RE: non-latin hyphenation?

From: Hohberger, Clive P. (
Date: Tue Apr 07 1998 - 07:18:17 EDT

> -----Original Message-----
> From: []
> Sent: Monday, April 06, 1998 12:02 PM
> To: Unicode List
> Subject: non-latin hyphenation?
> Perhaps some of you know, or know of a good source for this info:
> The background:
> In most languages that use Latin script, words may be broken (at
> certain allowed places) at the end of a line. We call this
> hyphenation, and the hyphen character is usually displayed at the end
> of the line to indicate the word is broken.
> I know that in some non-Latin scripts, words can be broken across a
> line but no symbol is used to indicate this. I believe many languages
> based on Ethiopic script behave this way.
> The question:
> What other conventions exist for denoting an unusual (e.g.,
> middle-of-word) line break? In particular, are there any natural
> languages that denote a word break by a mark at the beginning of the
> *second* line (rather than at the end of the first)?
> (At this point, I'm not interested in the algorithms needed to
> identify available inter-word break points, but rather how such breaks
> are displayed.)
> TIA,
> Bob Hallissy
> Summer Institute of Linguistics
        [Hohberger, Clive P.]
        I remember that back about 30 years ago, when letters were typed
rather than
        word processed, it was considered stylish in typing Italian to
keep straight
        right margins. In order to do this, if a word had to be broken
across a line,
        the last letter on the current line was simply underlined to
indicate that
        the word was continued at the start of the next line.

        The underline character served the function of a hyphen. Note
        words were broken anywhere, whenever the right margin occured,
        with no attempt to break at syllables.

        This always seemed to me to emminently sensible way to write
        text with a typewriter, especially when non-proportional spaced
        fonts were used, as it gave straight right margins with little

        Clive Hohberger
        Zebra technologies Corporation

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