Re: New Hebrew character FB1D

From: Mark H. David (
Date: Wed Jan 22 1997 - 10:11:08 EST

FB1D (yod with hiriq) is just a the precomposed equivalent
of the character sequence yod and hiriq,
nothing more or less. This character combination occurs in the standard
orthographies of both Hebrew and Yiddish, as well as historical and
non-standard orthographies of both, as well as in the orthographies of most
of the other languages that use the Hebrew script.

Jonathan, you mentioned that, "in Hebrew it would be Hiriq Yod", referring
to one case where Hebrew and Yiddish have evolved slighly different
conventions on using the Hebrew script to spell the same word. I don't see
how that can be relevant in moving us to label this combination as being
for a particular language. By the same logic, one might propose that the
precomposed character n-with-tilde has to be Spanish-n-with-tilde because
English spells the word canyon as "canyon" and Spanish writes
"can<tilde>on"? I think we don't want to go there, and it's been decided
that we won't already, hasn't it?

The same thing with FB2E (alef with patah) and
FB2F (alef with qamats). There's also FB30 (alef with hiriq), which
relates to the Hebrew component characters in exactly the same way. Under
this proposal, FB30 would relate differently to the main Hebrew characters.
Can this be justified?

I believe that to a greater or lesser extent all of the FBXX combinations are
already deprecated. Some of these characters (11 of them, including the
new one) are used in standard Yiddish orthography. If there is a serious
interest in raising these to the status of "Yiddish characters",
following the model of the Latin accented characters, and at the same time
to deprecate all of the other FBXX characters, I guess I'm open; but that's
a much larger issue, quite a bit of work, and should be done in a
comprehensive way, e.g., do all 11 of the combinations. I think that
should be a separate topic of discussion. There are many pros and cons,
tedious to consider.

For those interested, I have a web page that shows the 11 combinations of
Hebrew characters used for Yiddish:

Finally, note that Unicode (as of Version 1.1, = ISO 10646 Level 3,
i.e., with combining characters) fully supports Yiddish in all of its
orthographies, standard, non-standard, and historic, without
the use of any of the FBXX characters.

Mark David

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:20:33 EDT