanween [kfgqpc-h] 2:95
[tunisian] 2:95
[kfgqpc-w] 2:94
[wics] 2:94